Besides nominating a president, Election 2016 has caused friends to cast votes for and against each other. The campaign has made enemies of friends and allies of strange bedfellows. The gauge for the election pulse is social media and if the massive amount of #Facebook unfriending is anything to go by, the temps are at fever pitch. The war between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters is creating a new phenomena--election burnout. Social media users are exhausted by the political rants, verbal bashing and hatred opponents show each other.
Election 2016 unfriends friends
Facebook users have told each other to unfriend if they're voting for a certain candidate. It's a bi-partisan issue--both Democrats and Republicans have done it. Grown adults threaten to unfriend each other for political views. Some of the defriending comes when the former friend posts angry, hateful rants. Users with election burnout are sick of seeing the negativity in their feeds. But others--grown adults, mind--threaten to defriend each other simply on their vote. Some actually say they aren't voting because they're above it all but then castigate those who do. People are afraid to defend their position because that provokes more animosity. They are shamed into not exercising their right--their civic duty--to engage in the political process.
Election 2016 candidates to blame?
In part, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are at fault. Any politician who engages in smear campaigns, hate speech, racist or homophobic nastiness, bigotry, name-calling, character assassination or violent, angry behavior incites such behavior in his or her followers. He or she incites it in his or her opponent's followers who angrily defend their candidate. But mostly the blame lies on the haters themselves. No one can make another behave in a certain way. These are grown-ups choosing to behave so immaturely. They are not--or shouldn't be--sheep dumbly following the leader over a cliff. If that's the case, maybe these voters aren't so informed all-wise as they think they are. As one astute young woman put it--people are hypcritically doing the very things they fault presidential nominees for doing. The behavior has made many friends avoid each other, to distance themselves from the sickening nastiness. #DonaldTrump #Election 2016