On August 3, 2020, Andrew Yang, former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, published a seemingly uncontroversial Tweet: "I disagree with my friends' politics quite often - still my friends."
And then the inevitable Twitter storm moved in. These comments are representative of the whole:
- This is why I can't take you seriously my dude. Because at the end of the day, politics is just a game to you and your friends. But for so many people, politics have become a life or death situation and until it's treated as such, there won't be substantial change in this country.
- A difference of opinion is meant for whether pineapple belongs on pizza (it doesn't). There's no difference of opinion when it comes to basic human rights. There's only right and wrong.
- That being said, there is PLENTY of things that should never be considered politics to begin with such as free healthcare. I don't want to be friends with someone who is against free and easily accessible healthcare. I'm also not friends with people against BLM or LGBTQ.
- What if your friends are fine with trump's racist comments about Asians? I've dumped a few friends because of that.
- For me, this is beyond politics. It's like saying that agreeing with Hitler is just politics. Trump has inflicted incredible cruelties and he's destroying what's left of the country. How is that political differences?
- To a degree. I can disagree with someone and still be a friend. I cannot be a friend with a Trump supporter. To support that man says something about ones character, and i wont have it in my life.
- Politics!? We're talking morality, human decency, the greater good. What's happening now, is abt greed and selfishness vs.Justice and Inclusivity. The dysfunction of US politics affects the quality of millions of lives! Crimes against humanity in the world's wealthiest Nation!
- We are fighting literal fascism, right now. We don't need the cutesy, feel-good kumbaya messages.
- I can't be friends with a fascist or someone who thinks it's ok to put kids in cages or thinks it's ok to tear gas peaceful protesters. Just can't do it.
- That's the most elitist thing I've ever heard you say. If you can still be friends with people who are killing others with their "politics" then you are really only worried if their politics effect you. That isn't reasonable. It's sociopathic.
- Political positions are one thing. But I have to question Trump supporters' decency as human beings. I guess it's a matter of degree. Monsters have to be kept at bay and aren't suitable as friends.
I offer the following prescription for all sides during (and after) the election season:
"The spirit of liberty is the spirit which
is not too sure that it is right."
- Learned Hand