Famed horror writer and vocal Trump critic Stephen King made a request on Independence Day. King hoped to quell the volatile political environment if even for just one day.
For Independence Day 2018, King pleaded that everyone take a break from the political slander and just “be Americans.” No division between “liberal snowflakes” and “Trumpies,” just a truce on the day of the nation’s birth.
Progressives, go find a Trump supporting friend--the one you haven't spoken to since November of 2016--and give him or her a hug. Trumpies, find a "liberal snowflake" friend and do the same. Just for today, let's all be Americans.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 4, 2018
It didn’t go quite as the author had hoped. Some people appreciated and commended King's attempt to bring the nation together.
But the internet responded with a resounding “nope.”
Because I am indeed an American, I do not hug those that support a man who spits on the Constitution and was installed with the help of a foreign power. I'm weird that way.— Pinky Slivotitz™❄ (@ACreativeMuggle) July 4, 2018
People were clear that their objections weren't just petty politics:
Nah. I didn't stop talking to people because they were trump supporters. I did so because they showed themselves to be racists.— Suhaila (@Suhaila) July 4, 2018
It's not just that people don’t want to. They feel as if they can't.
Can’t do it. Trump let us know who our friends really are. Life is short & I don’t have time for racists, bigots, homophobes, traitors, climate deniers, anti-healthcare+education, building walls and tearing families apart & locking them in cages! Ain’t nobody got time for that.— bennydiegø ✯ (@bennydiego) July 4, 2018
Some responses dug to the root of the issue and touched on exactly why some people aren’t talking to one another.
In many cases, the divide was deeply personal.
Sure Stephen, lemme hug my stepdad who laughed at me when I came out to him as bisexual and told me his guns were more important. Lemne hug my relative who wore a cowboy hat to Thanksgiving in support of Roy Moore. Hugs for everyone!— 🌼Elle🐱Gato🌼 (they/them) (@ellle_em) July 4, 2018
I'll hug all those folks who told me my veteran husband is quote "lucky he didn't die in Afghanistan when Obama was in office; now he can die proudly for a REAL president"— 🌼Elle🐱Gato🌼 (they/them) (@ellle_em) July 4, 2018
I'll hug everyone on Twitter who've threatened me with death or sexual assault for pointing out Trump's racism. I'll hug all of them because you, a powerful wealthy dude thinks we'll all be safe reaching out like that— 🌼Elle🐱Gato🌼 (they/them) (@ellle_em) July 4, 2018
One person challenged King with a similar task.
But first you write about Roland hugging the Man in Black ok?— 🌼Elle🐱Gato🌼 (they/them) (@ellle_em) July 4, 2018
Many people denied King’s request, but the author did have his supporters.
The division within this country scares me. No matter what happens, I'm afraid that the division will last for years if not decades. We need to find a way to come together as a nation. This is what Russia wants!!— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) July 4, 2018
And there are people who have been practicing King’s Fourth of July request all along.
I hug them every time I see them. They are my family & friends. I still care for & love them. I don’t hate them. I am disappointed with them.— Sterling (@GeneEstill) July 4, 2018
I disagree with their opinions & hate the repercussions from their opinions. Trump will be gone in 2-6 yrs and we will go on. ❤️☮️🇺🇸
Some pointed to the recent handling of immigrant children as a reason not to hug a Trump supporter.
Nice sentiment in theory, but when these people want children ripped from their parents, want women stripped of any reproductive rights, and voted for an administration that doesn’t care unless you’re a white male...nah. I’m not that nice.— em misses cas (@aIohacowboy) July 5, 2018
At least he can say he tried, though the nation needs far more than a few hugs to become united. And it definitely won’t happen overnight.