Well, I took offense.
Some history here. My friend and I met at an art school 12 years ago. She seemed intelligent and well informed, and we could talk for hours on end without tiring of the conversation. She truly listened and was a great conversationalist. She was very well read, and I trusted her insights into human nature. Her politics became clear early on when she vigorously defended George Bush after some careless remark I made against him, and after that we seemed to make a mutual decision to avoid topics of a political nature. We had lots in common to talk about: botany, history, cemeteries, genealogy, art, travel, cinema, books, photography, cooking.
The 2000 election of George Bush became the first thorn in our friendship. I felt that the presidency was stolen from Al Gore by the Supreme Court, and couldn't understand how America could have elected such an inarticulate president. 9-11 shocked us both, but our opinions on the Bush entry into Iraq were diametrically opposite. She was not a person to change her mind, and I had learned not to argue against Bush. Throughout eight long years of the Bush presidency, I bit my tongue whenever politics was mentioned, however tangentially. My only lapse was when we made a bet that there would be no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. She never paid this off, and kept insisting that they would be found eventually; she may still believe this myth. Gradually she bought into the various pieces of the Bush anti-science agenda. Our mutual agreement to avoid political discussions expanded to exclude all mention of: Billy Carter; Bill Clinton; Al Gore; Dick Cheney; George Bush; Global Warming, Public transportation; Urban density; Free Market economics; Health care in America.
Then Obama was elected. I expected she would have the same respect for me that I had shown her, and she would avoid railing against our president in our exchanges, but this was a mistake. Soon, I was cautioned that Obama was ruining America, that he was a Socialist, and could not be re-elected. By this time Facebook was everyone's social media, and her posts were a countdown to the end of the Obama administration and the election of a Republican president. Hardly a day went by that there was not a picture of Obama with a mean-spirited and small-minded message of disapproval. For a time her profile picture was Obama with numerous cigarettes dripping from his mouth in a mockery I did not quite understand.
But on April 16th 2012 with the above posting, I had finally had enough. First, I unfriended her; then I reported her to Facebook for posting offensive material. I didn't have long to wait for a response. She claimed her post was "satire," that defriending was serious and held implications. Despite my defense that I did not think Facebook was a place for that kind of vitriol, she blocked my emails and phone calls and said our friendship had run its course.
Well, now I really miss her. She was in some ways a beacon, my closest friend yet a Republican. As long as we were friends there was hope that Americans could co-exist with radically polarized politics. It used to be that political affiliation was no barrier to communication, compromise was the touchstone of politics, but no longer. Congress has became unable to act, unwilling to bend. And now my friend is an epitome of that confrontation. If we can no longer talk, what will happen to America?
I can't apologise for unfriending her. It would set a brand on our friendship that would be untenable. An apology would constitute de facto approval of her postings; I would forever relinquish any right to protest her jabbing pokes at Obama in particular and liberal politics in general. I wish things would go back to the way they were before I unfriended her. Maybe I should have simply blocked her messages like many of her liberal friends may have already done and to pretended our friendship was still strong. But it wasn't; and now it is over. I'm very sad about that. I will miss her, but at least for me Facebook is a far friendlier place now. No doubt I am being spared such postings as those below from the same "satirical" website: