Saturday, December 17, 2016

How an Election Ruined a Friendship

I actually lost a friend as a result of the presidential election.  This person, however was not a Donald Trump supporter; it was someone who supported Hillary Clinton and was angry at me (and other people) for not voting for her.  You would recognize this person's name, as I have talked about this ex-friend on my blog before, but henceforth I will refer to this person as ТБ - the Cyrillic initials of this ex-friend's name.  Note that I haven't mentioned the person's sex.  Sorry, I don't want to reveal that either.
Anyway, it all started on my birthday, which came just a few days before Election Day, when ТБ sent me a birthday greeting with a warning that if I went ahead and voted for Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein as I had made clear that I would, Trump would win as a result of a split anti-Trump vote.  I gleefully ignored this warning, as I had ignored all of the warnings I got from Hillary supporters who said that my vote for Dr. Stein would be no more than a spoiler vote against Hillary, and I did indeed, as you already know, vote for Dr. Stein.  And it worked out fine.  Hillary won my home state of New Jersey with 53 percent of the vote - a majority -  beating the Donald by nine points and winning all of New Jersey's fourteen electoral votes.  Because the presidential election is a state-by-state, not a national, election, my vote for Dr. Stein had no impact on the outcome.
A couple of days later, I noticed that ТБ, who had been one of my Facebook friends, was a Facebook friend no longer.  I found this odd and I wrote to ТБ asking why I had been "unfriended."  ТБ told me about deleting from Facebook everyone ТБ knew who did not vote for Hillary, because now that f**khead (ТБ's word for Trump) was now going to be President and those of us who voted for a third-party candidate were responsible.
But what the fact that my vote for Dr. Stein didn't have any effect?  This is what ТБ said about that:  "I don't care if your state went Democratic; you're a writer and you have influence."
I have influence?  Did ТБ think people in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania read my blog entries about how it was important to vote for Dr. Stein to help build up the Green Party and voted for her, thus skewing those states in Trump's favor?  Does ТБ really think my blog is that widely read?  Most of my blog entries get no more than thirty or forty views at a time!  My beautiful women picture blog is more widely followed than this blog.  Is ТБ kidding me?  Influential how?  How am I influential?
I'm flabbergasted by this, because I've known ТБ since before I even joined Facebook, and I can't believe that ТБ would terminate our friendship over me casting a third-party ballot that not only didn't influence the election, it didn't even help the Greens get up to the national five-percent threshold for immediate ballot access and federal matching funds for 2020.  (Besides, even if everyone who voted for Dr. Stein in swing states won by Trump except Michigan had voted for Hillary, the Democrats still would have lost.)  I thought that my vote wouldn't hurt anyone.  In fact, it hurt me.  It didn't obviously hurt ТБ, whom I wrote afterward pleading to keep our friendship intact and explaining how much I valued the friendship between us, because ТБ didn't respond to my plea, preferring to move on without regret.  So I guess ТБ wasn't much of a friend at all.  If ТБ can't live with the fact that I cast a third-party ballot in the presidential election, than to hell with ТБ.  Good riddance!
Oh yeah, I hadn't even been able to see ТБ in person since Independence Day.
Independence Day 2009.
So I guess it wasn't a real friendship anyway.  It couldn't be, if it was so weak its mere existence depended on whether or not  I voted for Hillary.  It makes me appreciate the friends I still have . . . some of whom voted for Trump.  
I have influence as a writer, huh?  If that's true, how come Martin O'Malley isn't becoming President in January? :-O

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