For the past year, I’ve had an ongoing, mostly text-based conversation with a 40-something relative on the opposite side of the political aisle. I do this for many reasons, the most important of which is that I remember his tiny hand in mine during a walk around his neighborhood when he was 3.
We’d seen a hole in the ground and he asked, “Who lives there?” In retrospect, I realize the answer was probably “Ground squirrel,” but he’d been asking questions non-stop for 15 minutes and my brain was fried. So, I said it was a mole.
Thus began many more minutes of questions. It was both exhausting and adorable — and he never let go of my hand.
That’s what I try to remember during our discussions in a world polarized by social media memes and cable news flame-throwers: He is my family, and once, we held hands.
Some people think I should avoid the stress that comes with talking to someone who, while not having actually drunk the conspiracy Kool-Aid, is influenced by some of its biggest peddlers. (Read entire column here.)