I don't have absolutely hard info on the first story, but it seems pretty strong.
Maybe 5 years back I answered an FB post by a favorite niece who's a huge PP fan. It was a polite and moderate answer, not directly opposed to her view but s leaning, but... niece exploded, saying I obviously hated all women and children. My response was that we're family, you know me better than that, and we shouldn't let politics destroy such bonds. She took down the post, thinking (I believed), wow, that got out of hand; he's right: let's not go there.
I think maybe a year later I ran into her at her parents' house, but beyond that, if I go visit her parents, she's stepped out. (Like me, she's moved far from home, so we're never in each other's cities.) She and her own family, like her sister and hers, stopped coming to Xmas celebrations. Some of this I think was for other reasons. She and her sister skipped my wedding with silly excuses, but I assumed it was because they didn't want to drive 8 hours each way but didn't think they could say that without Miss Manners' disapproval.
I thought it was just lack of interest, until last week. Back in our hometown, I called up her parents to say let's visit. They said they had company over and would be unavailable all weekend. But the town librarian had already said something about seeing my niece and her kids, so I knew who the company was. Then my mother called and said she'd been invited over and was worn out and did I think it was OK to decline, so I knew it wasn't that my niece was avoiding all family. It can't be mere indifference, but has to be actual dislike, to so persistently avoid me and mine, and I can't think of any other explanation. Beyond that we always got along.
I had originally wondered what to do -- do I call her up and say, I'm coming through your town, I haven't seen you in half a decade, let's catch up? But not everybody has to like me, and I haven't the energy to push into this. Instead I'll just let it go. If she decides to talk, I'll make her welcome.
A friend of mine had a less ambiguous split with a mutual friend. Adam had just had a (mistaken -- hooray!) serious cancer diagnosis. He called up Bill, they hung out, talked about Adam's fears, and... it was November. Adam said he voted third party because he couldn't stand either D or R nominees.
Bill yelled at him for not voting D and thus helping the Donald win, said their friendship was over. He later emailed Adam and said, I wish you well on your medical problem, g'bye. But he never even checked in to see if Adam really did have possibly-terminal cancer. I guess he knows now, thru the grapevine.
These stories are not the rule. But I'm stunned that they happened at all. In each case, the person who went batty for politics was someone I wouldn't have imagined it of. It's like it seized them and made them into people I didn't know.
I see in news articles I'm not alone. But news articles go for the unusual. Is this still unusual? I surely hope so.
Odd, I was talking about this today twice, two different venues and instances. Sorry man, it sucks. Sometimes it doesn't matter how polite you are. It's what happens when someone gets too wrapped up in identity politics, which isn't exclusive to the left. Their personal sense of identity is so bound to a singular premise or subject, that when you question it, you are in their eyes questioning their own personal worth. I've seen it myself. When you threaten the legitimacy of the subject, they take it personally. Social justice warriors suck regardless of the politics involved.
I think it's a sign of a poorly developed ego. It's immature to pin your entire identity on one facet. I don't know why someone would trade having a healthy sense of individualism for it. But, if you were polite, it's not on you. Regrettable, but hard to change. If that's all it took, at least you can know nothing of any true, actual value in that relationship was lost.
I think a lot of it does come down to what people consider part of their identity. It is one reason religion can be such a sensitive topic.
When you have embraced something in such a way that anything that does not support that thing is "evil" then you get things like this. You get families and friendships that end over a political opinion. You get parents disowning their children for leaving a church. You get violence and riots and virulent hatred in order to advocate for tolerance and peace.
Because the other person's opinion/decision/race/gender/religion/whatever makes them a non-person in your eyes. You do not see them as a human being, with all the rights and dignity that implies. Instead you see them as a evil monster, incapable of good, and undeserving of respect or mercy.
It is possible to love a person despite them being wrong.
What is PP?
Its sad but it happens. I know if I did stupid shtuff like that, I wouldn't have any friends left in Texas.
I have had to part ways with some "friends" but I realized that all we did was argue, that they looked to make everything political just to get a heated argument going.
But something I've had to realize is that what is "polite and moderate" to me, for others, esp if it is a "trigger topic", just isn't. Abortion, either direction, seems to be one of those topics. Heck, I know of two brothers(one that I am extremely close to, and is politically a polar opposite from me) that can't be in the same room anymore because of words said over vaccination.
She is your neice, which means you are older. Go ahead and reach out to her directly. How much energy does it really require just to genuinly say hi, I miss you, how are you doing?
That makes sense. I will have to examine my reluctance to do this. Now that you point out it's easy enough, I realize I'm more resistant than I thought. It's not about politics, because I feel the same reluctance with her sister, whose politics are unknown. (Wise move, that.)
Maybe I'll report back later with more news.
I am a big contributor to reddit and pay close attention to the relationship forums offering advice to people in need and have been doing so for years.
As soon as I started reading this, one specific relationship issue came to mind. This guy came looking for advice, because his wife of 9 years refused to have sex with him because he said he was going to vote for Trump (to note, he said they had a normal happy marriage prior to that with minimal issues). Seriously... I understand politics are important, but come on. If you are going to let it destroy your marriage of 9 years? That's insane.
People care way too much and hold way too much stock in politics now. Its become a hobby to be pissed off and petty about politics. I am at the point where if people want to talk about politics, I just say I don't pay attention. The berating I get for "not paying attention" is better than having to freaking deal with someone who tries to convince me my way of thinking politics should work is wrong, or being told I am a racist or misogynist for thinking we need a smaller government.
Something needs to change, but I don't know what the hell it is.