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November 10, 2020

To the Dear Friend I Lost to the 2020 Election.

 

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I hope you are well, happy and at peace, but, I know, sadly, you are none of these things right now.

I miss you. I miss our visits. I miss your laugh. I keep wondering where I lost you, or you lost me, or you lost yourself.

I think that, really, I did not know you as well as I thought I did. I did not know your inner thoughts and feelings—the direction you were headed in—until it was too late for me to do anything.

It makes me sad to know you are angry right now. You are outraged and demanding “justice” in the election. You believe all of the claims of fraud, criminality, and theft of the election process. I know this because you were already against the opposition long before the election. You already believed so deeply that the path you had picked must be the only right and good path.

You had already accepted that anyone who criticized the side you have chosen to venerate must be corrupt.

My friend, I think about the kindness you have shown in the past, and I wonder where it has gone.

Where is your softness? Your compassion for others? Where is your ability to let others have their own beliefs and paths? I can only shake my head slowly in disbelief that you could be so changed. What would make you choose to make that change in yourself? What benefit do you see for yourself, for your friends, for your family, for your neighbors, for your country, for the world? Is it real, tangible benefit?

Because, friend, I don’t see the benefit; I see loss.

I see a person who has lost the bubbly, cheerful, carefree, approachable demeanor that you used to have. I see your days lost in digging deep into conspiracy theories. I see months dragging by, years, where your life is lost into an abyss of mental mazes and belief contortions that have brought you nothing but darkness.

I want you to know that, despite what you believe about me now, I still believe in you.

I know the person you were, and I know you can be that person again. I don’t know how to help you get back to that place. I spoke out when you repeated strange, hateful things about any critics. I pointed out that the reasoning was not reasonable. I indicated to you that the viewpoint you adopted was very one-sided and lacked compassion. I tried to show you that rumors are not proof, that allegations not backed by actual evidence never result in true justice.

You are a good person. You want the world to be safe. You want people to be protected. You want criminals to face the consequences of their actions. I get that and I love that part of you.

What I don’t love is that your motivation has turned into a monster that is eating you alive. I beg you: let go of the conspiracies. You love them more than you love me, I see that. But, they do not love you back. They do not serve you or your life.

Please, reconnect with other people and let go of expectations. Let go of having to be right. Simply be a human—one among many others. Turn away from the addiction to fear. You don’t need to attack others on behalf of anyone, or anything. Sit with others and just let them speak and feel and be. Rejoice in the individuality, and the commonality, which is beautiful about humanity.

I told you why I was leaving you. I said there was no room for me in your life. You pushed me away repeatedly, all the while denying that you were shutting me out. You were only interested in making me see things your way. You defended others who attacked me without knowing me. They threw personal insults and mocked my attempts to make peace. So, I let go.

Only you can live your life, and I must let you do that.

Maybe, one day, I will hear from you again. Perhaps you will reach out, we will talk about what happened. We will laugh and hug and it will all be fine. Maybe not. I have to accept that.

For now, I do not accept hate. I do not accept blind criticism. I do not accept friends who support baseless plots, frivolous claims, hate speech, and institutional racism. I will not stand for threats of violence as the solution to other opinions. I have boundaries, standards, and rights.

I deserve to be treated respectfully. I am allowed to have my own views and feelings.

I am a good person. Most people are good people. We can come together and keep making our world a better place. I believe this is why the American election had this outcome. It is a testament to the hope and dedication of the American people to build a better world by building each other up.

The only ones who lose are the ones who choose not to build with us. You can take stones and build a wall, or you can use them to build a home.

I know you don’t see it now, but I hope that one day you will see the home I am helping to build with many other good people. You are welcome there.

Most lovingly, and with a sense of deep pain and loss,

Your friend.

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