The 2016 election has a been a season of division for many. Even people who don’t normally get involved in politics have gotten into intense battles over support — or lack of support — for one candidate or another.
A new Monmouth University poll backs that up, saying that 70% of Americans believe this election has brought out the worst in people. 7% admit that they have lost friends:
afraid that will never happen. I've lost lifelong friends this election. I'll never look at certain people the same
— Nitty (@NittyOfficial) October 15, 2016
i have lost friends over this election and i'm 100% fine with it. if you vote for trump, we have NOTHING in common
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) October 9, 2016
I've lost friends too didn't occur to me how many of my friends were liberal or just STUPID until this election
— Becca (@becasilverstein) October 9, 2016
However, the extreme vitriol that has accompanied this particular election season has done more than just threaten friendships. Some are even suggesting that a vote one way or another could bring about the end of a marriage:
— Barrow (@LEOKARELUSN) October 11, 2016
Some even took it to existential extremes, calling for conservatives to divorce the GOP:
YES. IT IS. Seriously, people, do what you want to do w/ Trump vote, but for the love of God, divorce the GOP. https://t.co/AOWUnGs1gX
— Lisa Brite (@LisaBrite) October 10, 2016
Been GOP all my adult live and will vote Trump and divorce the GOP. Backstabbers make me sick.
— RangerSyl (@RangerSyl) October 10, 2016
And not all of those threats are empty.. Back in August, the New York Times profiled a particularly dicey marital situation involving Dr. Thomas Stossel (brother of Fox Business’s John Stossel) and his wife, Dr. Kerry Maguire.
“In early May, when Dr. Thomas Stossel told his wife, Dr. Kerry Maguire, of his plan to vote for Donald J. Trump in the general election, she hit him with an ultimatum.
‘If you vote for Trump, I will divorce you and move to Canada,’ she recalled telling him. He tried to laugh it off.
‘I’m serious,’ Dr. Maguire told him.”
When he voiced his continued support for Trump (based primarily on his dislike for Hillary Clinton and her policies) several months later, Maguire doubled down:
“That is news to me. And I’ll be calling my attorney.
I don’t think he will vote for him. But if he does, I hope he never tells me about it. For someone who is so reasonable in every other part of his life, and who expects people to have expertise, it doesn’t really link with the Tom Stossel that I know.
I would just be disgusted on every level. And also a little fearful. Disgusted on the marriage level, but fearful for our society.”
Stossel later said that the public spat between Donald Trump and the Khan family led him to the decision to vote libertarian. His reasoning? It wouldn’t matter in his home state of Massachusetts anyway (Clinton is expected to win handily) and his conscience would be at peace.
And more importantly, he says: “The good news is, we’re not getting divorced.”