Friendship in the age of Trump

A prominent Republican, describing a Trump-related disagreement with another influential Republican with whom he has been close for decades, sent me a note that stated things in a matter-of-fact way: “We had a friendship-ending email exchange.”

Others have confided that differences over the Trump candidacy have caused such a loss of respect that they feared their friendships would not survive, and that even if they did, they would never be the same.

While I haven’t lost any friendships during this Trumpian moment, at least not yet, I certainly haven’t been immune to the heightened tension. Several friends whose political views have often coincided with mine in the past have voiced their anger to me over my public opposition to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

One close longtime friend told me that my criticism of Mr. Trump stemmed from my desire for attention and notoriety and a longing for the favor of liberals. He was questioning not my reasoning but my motivations. His concern wasn’t about policy; it was about the state of my soul.

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