Over the weekend, New York Times columnist and former George W. Bush aide Peter Wehner wrote a piece for the paper on how the candidacy of Donald Trump is fracturing friendships and turning longtime allies into sudden enemies.
“Several friends whose political views have often coincided with mine in the past have voiced their anger to me over my public opposition to Mr. Trump’s candidacy,” he writes.
Wehner preaches the high road, urging conciliation and understanding in the face of political differences. But Thomas Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island, is less unforgiving. The title of a retort he has written to Wehner’s piece pretty much says it all: “If I Lose Friends Over Trump, So Be It.”
Trump is arguably the most divisive figure in this election, but he is certainly not the only candidate causing normally civilized folks to stop talking to each other. The same could be said for friends who are divided by their loyalty for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.
How have you dealt with this in your life and your friendships?
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Thomas Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island. He’s recently written a piece for the site The Federalist called, “If I Lose Friends Over Trump, So Be It” and author of forthcoming book,“The Death of Expertise” (Oxford University Press, 2016)