Los Angeles Times columnist Virginia Heffernan was legit flummoxed.
"Oh, heck no," she began her Friday piece. "The Trumpites next door to our pandemic getaway, who seem as devoted to the ex-president as you can get without being Q fans, just plowed our driveway without being asked and did a great job."
It's apparently a really big problem when the demonized demonstrate that they're not the Devil, eh? Even when they supported former President Donald Trump.
"How am I going to resist demands for unity in the face of this act of aggressive niceness?" she asked. "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?"
Is this a fly-on-the-wall view of leftism?
The "Trumpites," as she calls them, did the job without asking for any money. Not that neighbors typically do things for each other without being asked and then come back the next day with a bill, but whatever.
Unfortunately, the clearly wary Heffernan then invoked Hezzbollah and Louis Farrakhan to further her argument:
Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist political party in Lebanon, also gives things away for free. 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. They offer protection and hospitality and win loyalty that way. And they also demand devotion to their brutal, us-versus-them anti-Sunni cause. Some of us are family, the favors say; the rest are infidels.
The same is true with Louis Farrakhan, who currently helms the Nation of Islam. While the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies him as a dangerous anti-Semite, much of his flock says he's just a little screwy and unfailingly magnanimous. To them.
She was able to admit that "when someone helps you when you're down, or snowed in, it's almost impossible to regard them as a blight on the world. In fact, you're more likely to be overwhelmed with gratitude and convinced of the person's inherent goodness." As well as, "Loving your neighbor is evidently much easier when your neighborhood is full of people just like you."
The problem for Heffernan is that those same neighbors who kindly plowed her driveway also "supported a man who showed near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans. They kept him in business with their support."
Finally, she decided that she would offer "a wave and a thanks, a minimal start on building back trust. I'm not ready to knock on the door with a covered dish yet."
Heffernan concluded her piece thusly:
I also can't give my neighbors absolution; it's not mine to give. Free driveway work, as nice as it is, is just not the same currency as justice and truth. To pretend it is would be to lie, and they probably aren't looking for absolution anyway.
But I can offer a standing invitation to make amends. 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. Only when we work shoulder to shoulder to repair the damage of the last four years will we even begin to dig out of this storm.
How did folks react?
By all accounts, her ingrained position appears strangely — and chillingly — similar to that of other hardcore leftists: Trump supporters don't really deserve any mercy or regard until they confess their wayward views. Then maybe, possibly, perhaps — if all the stars align — absolution maybe, possibly, perhaps can be offered.
Here's how others reacted after Heffernan tweeted out her column:
- "As a Trump supporter who shoveled my liberal neighbors driveway 2x last week you know what I was thinking? Nothing. I just did it," one commenter said. "When my kids saw, they fought over who got to help next. Politics aside, I'm a nice person, raising nice people. My neighbors? They're nice too."
- "When gifted with the milk of human kindness, you decide it's better to make it curdle," another user said. "Your soul is broken. I feel pity for you."
- "This is one of the most appalling op-eds I've ever read," another commenter wrote. "The complete dearth of humanity; the seething, insular, self-satisfied resentment...if a neighbor reads this and doesn't immediately pile snow on your house, they will continue, admirably, to exceed you in basic decency."
- "This is satire, right? Tell me it's satire," another user begged. "He plowed a driveway; he didn't ask for your hand in marriage. I'm a Trumpster. I cook dinner & gourmet (I hope) snacks for my (black) Democrat neighbors because I like them, & that's what neighbors do. Take a freaking BREATH!"