“We are 360 degrees opposite in our views.”
Pause. Breathe. Did I love her enough not to say anything? I did and signed off my abstention from discourse with a platitude and emoji heart. Enthusiastically I’d invited her back to my Facebook because I’d decided to stop posting about politics on my personal page. It made no difference anyway and my railing was derailing more meaningful relational engagement.
She accepted my invitation, bitterly I must say. Her email explained that she would befriend despite my having been brainwashed by the British media to not accept God but to allow the Koran.
Pause. Breathe. Did I love her enough to not say anything? I typed simply ‘I’ll ignore that.’ Semi-colon wink.
Munch dabbed oils, while my visceral screech after 8th November 2016 was represented in sentence case Tahoma font. In spite of my fury, the electoral cerebral aneurysm had begun to manifest its destiny. The bloodthirsty bulging of ballooning bullshit surging towards its inevitable rupture; Inauguration Day – 20th January 2017. Apoplexy, truly unattractive on anyone, was particularly ugly on me. I had inherited my mother’s ability to sharpen my chosen words and use them as weapons.
My friends and family on the Right accepted no other sources but Fox, Breitbart and the rest of the rightoric filled disinformation. Lacking an OMFG graphic, I used news links, historical clarifications – alongside outright disdain – shot at 70 words per minute from my fully loaded fingertips.
My friends and family on the Left flailed. Desperately sending protest and petition links. Aimlessly imploring the newly demagoguerily elected disciples of division to come together for the common good, ignoring that they now held power by undermining those same values. That ‘no duh’ was also not available in icon imagery meant verbally sticking them with their own safety pins, highlighting statistical realities and their own complacency.
My friends in London, where I now I lived, all had a range of ‘couldn’t believe that the US could become even more intolerable’ responses. On a continent where Angela Merkel, unexcitedly, had held power for over ten years on the basis of her intelligence and efficacy; Teresa May had made headlines for wearing racy shoes and a V-neck top (that was red) and Nicola Sturgeon, without flinching, stripped the son of a Scottish mother, also the Republican Candidate, of his GlobalScot ambassador status as a result of his racist, discriminatory remarks – the reality television popularity contest between the billionaire buffoon and the experienced enigma had more followers than The X Factor.
Ensuring no temptation remained, for over half a day the deletion of links and page likes was undertaken on my private profile. True to my word, my feed-light was filled with bite sized munchies such as images of chicks warming themselves against a coffee mug. Tastier morsels (teetering on the edge of my promise) included only a cover photo of Ray Collins image, ‘The Darkness Shall Not Overcome’ – a rainbow shining through a seemingly lightless sky – but she would have responded positively to Biblical reference. Smiley face.
Scrolling down, now able to see more of what people were posting than news and information, I glimpsed ardent Reprobate Party supporters, as they staked their claim to the prize of wisdom, goodness and virtue by sharing a Jedi Code T-Shirt advert:
“There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.”
Orwellian Doublethink “required using logic against logic or suspending disbelief in the contradiction.” Now it was also required that it fit onto 100% cotton jersey. No irony found amongst them that the creed representing the mandate they’d brought to power would be more aptly expressed by the mantra of the Dark Side.
“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.”
Shook my head. Why was I researching this!?! The new me moved forward without comment despite the difficulty experienced in not pointing out that the Jedi, Sith and Force were dramatic creations whereas the Dark Lord they’d elected would rule in the real world.
I believed I could do this. Like: ‘Dogs in Snow’. Cry: ‘George Michael found dead.’ Laugh: ‘Keith Richard found still alive.’
Moved through the meme reposted by many a disquieted Liberal which launched with a promotional banner above the “Message to My Trump Supporting Friends.” The header encouraged the disaffected effete to sign their names to have a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate Trump-Russia ties. Wasn’t this was treated as secondary to the content of the hacked information, during the campaign? Unfortunately, they were not this energetic during the time that the gerrymandering, vote restricting, Supreme Court blocking partitioners sliced through the heartland of the country over the last eight years (at least). Like. Will they sense the sarcasm? Move forward.
Surprised as I noticed she quickly virtually unfriended me again (we remained real friends), I double-checked my recent posts. Scrolled through funny videos, inspirational quotes. Nothing political. Then I realised. I must have, at times, ‘raged’ by opting for the red-faced emoticon underneath my friend’s statements.
Certainly, understandable annoyance may have been justified with my comment that the (commode) Cabinet picks had resulted in the complete corporate and military takeover of the US government.
Slight wince having recalled the detour taken in the thread of my share of Julie Andrews reverence; so easily lured into discussing the Electoral College duty to oust people not fit for the Presidency.
The bit where I’d celebrated my not living in the country anymore, while deeply felt, was not necessarily going to be well received by the Matriot. America was the best country on earth. Any other view, not worth hearing.
I thought it wouldn’t be too bad, though, as she and I had such a strong respect for Hillary. She’d forgive me the overall disdain expressed because – despite our differences – we stood on the same side. She just didn’t know, didn’t understand that it would be 180 degrees if we were completely different. Her accidentally saying 360 degrees meant that we were at the same place.
I wanted to say all that.
Pause. Breathe. Did I love her enough not to say anything? I did and withheld factual corrections which would have incensed – not helped make sense – of our often frustrating for both interactions.
We both loved our country, which for her meant devotion. She couldn’t see that impiety and sedition reflected my passionate desire to have the nation stand for something more than Nationalism. How we could admire the same person so strongly and yet see what it means to be an American in such inverse ways?
I went back to reading her reprimand. She had shown a post to someone else who “…also found it offensive and she does not even like Trump as I do.”
I had to make sure I’d read that correctly.
She’d bought the baseball cap. ‘Make America Great Again.’
Opposite after all.
As usual, I let her have the last word. There was nothing more to say.