There are three of use who walk our dogs illegally off leash on the path around the retention pond. Zoe and I do it every day. One I've seen only once. And the other guy I've seen many times over the years. This last one currently has a chocolate lab who I first saw as a puppy. He's had other dogs but I don't see them any more and they may have died. He now just walks his one year old lab. And I walk Zoe. And the two dogs pass each other and sniff 'Hi' and move. Minding their own business.
But the guy. He's in his late 40's or early 50's I'd guess. WASP type, like me. When I first encountered him a couple of years ago we immediately had something in common. We both had raised our dogs so that they were happy, non-aggressive, and trail friendly. So he and I stopped and talked a bit about the nothings that people talk about. We met a few more times over the past couple of years always taking a few minutes to pass the time. Nothing important ever said. Until the day about last summer he was all excited and invited me to meet up with his group that night to put out Trump signs in the yards. My response was congenial. I didn't say anything derogatory about it but said he had found likely the one person in the area who most disliked Trump. A bit of hyperbole but defensible. He kind of harrumphed and moved on.
This exchange of 10 seconds changed my thoughts about him permanently but not my outward attitude towards him. I will never really understand someone who at the very least is tolerating racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and reality distortion (aka outright lying) in supporting Trump. But with someone I'm not every going to have a relationship with outside of passing on the trail it is not important. So I still say hello to him, a cheery good morning. But he hardly acknowledges me now. This morning I said 'Good morning' to his face not three feet from me and he just walked on. It is sad and funny at the same time. I'll show him. I'll just be nice.
If you want to be an asshat, go for it. There's lots of company out there. But get the fuck over yourself and acknowledge the common humanity that we share.
At least say hello to my dog.