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How Are Your Trump-Loving Relatives Dealing With Recent Events?

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https://lifehacker.com/how-are-your-trump-loving-relatives-dealing-with-recent-1846042012

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While political disagreements among family members are nothing new, the rifts formed over the past five years feel different. In some cases, strongly liberal or conservative relatives went from having an unspoken agreement to avoid discussing politics, to declaring certain family members with opposing viewpoints “dead to them.”

The 2016 election exacerbated existing political polarization, galvanizing both sides throughout the duration of the Trump administration. It became more than getting annoyed with relatives who disagree with you on tax rates or healthcare plans. For some, it crossed the line into seeing someone who supported a particular politician or ideology as being morally flawed—to the point where a shared ancestry was not enough of a reason to continue to maintain a relationship.

And then last week’s domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol happened. For some Trump supporters, it marked a turning point. After seeing images of tear gas being released in the Rotunda as their fellow Trump enthusiasts waved confederate flags, they reached the point of no longer wanting (or being able to) defend or support the president. Still others had an entirely different reaction, doubling down on their loyalty to the outgoing commander-in-chief and becoming more entrenched in an ideology rooted in white supremacy.

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Still, for some families with right-wing uncles coming to grips with recent events, there is currently a window of opportunity to have productive political discussions and begin to reconcile. And given how difficult the past four years have been, people may feel pressured to address this immediately, before the moment passes (or the Trump’s pending second impeachment trials causes people to retreat to their previously held beliefs). Other families may see various members becoming even more radicalized after last week, and now have to decide how—and whether—to continue to maintain any type of relationship with them.

Tell us in the comments: Has last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol been a turning point for your family? Was it the last straw for members who formerly supported Trump, but now see him in a different light, and want to make amends? Or has it deepened existing political divides, perhaps causing your family to reach the point of cutting certain members out completely, and giving up on any chance of mending fences?

If you’ve had initial conversations about reconciling and moving forward, what strategies have worked? And what have you tried that didn’t work—or made things worse?

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