I have found that Republicans fit into three categories right now. The first are the die hard Republicans that will vote Republican without regard as to whom they’re voting for. They’re the ones sinking boats with Trump flags, changing their Facebook or Twitter header image to an American flag or an image of the Declaration of Independence, or running around not wearing a mask because of their freedoms. One can not debate this type of Republican. They are part of a cult. If Trump told them to drink the Kool-aid to get on the comet, they’d drink the Kool-aid and bring an overstuffed carry-on for the nearest Hale-Bopp. I know too many of this type of Republican and I’m steering as clear of them as possible. They’re loud, they’re irrational, and they’ll probably turn violent. Think Ted Cruz. Trump could set his wife on fire and he’d still kiss Trump’s ass.

The second type of Republican I’ve encountered voted for Trump in 2016 because after all, “what did they have to lose”? They admit the man is a nut job but they can overlook things like kids in cages and nearly 200K dead people from a controllable pandemic because their 401K is doing just fine. Some of them probably don’t have a 401K but whatever that 401K may be it’s doing just fine and besides, some of them can secretly think their own thoughts about non-white people and not feel too bad about it. One can have a discussion about the merits of Trump and where the Republican party is today but it’s probably still going to be a losing proposition for the non-Trump voter side of the discussion. Think Susan Collins here. She’s making plenty of dough, she gives looks of concern and occasionally furrows her brow. She worries about kids in cages and dead people from COVID but it’ll all be OK because it’s always OK and she’s white and privileged.

Then we have the third type of Republican. They know that Trump is bat shit crazy and the worst leader ever known to this country, and they only voted for him in 2016 because Hillary was just too shrill and seemed like she thought she deserved the post. They see what Trump has done to this country, and the things he’s said about their friends or family in the military, and while they do not like Biden, they’ll probably vote for him in 2020 because nothing can be worse than what we have right now. They’re not for Biden, they can’t stand the Democrats, but they definitely do not want four more years of whatever this mess has been during Trump’s term.

I’ve had to significantly distance myself from the first type of Republican I described. Having these people in my life has contributed to a state of depression and self doubt that I have not known before 2020. I have always strived to maintain relationships with folks I consider “good people”. They don’t have to think like I do nor do they have to vote the way that I vote, but they still have a strong foundation built on basic human decency and a good moral compass. I really doubt these things to be true for the folks that fit into that category. They don’t care about human life, they don’t care about the planet, they don’t care about “the good of the all”. They care about themselves and that’s it. They lack compassion. They lack empathy. And my thinking they had it to begin with really amped up my self-doubt. How bad at am I at judging the character of people as to whether I want them in my life or not?

I struggle with this.

Stepping away from family and friends of this nature has helped me somewhat, but it still makes me sad. When we start having family gathering again or start meeting up with friends somewhere (after this pandemic is at a place where it’s safe to do so), I won’t be able to reconnect with the people from whom I’ve distanced myself. My memory won’t allow me to do this. My doubts will not allow me to do this.

This might be amongst the worst fallout of the Trump administration.