November 14, 2016

An Open Letter to My Social Media Friends

Dear Social Media Friends,
A few notes on my birthday, which occurred just yesterday. First, let me say a huge thank you to all of you that have been kind enough to stop by at my Facebook page and other social media, and leave your birthday wishes! All included—Facebook (timeline and chat), Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.—I received as many as several hundreds of birthday wishes from almost all over the world, especially from the United States of America, the UK, and the European Union. Let me just let you know that I appreciated each and every one of them and that I’m both grateful to you for your friendship and happy for the wonderful opportunities the new information and communication technologies offer to us. Especially for people of my generation, the state of the art of the ICT—which I consider a true blessing and a gift from God—is a continuous source of wonder and excitement.

However, I must say that what amazes me most about yesterday, is that my presence in the social media, and on the Internet in general, is not of the common kind, my most frequent posts being about political, philosophical and cultural issues: a bit boring for a lot of people, I’m afraid. At the same time I cannot but congratulate myself for choosing the right people to be friends with!

Of course, as always happens, birthdays are a great, if not unique, opportunity to unfriend and be unfriended... this time they were half a dozen, in addition to those—at least another half a dozen people—who have unfriended me in the last few weeks. But I don’t complain about that: I knew that supporting Donald Trump would have some consequences. Well, in a sense, I am grateful to them: I have never unfriended anyone on Facebook for political reasons, and never will, that’s contrary to my beliefs, but perhaps they were right in doing so. In other words, as we say in Italy, they pulled my chestnuts out of the fire.

Also, ever since I started supporting Trump things have cooled down with some of my best friends. No surprise at all, but then again every choice has a cost. I’m sorry about that, but I did what I had to do, and I’m proud about that. Do what is right, not what is easy. That’s integrity, I presume, or at least as much integrity as possible.

By the way, I want to point out one thing about the recent presidential election: Hillary was absolutely right when, in the immediate aftermath of her defeat, she said, “I want you to remember this: our campaign was never about one person or even one election…” That’s perhaps exactly the reason why so many people in America and around the world (including me) have spent their time and energies in fighting against her, her supporters, and what they stand for—the “values” they share, and the vision they hold—with all means at their disposition. The lesson is: whenever and wherever it’s needed, we’ll be there. ūüėŹ

That being said, thanks again, dear Friends, the special ones—those whom I have a certain degree of intellectual and/or spiritual affinity with—and all the others, which I deeply respect and appreciate. And may God continue to bless you and keep you in His loving hands forever.


  1. Dear Rob,
    Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had a good one.

    As you probably know I'm not a Trump supporter and have been quite distressed by his victory. As a Canadian, much of his ideas are against my values. The way he's treated women, his inciting racism, etc. etc. His lies. Anyway, don't know if you're familiar with David Frum, who is a staunch Republican, who voted for Hillary (despite her questionable choices). He compares Trump to Silvio Berlusconi. I'd recommend Googling him and read what he has to say.

    Anyway, I respect your opinion and value our friendship. All the best, Diana

  2. Hello Diana,
    Thank you so much for your Birthday wishes. And I respect your political views. Aa for the similarities between Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi here is my point of view:

  3. Rob, you've done your homework. :)

    Frankly, I'm very worried about a Trump presidency. How he dismisses climate change as a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese and how he will abuse his presidential office to continue to feather his own nest and that of his children's.

    Canada is too close of a neighbour not to be affected by his trade policies and hate-mongering ways. We've already experienced a rise in hate crimes since he took to the world stage of politics, helped enormously by an unwitting media.

    But, I've decided to focus on my writing. I'm sure the American public will find out soon enough who they've elected to office and how little the average man will get under his leadership.

  4. Dear Diana,
    We’ve known each other a long time and I think we can speak quite frankly. I have the utmost respect for your opinions. You are concerned about Trump. Well, what can I say? I suppose only time will tell. I, in turn, know that you think very highly about Justin Trudeau, and really can’t understand how this is possible..
    Let’s take as an example his statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:
    “It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
    “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
    “While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
    “I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Ra√ļl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
    “On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

    May I ask you whether you think that a dictator and a man who tortured, jailed and ordered the killing of thousands of people actually deserves such a moving tribute? I see no reason why what usually applies to other dictators (and killers) should not apply to Fidel Castro as well. Or maybe, as George Orwell puts it, “all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others?” At least in Obama’s message – which is almost a masterpiece of diplomacy… – there is no approval of Castro:
    And this is Trump’s statement:
    “Today the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
    While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.
    Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
    Sorry, Diana, I’m proud of supporting Donald Trump.