If You Endorse Romney On Facebook, People Will Actually Unfriend You

If you’re on Facebook today, you’re probably getting crushed under the weight of Election Madness. Your friends have gone gung-ho political, and it’s getting pretty damn insufferable. Some of them even write statuses like, “please unfriend me if you’re voting for Mitt Romney.”

That’s a heck of a thing to say to your friends. It implies a certain all-or-nothing attitude that comes with living in a bubble. It’s kinda crazy! But who would follow through with it? I decided to find out.

On Sunday, I posted the following on Facebook:

“I’ve decided that I’m endorsing Mitt Romney this year. The deficit is the single most important issue of our generation—I’m phenomenally distressed by the dismissal many people I know show toward it. Romney isn’t a perfect candidate, and the Republicans definitely aren’t the ideal party at the moment. But there’s no excuse to sanctimoniously ignore reality for the sake of pretty ideals. I don’t have time for it, and frankly neither does this country.”

I chose the most reasonable argument in favor of Romney from a young person’s perspective. There were zero mentions of social politics, except that I thought they were less important than the economy. Unless you get incensed about Keynesian economics, there was nothing remotely offensive in that post. Let’s go to the results.

Overall Stats:

  • Unfriends: 6
  • Likes: 10
  • Likes from NYU friends: 0
  • Secretly supportive messages: 1
  • Supportive comments: 2
  • Agree-to-disagree comments: sigh, 1
  • Dissertations on why I’m wrong/uninformed: 5 (average word count: 67)
  • “Is this a troll” comments: 2

So six people unfriended me on Facebook because I posted about “the other guy.” Ten people liked my status, but I’m from the South, where people like Romney non-ironically.

I messaged my new ex-friends to ask them their reasoning. One explained, “Truly, I disagree with Romney’s policies towards women as well as his opinions about climate change.” At the same time, she unfriended me because “honestly, I don’t know you that well, and I’m tired of drawn-out political posts on Facebook.” (Her sister and I went to prom together. It was not fun.)

Another stated that she had been unfriending people on both sides. The responses mostly indicated that Facebook had become way too inundated with political madness. Like, look on your feed right now. It’s a little much. At the same time, the amount of backlash I received for liking Romney is telling.

I care less about Romney and Obama than the idea that, if you like the other guy, we’re not friends. If you do that, you are misguided and ridiculous. There is zero way we can go on as a country if we start drawing these lines in the sand. Who knows why your friend voted for Obama or Romney? About half the country will vote for the dude you dislike. That’s as bad a reason to unfriend someone as unfriending people who didn’t like the ending of Lost. (Although…)

This wasn’t meant to call out Republicans or Democrats—just people turning politics into a tribalist war that sees no difference between dissent and attack. It’s Election Day, so everyone is just anxious to get it over with, but we need to make sure political discourse doesn’t drive us completely psychotic.

As to who I voted for today? Well, it’s none of your damn business.

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    Share Your Thoughts


  1. A. Opam says

    I am so over people who are saying they are “socially this, but fiscally that”, as if society and the economy have nothing to do with each other — I’m referring to your “There were zero mentions of social politics, except that I thought they were less important than the economy” comment. The fact of the matter is, the same man who purports to want to balance the budget would also love to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the fact that so-called social policies mean less to you only says more about your privilege.

    The personal is the political, always, so don’t get sanctimonious and upset when peoples’ lives and personhoods are affected by your political beliefs.

  2. Ryn D says

    If someone posted a status that they supported a candidate that opposed interracial marriages, I would block or unfriend them. This is how I see gay marriage. I don’t think that makes me stupid or a lunatic- I can respect opinion differences on most everything, but not when they (in my view) infringe on civil rights. Not trying to start a sassafrass marathon, just throwing out a rationale for the other side of it. And it’s a facebook friendship, I’m not stabbing you in the leg. People unfriend people for plenty of reasons, who cares? Everyone has different priorities. Everyone’s an assbag in someone’s eyes, and everyone has a right to unfriend people they see as assbags, douchenozzles, and/or dickweasels. For this is Amurrica!

  3. Heather Larocchia says

    Thank you for writing this. Even as an Obama-supporting, queer female I can’t understand the reasoning in deleting friends solely for their political beliefs (even if those include supporting someone who wants to take away my rights). Seems immature to delete someone because of their differences…

  4. Jessica Stolzman says

    I posted something similar, albeit much longer and detailed, about why I chose to vote for Romney. I’m not going to get into specifics here. I actually received many comments supporting me, for being brave about my decision to announce my conservatism to everyone in a liberal-heavy place like NYU. I haven’t noticed that anybody has unfriended me yet, but I suppose I will have to look for that later. I simply find it ridiculous that anybody would unfriend someone based on their political opinions. Like you said, chances are, someone is going to have an opposite political opinion. Choosing to ignore the other side of the argument simply makes you less informed, and closeted in your own beliefs. I mean – you don’t see me unfriending every Obama supporter on Facebook. It’s good be aware of all opinions and all beliefs, whether you agree with them or not.

  5. says

    As a straight male, I find Romney’s dismissal of gay rights and lack of sympathy for women who need Planned Parenthood utterly appalling and a direct infringement on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If you think a group of people don’t deserve to be married because they love someone of the same sex, You are a despicable person and nothing else you think, regardless of how intelligent you are, will ever change the fact that you’re a despicable person who views others as inherently inferior. If Romney could fix the economy definitively, it still wouldn’t be worth sacrificing the birth rights of tens of millions of Americans.

  6. Megan Hoch says

    Forrest, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I believe there is more to me than my money. I would sacrifice a good economy, a higher income, and social security if in return I could live to see my friends and family marry the ones that they love. I find it hard to relate to anyone who values fiscal conservancy over fundamental human rights.

  7. Maureen Sagan says

    @A.Opam – Hey Abena, both your parents are medical specialists with a combined income of ~ $400k a year and you’re lecturing other people about their “privilege”. Thanks for the laugh. I guess I’m “so over” your opinion.

  8. Maureen Sagan says

    I think it’s ridiculous how gay marriage even became a huge issue in this election – marriage is regulated by the state, not federal government! For Romney to have banned gay marriage would be unconstitutional.

  9. F. Parsons says

    I don’t think it’s silly to “unfriend” someone because they voted for one candidate or another. I think it’s silly to be on Facebook and consider scores of people you know only tangentially to be friends and then get offended when they click a box or whatever they do to denote they are no longer your friend.

  10. Krista Anderson says

    I had a friend and her new husband just unfriend myself and my boyfriend on facebook because of our politcial preference for Romney. I don’t have to agree with you for your personal beliefs but to try and force my beliefs to align with yours otherwise we can’t be friends is the most “unaccepting, judgemental, controlling” thing I’ve ever heard. This girl was supposed to be my matron of honor in my upcoming wedding…My boyfriend and I drove 24 hours straight to Mobile, AL to be her maid of honor in March of this year, we rented a hotel for a week for her, and then drove back…and she outright unfriended myself and Chris on facebook…she and her husband. I guess friendships and relationships aren’t as important as your personal views… in which case, I’m glad to know this before she was actually in my wedding.