If discriminatory practices aren't a dealbreaker for you, then I don't want to know you.
"Why are people unfriending others over politics?"
If I had a nickel for every time I've heard (or read) that question these past few months, I'd have enough money to bail out the Trump Taj Mahal.
The individuals posing this query usually chalk the decision up to a lack of maturity. To an abject refusal to entertain countervailing beliefs. To a matter of mere partisanship.
And you know what I have to say to those people? Enough. No, really. Enough. I am so tired of people feigning shock and outrage over others not wanting to remain friends with those who are directly or indirectly fueling discrimination.
Discrimination against gay people. Discrimination against black people. Discrimination against those of a different religion or national origin.
The entire Trump/Pence ticket's platform revolves around making other individuals be made to feel less than. It is divisive. It is harmful. And it stands in stark opposition to every ideal this country was founded upon.
This is unlike any election that has preceded it, as has been made evident by the widespread dissonance, which plagues the Republican base. There has been unprecedented dissent amongst members of the GOP. Conservative newspapers are endorsing a Democrat for the first time in the history of their existence (existences that date back centuries, in some instances).
Are they reacting in such a manner because they want a Democrat in the White House? Or are they repudiating their own party's candidate because this transcends politics?
Common sense would dictate that it's the latter. After all, this isn't a matter of differing opinions concerning the tax code. This isn't about the mechanisms of trade. This isn't about health care.
This is about humanity. Decency. Morality. And to reduce it to a matter of politics is to misunderstand (or show a remarkable amount of apathy toward) the very crux of the issue.
At the end of the day, I cannot and will not be friends with people who think that we should be directing resources toward conversion therapy, for people "suffering" from homosexuality (like Pence). I will not be friends with people who think that it is OK to subject black people to practices that were deemed unconstitutional because they deprived them of the very civil liberties our Constitution was intended to protect (like Trump).
I will not be friends with people who think that those who subscribe to Islam are any less deserving of love, respect, or refuge than their Christian counterparts. I will not be friends with people who think that it is morally sound to indiscriminately murder the children of terrorists. Nor will I be friends with people who speak ill of immigrants, when without immigrants, none of us would even be here.
And the only way that any of that can be reduced to a matter of political differences is if you unfairly cast the entirety of the Republican party as homophobes, racists, bigots, and xenophobes, and (undeservedly) cast Democrats as the only ones standing in opposition.
As someone who is artistically challenged, I'm not willing to paint with that broad a brush.
So the next time you consider asking this question, realize that this has absolutely nothing to do with politics (which, quite frankly, is something you should have been able to glean yourself, based on the agreement of a vast number of Republicans). This has to do with a man who is not only unfit for the presidency but unfit for this country, as he seems to possess an alarming lack of regard for the principles upon which it was founded.
And I will not be made to remain friends with people who see his continued attempts at oppression and discrimination as an "inconvenient consequence" of ensuring that their party remain in power.
Because ultimately, if discriminatory practices aren't a dealbreaker for you — if they don't inspire in you a pain and an anger so heartbreaking that it leaves you aching for your less-privileged neighbor — then I don't want to know you. And I shouldn't have to simply because we shared the same floor freshman year of college.
This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.