I Hate These People…Anyone Else?

I got a message from an old classmate from high school.

We went to high school in Berlin, many of us obviously from different parts of the world, and once we left with our little diplomas, we scattered back to the different corners from which we came. I was so surprised to find that he had contacted me, found me….because he lives about 7 or 8 streets over.

My little heart leapt with this JOYOUS laugh! How incredible it was to have gone to school with someone in Europe 30 years ago, only to find they live just down the road today.

He suggested we go have a beer nearby. I quickly recommended a Biergarten just down the street. We’re now trying to schedule a day to meet up. So, while we figure that out, I went looking through his facebook feed to see what his life has been like, who he is now, versus who he was then.

His entire feed was filled with nothing but anti-Trump messaging. There was nothing that I could see about moments in life, marriages, births, hobbies, what he does for work, where he has been, what he has done. Not even pictures of FOOD. Just this endless stream of “orange man bad.”

I just sat back and sighed, “Oh, no…..”

Now, hear me out. My reaction wasn’t hinged on him being a liberal who hates Trump. It was just the reverse. I thought, “Oh, damn. This man is going to hate me.”

I do not have a problem with liberals being friends. People are too complex to be pigeon holed.  But, are you so infected with that much hatred that it’s now the only thing that defines you? Have we stupidly groaned our way to that place where we introduce ourselves with our hatred? We used to have beacons that we brightened, torches in the dark we used to raise, lights in the night that whispered, “I like these things, they make me happy…anyone else?”

So sad to see that the request for like minded contact should now come in the form of this very cold, aggressive growl of tolerance demanding, “I hate these people….anyone else?”

But, that is the place we are at right now. If you’re a Trump supporter, you should be vilified. No questions asked. It doesn’t matter your resume, nor what you’ve accomplished, nor from what low beginnings you came to achieve that accomplishment, you support Trump. You are, as the Speaker of the House said, “An enemy of the state.”

Now, my idea is to just meet, have a beer, discuss old times, then move on with our lives. We won’t talk politics, right? But, with a feed like his I feel it is bound to come up. Because the entire presentation of who he is, based on what he shared about himself, is very likely to be nothing but a hopeful connection with someone who is supposed to feel the same way. And if I don’t hate Trump, and I don’t hate the police, and I don’t hate capitalism, well then….it would be his duty, for the sake of some fashionable hate for this country, to find someone new to cancel: me.

Strange, we have an usual tie in common. We both went to a very small school in Europe. We were witness to one of the most monumental moments in the history of the world’s freedom. Another tyranny had been destroyed….without the first gun being fired. The tyranny of saying the wrong thing, to the wrong person, without fear of your life being destroyed, had been defeated. Everyone was now allowed to speak at will for the first time. They were allowed to read books this political party had “cancelled” (say, banned, don’t try and make it sound heroic), and see films, listen to music, and hear other opinions that were not party approved….

Again, without violence being required to make it happen.

For all I know, he could be back tracking my whole life. And there is someone out there reading this now who might be willing to send me an email saying, “You’re posts are filled with hate!” No, my posts are filled with disagreements. And despite that, my posts are filled with many more fascinating things about myself other than my support for the President. The details of who I am are much more interesting than the broad brush strokes of my interests.

I will agree to meet my old classmate. Of course. But, should the topic of Trump arise, I will not lie about how I feel, and I won’t feel timid about doing so. But, I will not admonish the man for his philosophies, hoping at the same moment the conditioning to hate me will not be switched on.

Because I’m hoping to prove Charles Krauthammer wrong when he beautifully said a conservative will tell a liberal they’re wrong, but a liberal will tell a conservative they’re evil.

So, wish us both luck….

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  1. I would welcome an explanation of what it is you find worth supporting in President Trump. I can’t get past “grabbing women by the pussy” myself.

    1. That’s not what he said. He said as a celebrity he could just snatch them by the pussy, not that he did. Of course it was taken out of context and you totally ignore that Joe Biden DID snatch Tara Reade by the pussy and once he ran for President that whole #metoo movement ignored it.

  2. I have discovered that the “social justice warriors” I thought were my friends really weren’t, and that the fear was irrational. I’ve made so many friends being a happy, rational person who isn’t bemoaning the state of the world and blaming it on the President

  3. Are you “friends” with your friend on facebook? Because I’ve noticed that if you’re not yet “friends” then facebook usually only shows generic posts and not the more personal posts…perhaps there is more to your friend than politics.

  4. I’m reminded of Pere Henri in Chocolat. He said “We can’t go around defining ourselves by who we hate…” Yet, there are so many people who are quite willing to do just that. They are willing to overlook amazing accomplishments to focus on a crude or poorly thought-out comment. They are eager to virtue-signal with vitriol.

    You are very brave to still want to meet your old acquaintance. Just have a game plan to clean your energy afterward, just in case his FB posts are a true reflection of who he is. I have no doubt you’ll handle this encounter with your customary dignity, class and compassion.

    1. Patricia, your comment was very beautifully said. May I borrow parts of it?
      There is a difference also in saying someone “could” do something and saying that they did do something!
      Gregory, I hope your meeting goes well, I look forward to an update. Also have an exit plan in place. Perhaps have Phillip call you after a bit so you have an “excuse” to make a hasty retreat if necessary. Let’s all hope for the best.

  5. Hi Gregory, you can choose not to discuss politics with anyone or everyone! I have listened to a Republican friend of mine and not say anything in response (as you know, I am Liberal). This was on the phone, and she finally said, “are you still there” and I replied with a yes. She said, “Well, you didn’t say anything”….. and I simply said, “I don’t agree with you. And if I responded it could damage our friendship, so perhaps we should just change the topic.” Her response was that we should change the topic.

    Give your classmate a chance. Don’t go with a preconceived opinion. Find other things to talk about. Good luck and best wishes for finding a “new” old friend.

  6. I wouldn’t bother to meet someone whose life was based on a singular issue: hatred of one person. How dull. I know how you feel which is why I read your blog sometimes. I get you. I’m a Jewish woman from Los Angeles and as right wing as I can get except that I’m apparently a “California Conservative “ which means I voted for gay marriage, to legalize marijuana and am pro-choice (my body, my choice when it come out it has rights) but as a woman, a native Angelena and a Jewish woman I’m supposed to be to the left of Che Guevara (I speak native level Spanish btw) So I am not accepted anywhere by anyone and have spent my life being hated and I no longer engage with hateful people. They are too disrespectful. Many of us don’t fit into the little boxes expected of us and we are far more interesting and contemplative than average.

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