For many, the key to preventing estrangement isn’t talking politics in the first place. This is how Michelle, a healthcare worker in Arizona, tried to deal with the situation in her family. She said her sister voted for Mr. Trump, but they agreed long ago to never discuss it and are best friends talking every day.
“We’re both like, no we’re not going to do that,” she said. “I consider her as my sister, we are really close.”
But she cried as she described having had to block her father, a retired director of a manufacturing company, from her email this fall because of what she said was a constant stream of conspiratorial messages that he wouldn’t stop sending even after she did. asked. She requested that her last name not be used as she feared it would further damage her relationship with him.
“I’m just sad,” she said, weeping softly. “Just because, you know, he’s my dad, and he’s always helped me out if I’ve ever needed it.” He has always been there for me.
Still, she planned to see him on Thanksgiving, outside and masked.
A number of older voters said they grew up with family and friends who didn’t always agree with them politically, but those distinctions mattered less to a person’s identity. They didn’t fight against them, because politics was not what you were.
“I really don’t see alienating my family over this,” said Joe Wallace, 75, a retired pipefitter in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania who voted for Joe Biden. He said he was taken aback by his sisters’ strong support for Mr Trump, but had never spoken to them about it. “It’s not worth the shot.”
Will relations heal now that Mr. Trump is no longer president? Almost everyone interviewed for this article who had been through a falling out said they didn’t think so – at least not immediately. Estelle Moore, a retired flight attendant in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Said it was like we saw things in each other that we weren’t supposed to. But now that we did, we couldn’t see them anymore.