Years ago, I was very disturbed by things I heard from Tracy, Richard’s wife; her views on politics struck me as lacking in empathy and compassion–and very, very misguided (climate change, for example). She claimed to be a Christian, but I did not see any evidence of this in fruits of the spirit. It was a relief to cut off relations with her when her abuse of me, her children, and Richard finally became intolerable. (If not for her being married to Richard, I wouldn’t have put up with her at all, let alone for two and a half years.)
As for Richard, he was a bit better in some ways–He was compassionate toward immigrants, having seen firsthand what draconian border policies do to people. But he had extremist views of his own that began to get very disturbing.
When I started seeing a couple I knew in college start making similar comments on Facebook, I decided to cut the cord there, too. I couldn’t make any political posts without this couple making some snide remark.
Lately, however, I’ve been seeing views like theirs showing up more and more on my Facebook news feed, whether people’s posts or their responses to mine. I’ve already unfriended a few people and changed my settings so I can block another person from seeing certain posts. But I can’t unfriend family or people I see all the time.
And it’s not just my imagination. John Pavlovitz writes in The Christian Right is Radicalizing White People I Love,
There is much more there about watching your loved ones turn into right-wing extremists. Since I’ve started making political posts on Facebook again after years of avoiding them, I’ve seen comments that make my hair stand on end–from people I thought were better than that. I’ve unfriended people I had crushes on in school. I’ve unfriended the mother of a friend.
I’ve wished I could unfriend relatives and friends who see my posts on the treatment of immigrants and say “I’d vote for Trump again” and make snarky comments that mirror GOP talking points. I’ve heard people say things that seem to come out of left field–then, sometime later, hear those same wacky comments come from some GOP politician or pundit or other right-winger.
And yes, I wonder if this is what it was like for Germans who kept their sanity but watched their friends/relatives/colleagues fall in love with Hitler.
Again, the article is The Christian Right is Radicalizing White People I Love by John Pavlovitz. Comments here are turned off so you can put them on his blog.