I’ve always had a strict rule of only friending people on Facebook that I know well. Over the years I allowed exactly two exceptions to that rule: the new husband of a long-time friend, and a fellow author recommended by a trusted friend. My rule has served me well for years…until now.
Since the election, I’ve been feeling my way on how to respond. I have hope that this greatest country the world has ever known…Reagan’s shining city on a hill…will find areas of common ground and overcome its great divide to move forward on important issues. But I’m also left with very specific concerns. I’m concerned that health care will suddenly be made inaccessible to my teenage daughter, who so desperately needs it, but who is uninsurable given her health history. I’m concerned that long-term, otherwise law-abiding immigrants will be deported, breaking up millions of families against the will of 90% of Americans. I’m concerned that trade protectionism will hurt the U.S. economy and our standing in the world. And I’m concerned that the progress we’ve made toward acceptance of all races and religions and lifestyles will be reversed.
And so I’ve begun connecting with groups who are taking these issues on, banding together to ensure that our government doesn’t believe it has a mandate in these areas. And in so doing, I suddenly have Facebook friends who are strangers. I may never meet them, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t already know them, at least a little. There’s the mother of 3 small children from Massachusetts who believes fervently in social justice. There’s the Stanford professor who’s fighting to ensure that the science to which she’s dedicated her life continues to have a voice in our government. And there’s the wife of Obama’s head of the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services, working to protect health care for the most vulnerable Americans. We’ve never met. We have no mutual friends. We have no shared experience. But we share a vision for our country and our families. Because of that, they are not strangers.
“Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.” –Mahatma Gandhi