The other day, I was listening to "This American Life" on NPR. The show was an hour long look at how elections change relationships...and as I listened to the story of a lifelong friendship being destroyed by a one-time conversation of how they were voting, I began thinking about how my own relationships have changed in the past year.
I have always limited my conversations about politics to my closest family and a couple friends, but I have found, just like most of the country, this election has brought out stronger feelings and stronger opinions. And with the rise of Facebook and Twitter, the conversations and "sharing" have hit a all-time high.
My favorite person to talk politics with has always been my grandfather- a 94 year old WWII vet who I have utmost respect for. I would call him after every primary and I would do my research on all of the current events before visiting. We have had a lot of laughs, but this time, we came down on the side of two different candidates. And I remember the moment that our joking became less light-hearted and was filled with an almost awkward silence. It was meant to be, I guess, but I was broken-hearted all the same. I respect my grandfather, but as I have gotten older and have started a family, I have grown into my beliefs. I am passionate about them, and I am passionate about being true to myself and voting for myself. Just as my grandfather is and does.
Over this past year, I have scrolled through my Facebook homepage and have watched as person after person has "liked" their presidential candidate. And as the election has gotten closer, there seems to be a war of "likes" going on, and I would assume that some "defriending" has occurred through time. All of these opinions that we used to hold in our hearts, but now say out loud have been shared with all of our "friends". And the war began.
I am not sure if all of this sharing has hurt or helped us, but I do know that on Wednesday morning, I am going to call my grandfather and the jokes will begin again.
How have your relationships changed during this election?