As 2019 closes, let me offer up something for all — show more grace.
I will not name them, because it is not my story to tell. But I know a number of respected journalists whose lives have been turned upside down in the past couple of years. After having been attacked directly by the President or because of the general attacks on the press and their prominence, they’ve had security issues. They’ve been threatened. They’ve been targets of would-be violence. I know one journalist whose children were harassed. I know another who took his family on vacation only to be heckled by a Trump supporter while he was with his kids.
And yes, I would say that has affected their reporting and their view of the world.
When I announced back in 2016 that I would not support the President even if he secured the Republican nomination, I went through something very similar. People showed up at our home. People organized to try to get me fired from radio. My advertisers were harassed. My children were harassed and bullied at school. It was a terrible experience.
I know others who support the President and, in their work places, they’ve been bullied and harassed. I know people who because they support the President they have seen career opportunities disappear and have lost friends. I have a friend who was accosted for wearing a MAGA cap and saw others defend those who accosted him.
All I can tell you is that you don’t know what a lot of people have gone through, some just for reporting on the President in ways his supporters don’t like, but that is objectively fair reporting.
It happens on both sides. There are a lot of people caught in the middle trying to maintain friendships with both sides. There are a lot of people on both sides who are trying to be friends still with those with whom they have fundamental political disagreements.
I can offer grace and hope you can do the same. Remember too that you don’t know what others have experienced. I am increasingly mindful that if all I knew of some people is what I see on Twitter, I probably would not like them. But most people are far more well rounded than social media suggests.
So let’s all of us try to exercise more grace this coming year towards each other. Happy New Year.