2018: lost & found, part 3
I'm wrapping up this series today! In case you missed it, I spent some time reflecting on what turned out to be a very eventful year. First in my lost & found series, I shared my far-from-perfect birth story and what it taught me about being a shallow person.
Second, I wrote about my writing career and the big obstacle that kept getting in my way until I finally kicked it aside in 2018.
And today, I'm going to share my final reflection. It's about friendship.
In 2018, I lost: More than a few "friends"
It all started with Facebook post I wrote back in October. If you recall, that's when Senate Democrats tried to destroy then-Supreme-Court-Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They hated him because he's conservative (though, ironically, not that conservative), but they didn't have the numbers to block his confirmation. So, the Senate Democrats did what any ethical, justice-seeking group of elected officials would do: They found people willing to lie about Kavanaugh, and then, working with the media, they spread those lies like wildfire. And their base loved every minute of it.
I said it then, and I'll say it now: What was done to Kavanaugh was transparent. If you still believe that smear campaign had any legitimacy, then you are believing what you want to believe. That's your right, but pleae don't pretend like it's based on anything other than your bias against white men or successful people or Catholics or conservatives or pro-lifers or whatever your particular brand of bigotry is. If you're being honest, you know that the standards "justice" that were applied to Kavanaugh would not be considered acceptable in any other circumstances. (Just ask the Washington Post about how they handled similar (but worse) allegations against Democrat Justin Fairfax.)
Zero witnesses. (In fact, ALL the alleged witnesses refuted Ford's claims, including Ford's friend, who she subsequently tried to manipulate into changing her story.)
And hundreds of women who came to Kavanaugh's defense.
Nonetheless, politicians and celebrities and journalists and many of my minimally informed Facebook friends all rushed to venerate Ford. I can scroll through A LOT of irrational group-think and manage to keep my mouth shut, but this case, which was so glaringly motivated by Democrats' desire destroy a man by any means necessary actually made my stomach turn. So, I shared my thoughts in a Facebook post and expressed my support for Kavanaugh. (And let me clarify here: I didn't support him because he's a conservative or because he's who I wanted Trump to pick. I supported him because he was the victim of a coordinated smear campaign.)
I received some strange (but not surprising) responses:
"Wow. Really disappointing, Carmen."
"Were you even raped? I hope your daughter is never raped!"
"Why do you believe HIM?"
Intermixed with these attempts to shame me and passive-aggressively suggest that my daughter should be raped, one by one, my list of friends got shorter and shorter as people (some of whom I would've called my "friends" in real, non-screen life) defriended me. After taking stock of the exodus, here's what I have to say about that:
Goodbye, bitter fembots.
Goodbye, people who are triggered by factual information.
Goodbye, brainwashed academic acquaintances.
Goodbye, vapid millennial women who conform to every "feminist" cause, no matter how stupid or inhumane.
I'm sorry you had to cut me out of your virtual life (and sometimes real life, too) because I wouldn't bend to your political agenda and believe your nonsensical hashtags, but here we are. Which brings me to the second part of this post.
I found: Reasonable people
It sucks to lose the approval of people you like. However, it sucks a lot more to go along with the crowd, especially when the crowd is just an emotional mob that gobbles up Buzzfeed videos.
I learned from that experience. Specifically, I learned that if someone who knows me can come to the insane conclusion that I hate women because I don’t share their propaganda-fueled opinion about an obvious lie, then a friendship with that person just isn’t possible for the time being. And that's okay. I prefer friends who can engage with differing perspectives and factual information, who are curious enough to look beyond widely-shared headlines, and who value the truth as much as I do.
Since Kavanaugh, I've doubled-down on sharing my unpopular opinions, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the results. I still lose friends, but for each one who disappears it seems like someone new and unexpected appears to reach out and offer me some encouragement.
"Thank you for saying what I want to say."
"YOU GET ME!"
"I'm with you."
"We don't agree on everything, but I really value your voice. I'm listening."
If I could go back in time, I would post about Kavanaugh a million more times. In fact, I wish I would’ve done it sooner. It's temporarily unpleasant, but telling the truth prunes away the kinds of people you can live without and makes room for real friendships.