When Politics and Friendship Collide

I dislike politics. I operate on the belief that when someone enters the political arena, they do have to make certain compromises and sometimes, they make too many and all the wrong ones.

I posted something on facebook today about Sarah Palin and her recent woes (son arrested, daughter challenging her daughter’s father as to rights to a child) and her recent endorsement of Donald Trump.

As usual, it got very little response.

Until a friend said she would say something if her family was perfect. Ah glass houses, and what not.

Except…this is a person who takes to very vocal complaining about her teenagers on a regular basis. This is a person who call often profane names at complete strangers and newscasters she doesn’t agree with and politicians alike. This is a person who has a lot of guilt at how her own life turned out, especially after the death of a parent. By her logic, we should never point out the short-comings of others because of our own except…

When I pointed this out as nicely as I could and Palin’s own admitted failings (in particular in her first book when she acknowledges she handed her kids over to a relative when her daughter became pregnant out of wedlock the first time and that if she had been more involved this might not have happened) she shot back that bad kids come from good parents and that she lived in her glass house and left stones on the ground.

Except…

Let one thing be certain, politically, my friend and I are two apples from the same tree. Except when it comes to BS. Because that BS I don’t tolerate from anyone and she selectively accepts it. I don’t like calling friends out but sometimes we just have to speak our piece and move on.

The truth in this case is that like many someone thrust their family into the spotlight while trying to proclaim they were one way only for them to turn out very much another way and from there it just got ugly. Sadly, when you expose your faults to the world wrapped in layers of double-talk and BS, it upsets people.

It is why I choose carefully what politics I just throw out there for public consumption, because words matter. I once was a huge Palin fan. Circa 2008. I also accepted at face value the explanations I was given then. I can no longer, in good conscience just accept the platitudes and glossing over. And I chose to put that out there which friends from both political sides agreed on for the most part. And most chose not to attack me or my family when they engaged in.

I never said my house was in perfect order, but I did mention that for someone embroiled in so much personal chaos, perhaps running into the political front and center wasn’t the right task. It looks more like running away than dealing with it.

Someone, a friend, who didn’t like what I said, took aim and fired. At me. And that’s okay, because she’s still my friend and I still love her because I realize her response comes from sources I have seen first hand and have the utmost sympathy and empathy for. And she’s made the mistake of viewing the whole world through her own lens and thinking everything is a shot at her (I once got an angry DM about a status that posted from twitter in response to something going on there that she was SURE was directed at her because of something she had just posted that I hadn’t even seen…) a few times before.

I have to say, having a heart of flesh vs stone has made these kinds of things pretty difficult to live through. I’ve had to expose myself more and make myself more open to these kinds of incidences. And I’ve had to have mercy and forgive more as well.

Can friendship and politics live together? The jury is still out as I do not know her response yet in full, but I’m not going to sweat losing friends or friends who attack from their own wounded places. I realize now it’s one of the things I was chosen for. Lord, have mercy.

Advertisements