Lately I have been feeling a bit alienated from a good number of my friends and acquaintances. Sometimes I think, "what the fuck is going on? Is everyone batshit crazy?"
I have had to block a friend on Facebook because of his constant posting about the new Philippine president. He is a strong supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte. He and the vast majority of Filipinos (at least in the Philippines) are supporters. While I can overlook Duterte's colorful personality, it is the policies that he is pursuing that are worrying to me. His foreign policy is becoming misaligned with the United States' interests--particularly over the South China Sea. That isn't my problem with him though. It is his willingness to forgo liberal democratic principles for political expediency. In his fight against drugs, he is willing to abrogate Due Process and neglect his duty to protect citizens. Thousands have died in his goals of eliminating drugs. Not only does vigilante crime have his explicit encouragement, there are accusations that he is directly involved with them.
I would have hoped that Filipino Americans would see how destructive Duterte is but even my mother has noticed that many of her friends here are also supportive of the Philippine President. With some relief, she is not one of them but it seems that mom and me are in a minority. Perhaps that shouldn't be at all surprising since many Americans are hellbent on getting Donald Trump into the White House.
The polls are tightening in the US Presidential Elections. Hillary Clinton's commanding lead in the national polls have slipped to only a couple of points. However, she still holds an advantage when it comes to the Electoral College and Donald Trump has a narrow path to victory. If the trend continues where Trump continues to climb in the polls, we could very well see some of those battleground states flip from lean democrat to republican wins. While I understand why some of my friends are supporting Trump, I just can't even comfortably fathom why I would or could.
Perhaps the most distressing is the increasing xenophobic posts by one person that I highly admired. His constant attacks on Islam and muslims have caused me to de-friend him. It is one thing to criticize a religion (I do that constantly) but his posts have crossed into hatred of the Islam and those who follow it and advocated policy positions of open discrimination.
I used to believe that I could get along with anyone who had differing beliefs. Then again, I didn't have lines in the sands that I do now.