Though I initially thought that commenting on my liberal friend’s Facebook post would end with both of us hurling talking points at each other until we’re frothing with rage, I can honestly say she changed my mind and I will no longer be voting for Donald Trump, as he is really, truly, bad.
I used to be someone who wouldn’t listen to reason. But then my liberal friend reasoned with me, and that’s all it took to erode decades of deep-seated racism, sexism, and a vague sense of white nationalism. I could have sworn that after I insulated myself from any dissenting opinions or media that didn’t already conform to my skewed and narrow world view, that I was too far gone. But it turns out I wasn’t! It’s all good! I’m changing my Twitter handle from “@Christian_Nation_4_Trump” now.
After talking with this person whom I haven’t seen since high school, I see now that building a border wall is not just ineffective and prohibitively expensive, but also batshit insane. All the anti-immigrant bile designed to tap into my anger and fear that I happily consumed for years looks as utterly ridiculous to me now as my profile picture of Hillary Clinton with a Hitler mustache.
When I defended Donald Trump’s comments bragging about sexual assault as merely “locker room talk,” my liberal friend simply said “that’s not locker room talk.” And I immediately was like, “oh yeah, it’s not!” As more and more of her liberal friends liked her comment, it became increasingly clear to me that men are not the default gender, and all women have the inalienable right to their own agency. Someone accidentally un-liked the comment and things got a little hazy for me, but once a clickbait website made a meme about the post, it all started making sense again.
Sure, there were a few bumps along the way. When my liberal friend pointed out that there is no logical evidence that Hillary Clinton has a body double, I did threaten to murder her as is my God-given Second Amendment right. And I didn’t do myself any favors when I casually threw around the c-word in a poorly-written screed about Juanita Broaddrick, email servers, and Benghazi – three things that, on an intellectual level, I know nothing about. But when my liberal friend posted a link to the New York Times, a news source I distrust based on the fact that New York City has a lot of Jews living in it, it was like I could see clearly for the first time. Facebook has once again proven itself to be the perfect medium for thoughtful and effective political discourse!
Come November, it’s going to be a snap to vote in opposition to everything my immediate circle of friends and family hold true about the world. And I know that there’s zero chance that I scurry back to the safety and comfort of the anti-intellectual, jingoistic, faux-religious, race-baiting rhetoric the Republican Party has been serving to me on a platter since the Nixon administration. I’m woke AF, as the kids like to say, and I’m never going back to sleep – or my name isn’t Senator Ted Cruz.