A friend told me today that he had not spoken to his brother in 2 months. The reason- Donald Trump won the election. My friend did not vote for Trump, so that was not the reason for the loss of relationship. He was cut off from his brother because he did not share the view that everyone who voted for Trump was a racist, bigoted, misogynist. My friend had the audacity to suggest that some Trump voters had purer motives and that crossed a line. There was apparently no room in his brother’s life for someone who did not share his perspective.
My friend is not alone. Online stories and personal conversations over the last few months relate similar experiences. I recently read a blog post on the liberal website dailykos in which the author proudly stated that he cancelled his holiday party rather than entertain the possibility that Trump voters might attend.
As I read and hear these stories I find myself asking, “Why is there so much hate over an election?”
I suspect no single answer can explain every response but one thing seems clear. We have become a nation that focuses on the things that divide us instead of the things that unite us. We have lost sight of the truth that every man and woman is created in the image of God and is beloved by him. We have instead made people out to be less, to be nothing more than their political opinions, sexual orientation, or social class.
Unless we return to the original American ideal that our value is inherent and God given and that men are defined by the content of their hearts and the condition of their souls we will continue to see people end relationships and isolate ourselves from others for frivolous and judgmental reasons. The ultimate result of such actions is we will stop being Americans.