The 2020 presidential election is tearing American families apart, according to a Reuters report.
What are the details?
Reuters spoke with a variety of U.S. voters across the country who all admitted to being a part of the same movement: shunning — or being shunned by — family members for differing political viewpoints.
One woman the news organization spoke to is 41-year-old Milwaukee resident Mayra Gomez. She said she told her 21-year-old son that she planned on voting for President Donald Trump in the forthcoming presidential election. Her choice was apparently the wrong one — at least according to the unnamed Millennial.
“He specifically told me ‘You are no longer my mother, because you are voting for Trump,'” she recalled him telling her. “The damage is done. In people’s minds, Trump is a monster. It’s sad. There are people not talking to me anymore, and I’m not sure that will change.”
Gomez’s story is a familiar one.
Gayle McCormick, a 77-year-old Democratic voter, said that she separated from her 81-year-old husband after he voted for Trump in 2016.
“I think the legacy of Trump is going to take a long time to recover from,” McCormick said. She also revealed that two of her grandchildren no longer speak with her because she supported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle.
Rosanna Guadagno, a 49-year-old Democrat, said that her brother shunned her after she reportedly refused to support the president’s 2016 presidential bid and even allegedly went so far as to intentionally exclude her from their mother’s funeral.
Dave Wallace, a 65-year-old Pennsylvania Republican and staunch Trump supporter, said that his support for the president has put strain on his family.
“The hatred for Trump among Democrats, it’s just amazing to me,” Wallace told the news organization. “I think it’s just Trump, the way he makes people feel. I do think the angst will decrease when we’re back to a normal politician who doesn’t piss people off.”
Voter Bonnie Coughlin, 65 — who voted for a third-party candidate in 2016 — said that she is voting for former Vice President Joe Biden this year and that she looks at Trump-supporting family and friends “differently” because “they have willingly embraced someone who is so heartless and just shows no empathy to anyone in any circumstances.”
She added, “And if Biden wins, I don’t think they will go quietly into the night and accept it.”
Jacqueline Hammond, a 47-year-old North Carolina resident, said that she no longer speaks to her Trump-supporting mother and has even reportedly gone as far as to tell her son to stay away from Grandma, too.
“Trump is like the catalyst of an earthquake that just divided two continents of thought,” she insisted. “Once the Earth divides like that, there’s no going back. This is a marked time in our history where people had to jump from one side to the other. And depending on what side you choose, that is going to be the trajectory for the rest of your life.”
Jamie Saal, psychotherapist at the Rochester Center for Behavior Medicine in Rochester Hills, Michigan, told the outlet, “Unfortunately, I don’t think national healing is as easy as changing the president. It takes time and it takes effort, and it takes both parties — no pun intended — being willing to let go and move forward.”
Reuters also reported that at least one non-partisan poll found that a vast majority of voters had few or no friends who had opposite political affiliations.
A September report from the Pew Research center found that nearly 80% of Trump and Biden supporters insisted they “had few or no friends who supported the other candidate.”
In January, Gallup reported that President Donald Trump’s third year in office “set a new record for party polarization.”
“While 89% of Republicans approved of Trump’s performance in office in 2019, only 7% of Democrats thought he was doing a good job,” the outlet noted.