An observation: those of my liberal friends with the busiest agendas to take down the elitists/voice their opinions/smash the patriarchy on an hourly basis also have the highest amounts of anxiety (trust me, when they’re not talking politics, they’re talking anxiety). Indeed, they cause ME the most anxiety whenever I log onto social media, my blood pressure rising, my heart palpitating, my mind racing with thoughts of, “But what about …” and “Well, that seems awfully black and white …” or “YER GOSH DARN RIGHT!” I want to tell them to maybe take a few breaks during the day, maybe find more puppy videos or recipes or go outside and enjoy the sunshine or fight the good fight privately, personally, without announcing it to the world. I believe there is a deep-seeded correlation, dare say I know there is, and the one is controlling the other.
In fact, I find that the majority of my liberal friends post vastly more caustic information about Trump and his cronies than any of my conservative friends ever have, currently do, or ever will all combined in their entire lifetimes. I have one friend who I can count on to mention Trump a minimum of 10 times per week, and he doesn’t even like the guy. I have, otherwise, zero Trump supporting friends, but there he is, rearing his ugly orange head in my newsfeed anyhow.
And because all my dear liberal friends, with whom I thought I had the most in common, are about to push me into a psychiatric ward despite how excellent my medications are working in harmony, I’ve decided a few things. 1. I need to clearly unfollow them like I did my deeply conservative friends months ago, which seems odd that they’re now all in the same camp, but here we are. 2. I need to take a few steps back and decide whether it’s actually fruitful to even discuss politics/societal issues/religion on social media at length. Several people will likely see this as a defeatist attitude, argue that by sitting back silently, I’m conceding to the other side, and by all means, they can have that opinion. If any of my good friends hear a celebrity liken an African-American woman to an ape over Twitter and question for a second whether or not I find that deeply and utterly offensive because I didn’t mention it, then that’s going to be on them. If they wonder whether I am upset that thousands of children are being separated from their families at the border, that Flint still has no clean water, that I am not contacting my congressmen and doing what I feel I can at this time to have my voice heard, well … perhaps they don’t know me at all.
Here’s what I do know. Work happens in the middle. And while I am not claiming to suddenly be a moderate (ha — to laugh, I’m a fierce liberal and damn proud of it), I also know that pushing things further apart isn’t going to be the answer either. We argue and argue and argue and argue and argue and argue and argue and argue, and then we turn to our like-minded friends and laugh about how wrong the other side is, while they do the same. And perhaps there’s some truth in that. But I know that my truth needs to be about my family and friends, about the tangibles that I can control, about the people and things I love, about my home and pets, about the beautiful place I love, and the God that created me. Everything else is just noise.