How Trump Is Ruining One of My Oldest Friendships

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So remember how I mentioned in my last post that I was taking a break from politics? Well, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. I’m not even going to try and make sense of the Trump “administration” yet. I don’t have high hopes, but I’m always willing to give credit when it’s due. My bigger concern, though, is how the Donald Trump personality has infected so many people leading up to him becoming president. I’ve already talked about why I hate politics and my various issues with the political process recently. But this particular issue hits home with me.

I’m sure we’ve all seen people change during this recent election cycle. Tensions are high regarding a lot of issues these days and many people are fed up with the system. The rise of Trump has broken many people free of the feeling that they have to be politically correct to survive in society. They are starting to see being PC as a major weakness and fault in this country. Again, I myself have written about the pitfalls of being overly PC. But there’s a difference between just being politically incorrect and being a completely corrosive person.

In My Life

I have a very dear friend of over 15 years. He and I have been friends through many different phases of our lives. Like many of us, he too has changed his views on politics a time or two over the years. It’s to be expected, as we’ve both been political since our early teens. The recent rise of Trump is something that inspired him, as someone who has been very active online and on social media. He has published numerous books, websites, podcasts, and videos focusing on politics and culture throughout our friendship. For a while before his recent return to online notoriety he was focused on growing a small business online. During this time we saw eye to eye on many issues and didn’t have many disagreements on anything political.

At the onset of Trump my friend found him entertaining, citing his use of “tough talk” to rile up his supporters and comparing him to a character in a mafia movie. During Trump’s rise in popularity I became increasingly distraught by his attitude and lack of real political insight. My friend, however, was not put off by this and continued to find Trump amusing. As he started to focus more on his political aspirations, my friend has since abandoned his small business ventures online and devoted himself to his commentary. He has shown practically unwavering support for Trump and has amassed a large number of followers and enemies alike on social media. Despite my advice and the advice of his family he has stuck to his guns and pushed the envelope with his controversial posts and videos. The logic behind it is that if Trump can become president, my friend can become a well-know political shock jock and one day make a living off of it.

Aftermath

Throughout his ventures I’ve offered my friend general support and have tried to be there for him in many ways. We’ve had our arguments, but at the end of the day we always patch things up. Our friendship has endured so much over 15 years that it would seem ridiculous to let it fall apart over petty political differences. However, he is seemingly willing to alienate real people in his life in exchange for followers online. He has most recently been the brunt of some vicious attacks on social media. Some old info about him and his family was uncovered online and used against them. Now that his loved ones are being dragged into it we’re the most concerned about what he’s doing. No matter how I try to express this, though, he refuses to listen to my advice. He says I’m just negative and I don’t have faith in him. He’s even accused me and his family of not supporting him and asked us to come to his aid on social media, despite our consistent advice not to seek out so much negative attention.

Why I Blame Trump

Trump
He tends to bring out the worst in people…

I can’t entirely fault my friend for what he’s doing. He’s always been a driven individual who sets big goals for himself. When he starts a new project he locks on and doesn’t back down. He’s always been a hard worker and a fighter, so once he’s got his sights on a goal it’s hard to get him to reconsider. At the heart of it, he wants a better world for all of us, just like me. Though, right now the paths we would recommend to get there are becoming very different. We still do agree on certain issues, but I don’t condone the way he expresses some ideas.

Trump is essentially an enemy of the system. He isn’t your usual, boring politician. He is exciting to people who think business as usual has wrecked our country. Intelligent people want change, and when the social climate is where it is right now, it’s easy for people to look for their change in the wrong places. Trump and his movement are based solely on being the loudest, toughest, and most offensive in the hopes of changing the direction of the country. Revolutions are seldom peaceful and non-offensive, but this one seems to be unevenly balanced in the direction of offending people. Support who you want, but when you start alienating friends isn’t it time to re-evaluate your views? Trump sucks people in with his propaganda and offers vague, empty promises in return. This cult of personality doesn’t mix well with people who are determined and passionate about political change.