I had a farm in Indiana and had an apartment in the Bay Area for most of the 2000’s. So I got to see the two worlds like a bad sci-fi book. I warned one of my close friends over cigars and bourbon in Bellevue, WA on a work engagement, that there is a wicked anger bomb coming. He was a conservative democrat and I am a liberal Republican and my joke as we clinked glasses that we were both oxymorons. :)
I watched this anger build and warned my friends and family and other folks in political groups from 2004–2018 that this anger was building and when folks were horrified in 2016, I was hoping that they would accept and deal with this as they had the moral high ground.
Well post Trump, I watched folks that I cared about on both sides of the political spectrum devolve into two cults, and a third cult of apathy expand. When folks actively cheer meme’s, that if you pointed out switch the president to Obama or Bush …. holy shit … you are complicit, tone policing, etc etc.
So as a liberal Republican I feel your pain, the only difference is since I have the Republican tag I have found conservatives to trust me even though I am wickedly liberal. I have had to learn to actively listen, let people vent, and then try to spin a human view on it and try to defuse the trauma bomb and demon in them.
For folks that are Democrat, I have learned that I can’t say anything since they question my liberal-ness or empathy and it turns into a shit-fest of gaslighting. What I have taken is the time to listen and look for the nuggets where I might be weak and learn to thicken my skin and not be reactive (i.e. empower my feminine spirit instead of the masculine protective side).
So my advice is to steer clear, pick your battles and make sure you have a community to have your back. For those that have to posture with guns, realize they are driven by fear and emotions.
I am pro-2A but don’t own a gun. Why? After my rape, I caught a man raping a woman at a party in college. I beat him to near death and threw him out of a window and if it wasn’t for the girl who was raped pleading for me to stop as she was concerned I could be in trouble.
I realized then and recently that I don’t need a gun, and then from 2015 onwards I learned I needed therapy to deal with everything and started the hard work of beating that anxiety demon.
I know what it is to put an animal down (I have a horse farm and have had to help put our animals down that were maimed, or too sick (from strangles, skinning their leg to bone from a fence, or puncturing their main arteries). I know the deep loss one gets and sees and feels when you have to watch an animal’s lights go out.
So I see these folks (guys built like me …. strong, thick, and wide) and I ask why the gun? What are you trying to prove? I do get why more slight men who may be homosexual, and definitely women should have guns. In fact in a utopia world, I would suggest that women have open-carry guns and get full defensive training so boys/men know that they need to respect women.
But as I digress …. the anger is real, the anger is still there and instead of abating, the media and Russia/China and others have agitated people the last 3 years where voting should have placated their fears. Now if the political roles flip, I don’t think folks want to know what will happen when folks lose it more …. It scares me to the point, where to protect my family and loved ones, I may need to get a gun and safe for my home …. and then I check myself and say … no. I treat people with respect and no I don’t want to take a life, but that doesn’t mean I won’t go out fighting to protect those I love.