The Los Angeles Times published an op-ed on Friday addressing the struggle to “resist demands for unity” in the face of acts of “aggressive niceness” on the part of friendly Trump-supporting neighbors who are compared to terror organizations who “offer protection and hospitality” and “polite” Nazis.
The essay, penned by journalist Virginia Hefferman and titled, “What can you do about the Trumpites next door?” seeks to present the author’s dilemma in dealing with “Trumpite” neighbors who plowed her driveway without being asked “and did a great job.”
The Trump-supporting neighbors are described as moderate, not “being Q or believing Trump actually won.”
“How am I going to resist demands for unity in the face of this act of aggressive niceness?” she asks, articulating the “torment” she struggles with throughout the essay.
The author then compares the generosity of such neighbors to that of the designated terrorist organization Hezbollah which, prior to 9/11, was responsible for more American deaths than any other terror organization.
“Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist political party in Lebanon, also gives things away for free,” she writes. “They offer protection and hospitality and win loyalty that way. And they also demand devotion to their brutal, us-versus-them anti-Sunni cause.”
The author then reiterates her struggle.
“When someone helps you when you’re down, or snowed in, it’s almost impossible to regard them as a blight on the world,” she writes.
Hefferman then recalls a family she stayed with in France as a teenager who declared their happiness during Nazi occupation because “the Nazis were very [polite]” before addressing her neighbors again.
“My neighbors supported a man who showed near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans,” she writes. “They kept him in business with their support.”
Hefferman then presents her response.
“Politely, but not profusely, I’ll acknowledge” the kind act, she says.
“With a wave and a thanks, a minimal start on building back trust,” she adds. “I’m not ready to knock on the door with a covered dish yet.”
Ultimately, though, the author is unable to grant “absolution.”
“I also can’t give my neighbors absolution; it’s not mine to give,” she writes. “Free driveway work, as nice as it is, is just not the same currency as justice and truth.”
In her conclusion, the author vaguely expresses her ability to offer an invitation “to make amends.”
“But I can offer a standing invitation to make amends,” she writes. “Not with a snowplow but by recognizing the truth about the Trump administration and, more important, by working for justice for all those whom the administration harmed.”
Readers on social media were quick to denounce the essay, with many taking offense at the comparison of Trump supporters with Nazis and terrorists.
“Since you equate your neighbors with Nazi’s and terrorist organizations, you should probably leave it alone,” wrote one Twitter user. “If they really are that bad you’ll want to steer clear and if not, your mind may not be open enough to know someone unlike yourself…peace.”
Since you equate your neighbors with Nazi's and terrorist organizations, you should probably leave it alone. If they really are that bad you'll want to steer clear and if not, your mind may not be open enough to know someone unlike yourself…peace.
— G7Doug (@G7Doug) February 5, 2021
“Equating 70MM+ Americans who voted for Trump with Nazi collaborators and Hezbollah terrorists,” wrote another Twitter user. “You’re a miserable person.”
“You equate people that you don’t know to Nazis and Hezbollah simply because they voted differently and you think nothing of it while the ‘bad’ one plowed your driveway and thought nothing of it,” wrote yet another. “Perfectly sums up the difference between right and left. Thank you.”
Others blasted the intolerance of not accepting those with different political opinions.
“Congrats! You are the problem!” wrote one Twitter user. “Your neighbors believe that you deserve to be treated with kindness, regardless of your beliefs. You are the dangerous zealot who wants to punish the non-believers, that is the irony of your piece.”
“Maybe just MAYBE, not everyone in this country has their entire identity tied to their politics,” wrote another. “Maybe they looked at your driveway and thought they’d be nice. Maybe(Probably) politics had nothing to do with it. Politics is not life… get over yourself.”
“Gosh, you mean your neighbors DARED to have a political philosophy different than your own??? The horror!” wrote yet another. “My advice is to get over yourself, snowflake.”
“So the media is going to criminalize politics and if you don’t tow the line – they will dox you and ID your family for targeting,” wrote another user.
So the media is going to criminalize politics and if you don't tow the line – they will dox you and ID your family for targeting https://t.co/qYw9KC6ZmP
— Charles R. Smith🔹 (@softwarnet) February 5, 2021
The essay comes as some Democrats continue to target conservatives and paint Trump supporters as the worst of criminals, despite having repeated calls for “healing” and “unity.”
In a recent video created by left-wing novelist Don Winslow, citizens are called upon to become cyber detectives to monitor and report fellow citizen Trump supporters to authorities while comparing the work of this “army of citizens” to that which led to the capture of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
The clip, which received over four million views, claims the greatest threat facing America today emanates from “radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists” hidden among us.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dubbed members of Congress who seek to protect themselves with firearms the “enemy.”
“We will probably need a supplemental for more security for members when the enemy is within the House of Representatives, in addition to what is happening outside,” she said.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.