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Home / Politics / When politics get personal: Families, friends argument over Clinton vs. Trump

When politics get personal: Families, friends argument over Clinton vs. Trump

For best buds Ernie Lou and Tod Steward, a 2016 presidential choosing is holding a toll. At a Seattle bar one new afternoon, Steward resolutely sported a “Make America Great Again” Donald Trump hat. Lou wore Hillary Clinton gear.

Both attempted and unsuccessful to convince a other to switch sides.

“It’s unequivocally gotten bad,” Steward said. The dual Seattle men, like many opposite Washington, are looking brazen to a finish of a discuss deteriorate to ease their lives of flighty arguments with desired ones and friends.

Over roughly a month, The Seattle Times fielded dozens of emails, phone calls and responses on amicable media from people opposite a domestic spectrum who contend a choosing has tangled their personal relationships. Some of them call a polarization distinct anything they have gifted before.

“If you’re going to contend ‘crooked Hillary’ again, I’m going to defriend we on Facebook,” Lou, 57, removed of a many exhilarated quarrel between them. Steward, 52, says Trump is a best pick, mostly given he “isn’t a politician.” Lou believes Clinton is approach some-more qualified.

Ernie Lou, left, and Tod Steward are friends who support hostile possibilities in a presidential election. (Katie G. Cotterill/The Seattle Times)

Ernie Lou, left, and Tod Steward are friends who support hostile possibilities in a presidential election. “Regardless of a views,” Lou said, “we both are ardent about a country, and we consider we’re both ardent about a beliefs.” (Katie G. Cotterill/The Seattle Times)

Tod Steward, left, and Ernie Lou get into a exhilarated contention about Donald Trump, whom Steward supports, and Hillary Clinton, whom Lou supports, while tailgating before a new Huskies game. (Katie G. Cotterill / The Seattle Times)

Tod Steward, left, and Ernie Lou get into a exhilarated contention about Donald Trump, whom Steward supports, and Hillary Clinton, whom Lou supports, while tailgating before a new Huskies game. (Katie G. Cotterill / The Seattle Times)

One Whidbey Island lady pronounced she can't plead politics with her father of some-more than a decade yet a talks branch nasty.

“I loathing choosing deteriorate given of this,” she said. The dual infrequently fun about their votes canceling any other out, the lady said.

Another lady pronounced she and her fiancé have a tough time removing by dinnertime yet fighting.

According to a study by a inactive Pew Research Center, electorate in a dual vital parties are now serve detached from any other than during any indicate over a final quarter-century.

For John Simpson and his mother, Phyllis Hanen, clashes over a presidential choosing began in early August. The 31-year-old son had only returned from a prolonged outing in India, and was vital in her Edmonds home, when they initial confronted a question: Who will get your vote?

“It’s not who we want,” Hanen, 66, a Donald Trump supporter, told Simpson. The dual stayed divided from a subject while a son was away, afterwards they “got into a outrageous fight,” Simpson removed of a conversation. “Which is terrible given we only got home, and we wanted to suffer time with my mom.”

This discuss deteriorate has been tough on John Simpson, who backs Hillary Clinton, and his mother, Phyllis Hanen, who backs Donald Trump. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

This discuss deteriorate has been tough on John Simpson, who backs Hillary Clinton, and his mother, Phyllis Hanen, who backs Donald Trump. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Arguments, in-person and online

Feeling left behind in a nation’s economy, some Trump supporters bond with a candidate’s messages to plea China or change trade deals. Others have latched onto his proposals for traffic with bootleg immigration and terrorism. Hanen, a real-estate agent, says Trump would be a indispensable change from a past 8 years underneath President Obama.

“Liberals wish to take caring of all — they wish to take caring of a rest of a world,” she said. “I consider that’s a eminent idea, yet they don’t know who has been profitable into this system.”

For Simpson, who upheld Bernie Sanders early in a election, a Republican presidential hopeful is a “figurehead” for xenophobic and extremist ideas. He says Trump has combined a height for taste opposite minorities, privately with his views on immigration.

“I can’t mount … even being around a Trump supporter,” Simpson said. “When that chairman is your mother, what do we do?”

Some respondents to The Seattle Times pronounced they have stopped comparing with friends and kin who support opposite candidates. Others pronounced they have left on social-media diets to equivocate a debate. Many only pronounced they are unhappy in both Clinton and Trump, and they share that feeling with those around them.

The Whidbey Island woman, who describes herself as Democrat/Libertarian, pronounced she’s already meditative about how things will be during home after Nov. 8. Her father didn’t determine to concede his name in this story, so a journal left their names out.

