A Los Angeles Times opinion column is firing up the Internet after Virginia Heffernan wrote about her anguish in not knowing how to respond to neighbors cleared the snow on her driveway. They problem is that they also voted for former President Donald Trump. The column entitled “What can you do about the Trumpites next door?” explores her struggle with how to respond while comparing all Trump supporters to Nazis and Hezbollah. It is unfortunately hardly surprising to see such unhinged hateful comparisons in today’s age of rage. What was surprising is need to publish such a column containing gratuitous attacks on over 70 million voters as comparable to genocidal murders or terrorists.
While most of us would find a thank you as natural and immediate, Heffernan explores her struggle in decision how to respond: “Of course, on some level, I realize I owe them thanks — and, man, it really looks like the guy back-dragged the driveway like a pro — but how much thanks? These neighbors are staunch partisans of blue lives, and there aren’t a lot of anything other than white lives in the neighborhood.” She notes that Hezbollah “also gives things away for free” but “The favors Hezbollah does for people in the cities Tyre and Sidon probably don’t involve snowplows, but, like other mafias, Hezbollah tends to its own — the Shiite sick, elderly and hungry.”
Under the guise of working through these issues, the column seems more of a vehicle for suggesting Trump voters are little better than terrorists and murderers. It matter-of-factly treats such references as obvious or plausible comparisons. There is less evidence of honest internal debate as much as satisfaction in being able to demean and marginalize almost half of the electorate.
While many members and newspapers have heralded the Biden election as a chance for healing, there is little evidence of a real desire for many to bring the country together, even at the modest cost of gracefully accepting a nice gesture in the form of a snow shoveling. The fact is that people are addicted to rage. Many continue to use Trump as a license to hate, even portraying such hate as virtuous. It is so consuming that even kindness from a neighbor is treated as a moral dilemma.