Before you read any further, I want you to see the disclaimer that I absolutely love my mom. I do not wish to belittle or otherwise make her feel less than. Instead, my goal is that she realizes the error of her internet troll ways and that they will cost her friends and family in the long run.
Politics is a subject that can destroy relationships. It is even more dangerous in the sense that if two related people have different views, it can seriously damage relationships between them. The latter is what I've experienced with my mother for at least a few months.
I don't identify with any specific political party. I vote on what I believe is right for others and my country without regard for political affiliation. My mother, on the other hand, has been a diehard Republican for as long as I can remember. She tells friends and family that the sole reason she's on Facebook is "to piss off liberals." She views teasing them as a game, a game that one could play forever. She began fulfilling this purpose in 2011 during Obama's presidency. I was twelve years old, so I didn't fully understand what was happening.
As I went through school and began college, it clicked in my head that was my mother's social media activities were wrong. I never did and never will have an issue with my mother expressing her views on social media. The First Amendment protects her right to do that. I also do not have an issue with two people who disagree with each other having a civil discussion.
My issue is the fact that my mother uses politics like a sword forged from words and ideas. She deliberately angers those who disagree with her, and her most common methods are a combination of insults, name calling, and spamming the comments with "Trump 2020" and the like. She is so infatuated with politics that she had a very different first concern when I went off to college. Sure, she was concerned that I would get bad grades, get hurt, or otherwise have bad things happen to me. However, what scared her the most was that I would become "liberalized."
Fast forward to just before my twenty-first birthday. My ex-boyfriend of two years dumped me for several reasons, including the fact that I did not agree with him politically. At one point, he and his family ganged up on me and called me a communist because I enjoyed listening to The Beatles. That aside, my birthday celebrations at my parents' house went well until right before I returned to my apartment. I had just gotten out of the shower when my brother told me that my mom and sister were engaged in a fierce argument about things such as Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 pandemic. I caught the tail end when I went in the kitchen to gather a few things to take with me.
My sister left shortly after the argument ended. In the ensuing days, my mom would talk smack about her to me and call her out on Facebook twice. I felt obliged to play along with the fact she found it amusing to save my own hide. I did a lot of code switching before I began expressing my opinions on social media, much to my mother's chagrin. I was my true self around my friends, someone who while not purely Democrat still cared about others. Around my mom, however, I pretended to be just as much of a hardcore Trump supporter as her.
My final straw with everything cam after I attended a campus protest. I made the news, which of course my mother saw. She brought it up multiple times over breakfast with my aunt and told me I needed to pipe down. I also added my perspective on the issues she posts about through the following days. She had a big idea that not agreeing with her and saying she shouldn't antagonize those who disagree translated into the fact that I don't love or respect her. She would send passive-aggressive text messages, and she made snide remarks when I asked her to not explode into political tirades around people, especially my boyfriend. All of this, yet I am the bad guy creating the rift.
In short, I love my mom, but politics are destroying our relationship. I do not know what the future holds, but as November 3rd creeps closer, my hope gradually fades. I fear my relationship with my mother will become rockier regardless of who will be inaugurated in 2021. The only solace I find is in prayer, and every night, I pray that God will ignite a passion in everyone to be the change they want to see.