Today’s Politics Divide Parties, and Friends and Families, Too


In interviews, several voters pointed to Facebook as an aggravating factor, a space where relationships and politics seemed to inevitably collide.

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“It’s like walking down the street and you see someone holding up a stupid sign, but the person holding up that sign is someone you care about,” said Nelson Aquino, 40, a Democrat and information technology project manager near Orlando. , fl. “You want to be like, ‘Put that sign down and go home.’ And you get these arguments.”

For Earlette Bleasdale, a retired customer service executive in Garland, Texas, Facebook was once a way to keep in touch with a family spanning a sprawling state. “It’s really easy to post pictures and stuff,” she said.

But during the Trump presidency, Ms. Bleasdale, 63, a registered Democrat in a family of Republicans, couldn’t resist telling them about the president. “On Facebook, it’s so easy to post memes and post opinions,” she said. “People I wouldn’t normally talk about politics with, we’re talking about politics now.”

She said both her brothers and her brother-in-law had blocked her on the platform. “Some of my friends have blocked me too,” Ms Bleasdale said. “There’s nothing like yelling and yelling at each other, but there’s no contact.”

Richard White, a construction engineer in Des Plaines, Illinois, and a Republican in a predominantly Democratic family, said the politics of recent years “has really taken a toll on my relationship with my father.” He said he deplored the lack of open debate about politics in his social circle and the way quick judgments had replaced both argumentation and understanding.