If Clinton wins, she pronounced her Republican father will opening for 4 some-more years. But if Trump wins, “at slightest it would be all flushed speak around my house,” she pronounced in an email. “Do we opinion my demur or for my sanity?” she wrote.

For Lou and Steward, who have been friends for roughly a decade, their arguments reached a miracle this summer when Lou presented a Facebook ultimatum. The dual customarily accommodate adult for drinks during a happy bar R Place in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and go to sports games together, yet recently a hangouts have infrequently been tense.

With a election, a friends contend their tip goals for a nation align. They wish some-more jobs, a stronger economy, “equality for all” and to quarrel terrorism. Because they are gay, issues confronting a LGBTQ village are high amicable priorities. And for Steward, who has arthrogryposis, a inborn condition that restricts corner movement, incapacity rights sojourn important. Lou stands with him on that, too.

“It’s kind of ironic, right?” Steward pronounced of his support for Trump, deliberation an occurrence in that a Republican hopeful mocked a reporter with a same incapacity as his own. When we demeanour during a altogether picture, he said, Trump is a best choice.

Lou, meanwhile, pronounced he would expostulate opposite a nation to assistance Clinton — a first lady to lead a vital American domestic party — discuss in pitch states, if necessary. A part-time Uber motorist and small-business owner, he has volunteered for internal campaigns, such as Mayor Ed Murray’s, in a past. And he upheld Clinton‘s prior presidential campaign.

“I consider we live in a best nation in a world, and I’m unequivocally unapproachable that we inaugurated an African American in 2008,” he said. “Regardless of a views,” referring to Steward, “we both are ardent about a country, and we consider we’re both ardent about a beliefs.”

Division grows, tragedy rises

Mark Smith, who teaches domestic scholarship during a University of Washington, pronounced a stream domestic meridian is some-more polarized than during any other indicate in years. That multiplication can lead to aria on marriages and other insinuate relationships, he said.

The Pew investigate says a dual vital parties demeanour reduction comparison than during any indicate given 1992. Smith expects a multiplication to continue and, potentially, to grow, deliberation how people currently devour information on politics.

“It is increasingly easy to besiege yourself from other points of view,” he pronounced of a accumulation of news. “If we unequivocally wish to make certain that we unequivocally don’t have any news from other sides of a aisle, we can make that happen.”

In an August survey by eccentric pollster Stuart Elway, Clinton had 43 percent of a support in Washington compared to Trump’s 24 percent.

Steward pronounced he has never gifted such tragedy in an election. In Seattle, he pronounced a loathing toward Trump is strong. While walking around a city sporting a red discuss hat, for example, he draws snarls and unwashed looks, and infrequently feels threatened. Just on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported a Minnesota college tyro reported being verbally assaulted while wearing a same hat.

“They’re not going to strike a disabled person,” Steward said, laughing. “People, who aren’t Trump supporters, I’ve never seen it, they loathing Trump, and they can’t even see” past that.

While campaigning, a celebrity businessman has embellished Clinton as strange and disposed to scandals. The former secretary of state has decorated Trump as haphazard and a guilt for a country. Both have done Washington state visits while campaigning, including pricey fundraisers with high-profile, internal donors.

Libertarian claimant Gary Johnson made a internal stop, too.

Like Steward, Hanen pronounced her regressive views tumble into a minority in a suburb north of Seattle. In a vital room of a Edmonds condo that she shares with her husband, a mom and son one new afternoon confronted their differences. They concluded their opposite practice have made their views.

“What he has grown adult and celebrated has been drastically opposite with what we have grown adult with,” a mom said.

A tyro of general studies, among other topics, a son temporarily stayed in a home after his 11-month outing in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) before relocating nearby a university for connoisseur classes in September. During his time in a suburb, though, he quickly changed in with a crony in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, in partial to shun Trump discussions.

To some of Hanen’s remarks, privately on a emanate of transgender bathrooms, Simpson was speechless. To her criticism on Obama’s impact on a nation’s debt, he fought back. At one point, while sexually recalling his disappointment after branch on a radio to find Fox News as a final channel played, a son paused, saying:

“At a same time, I’m really propitious to stay here — it’s a pleasing place — we don’t wish to wear out my welcome. It’s home.”

“Well, we can never wear out your welcome,” Hanen responded, as if to remind him they’re family.

Phyllis Hanen, of Edmonds, and John Simpson, her son, strife when it comes to politics. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Phyllis Hanen, of Edmonds, and John Simpson, her son, strife when it comes to politics. Simpson, a tyro who has focused on general studies, supports Hillary Clinton. Hanen supports Donald Trump. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times)

Is a presidential choosing straining your relationships? Please hit contributor Jessica Lee during jlee@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2532 to share your story.

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