Thursday, April 18, 2024

Losing Friends Over Politics

by John Rodrigo S. Alborte | March 25, 2022

The Philippine national election is nearing. As people express their support to their bets, a lot of friendships have already been severed because of opposing political views. 

From what I’ve seen in the online world, this year’s election season has been more toxic compared to the previous ones. It’s incredibly unfortunate that people’s families and friends are being torn apart by political preferences. But is it really okay to lose friends over politics?

I understand those who unfriend or unfollow acquaintances who hold opposing political views, and I believe they have the right to do so. However, I don’t want politics to become the primary reason I lose cherished friends who’ve been with me for a long time. Disputes and disagreements are normal, but we should also ensure that they do not negatively impact relationships.

As Gabriella Kurczeski remarked, “Hearing a friend speak in support of an ideology you despise can feel like a personal betrayal.” In my case, to avoid conflicts, I just ignore their shared posts on social media. People who support a candidate with an obsolete or oppressive platform may find themselves questioning their values, and justifiably so. For others, standing up for what is right and not worrying about losing friends is just what drives a nation forward. 

It is said that your political preferences reflect your values. They say that it will reflect on you if your candidate promotes violence. It will also reflect your actions if your candidate advocates peace, unconditional love, and kindness to others. I get their point but the thing that annoys me the most is that people share fake news as a way of amusement. Some even went overboard because of this belief, attacking people and asserting intellectual dominance, which bluntly doesn’t equate to superiority. As of the moment, I have not gone to this extent where friendship is sacrificed to affirm one’s political stance. As a matter of fact, I’m lucky and grateful to have friends who do not bluntly oppose my political or even personal views. 

It may be difficult to shrug off opinions that do not align with our own, but we also need to hear other people’s viewpoints for us to develop a wider perspective towards certain concepts, especially in the political realm.

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