Dear Don Lemon, You Don’t Have To Be Sad

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CNN’s Don Lemon admitted Wednesday that he’s broken off close friendships over their support for President Donald Trump. 

“It’s so sad,” Lemon told fellow network anchor Chris Cuomo in prime time. “I don’t know if after this I will ever be able to go back and be friends with those people because at a certain point you just say ‘they’re too far gone.’”

Lemon characterized those who didn’t share the network anchor’s same Satanic view of the president as handicapped with a mental disorder, likening them to irredeemable drug addicts in need of serious rehabilitation.

“I had to get rid of a lot of people in my life because sometimes you just have to let them go,” Lemon explained. “I think they have hit rock bottom like an addict, right, and they have to want to get help.”

It’s a sad situation indeed, but it’s not Lemon’s ex-friends who have the problem. It’s Lemon. The toxic polarization of Lemon’s own intolerance alienating those around him is becoming an increasingly shared perspective to the detriment of a healthy civil society. Many of Lemon’s million-plus viewers Thursday night will likely take their cues from the network host, whose seemingly religious devotion to smearing Trump and Republicans has become a nightly ritual, exacerbating an extremism to the point where it’s now a righteous act to cast out those who disagree entirely.

One in six Americans reported the loss of a relationship to a friend or close family member over the results of the 2016 election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Considering the exacerbated divisions that went into this year’s election season, that number is likely to be far higher after Tuesday.

Another poll by the Pew Research Center in September found that partisans aren’t even associating across the aisle anymore. 

The political climate is even cratering marriages.

“Donald Trump Is Destroying My Marriage,” headlined one woman’s piece in the New Yorker. 

“I Might Still Be Married If Trump Wasn’t President,” another title read in Voice of America. “I just couldn’t see sharing a bed with somebody that agreed with what Trump was doing.”

Though, to be fair, if politics can destroy a marriage, it might not have been on that solid of ground to begin with.

There’s also data showing fewer bipartisan marriages exist today than did just four years ago. According to the American Family Survey, only 21 percent of marriages are politically mixed, where only 4 percent were between Republicans and Democrats. The rest featured independents or third-party persons. That’s down from 30 percent of couples who were politically mixed in 2016.

But things don’t have to be this way, and Don Lemon doesn’t have to be sad if he were to practice some introspection of his own Trump Derangement Syndrome. 

It’s not Republicans fomenting the nation’s division. For years, Democrats have liberalized definitions of white supremacy, racism, sexism, and homophobia to cast their opponents as contemptuous villains in the way of their utopian empire featuring actual racism. Republicans might not be completely innocent in the growth of polarization, but they sure aren’t the ones who have consistently vilified their opponents as virulent racists hellbent on the oppression of black people. Calling one a socialist doesn’t carry the same sting as a racist, especially when prominent members of the Democratic Party proudly proclaim the Marxist label themselves.

Yes, white supremacy exists. Racism exists. Homophobia exists. But if one were to live entirely in the liberal online echo-chamber, which is really what the mainstream media have become, it would be easy to believe white supremacy is far more widespread than reality presents. Lemon is a leader in perpetuating the narrative that America is filled to the brim with white supremacists, a terrifying, though incorrect predicament.

It wasn’t the Ku Klux Klan that exploded into an outburst of civil unrest this summer. It was left-wing groups such as Antifa holding cities under siege ultimately claiming the lives of more than 30 people wrecking minority businesses and minority neighborhoods in the name of social justice. The destruction left in the aftermath of just the first two weeks of rioting left businesses with up to an estimated $2 billion in damage making them the most expensive outbreak of political unrest in U.S. history.

But America has an epidemic of white supremacist violence worse than Antifa?

Lemon doesn’t have to be sad. His viewers don’t have to be sad. His network doesn’t have to be sad. But if they continue to characterize their political opponents as evil white supremacists expanding the term to include those might just think differently while ignoring their own role in creating the climate we have today, then nothing will likely change. And they will all remain sad.

If someone doesn’t want to associate with another based on political preferences, that person isn’t worth the time and energy anyway. We should all strive to understand our own self-worth, and approach others with the humility and grace that we expect for ourselves. It must be exhausting to think that everyone is racist.

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