If you can’t even thank your neighbors for clearing their driveway because they’re Trump supporters, there is no hope for unity
So much for healing in the USA. There’s a long icy road ahead for America, as a woke LA Times writer proved when her Trump-supporting neighbor plowed the snow from her driveway, and she wrote a column comparing him to Hezbollah.
Some people, let’s face it, just aren’t very nice. And some, well, they’re just not very bright either. Also, they’re not all Trump supporters. Let me introduce someone who defines exactly what I mean, someone you’ve almost certainly never heard of before: woke writer Virginia Heffernan. In fewer than a thousand words, Ms. Heffernan managed to reveal she is actually everything she would surely claim to despise.
Ms. Heffernan used a column in the Los Angeles Times to wrestle with her conscience after her neighbors in upstate New York did her a super good deed and plowed the snow off her driveway. For free. It would be customary, at this point in the story, for the recipient of such a generous neighborly act to step out onto that freshly cleared road with a home-baked apple pie as a thank you. Or maybe, for fun, engage the neighbor in a friendly snowball fight?
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Nope. As gay poet Oscar Wilde – or it might have been right wing writer and diplomat Clare Boothe Luce (guess which one Ms. Heffernan would prefer to be compared to) – once said: no good deed goes unpunished.
So, instead, Ms. Heffernan sat down at her computer to write this, and it’s pure genius for all the wrong reasons. Here is what flowed: ‘Oh, heck no. 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. How am I going to resist demands for unity in the face of this act of aggressive niceness?’
First off, how many people have a ‘pandemic getaway’ with a driveway dusted with freshly fallen snow? And what is ‘aggressive niceness’ anyway? Poor Ginny, of course, isn’t used to this kind of neighborly behavior ‘in the city’. She’s from the street, yo mo’fo, and all that.
How many US street kids spend a vacation as a teenager with an upper class family in France, as Ms. Heffernan then goes on to recount? She uses an anecdote about this family being Nazi-sympathisers to make her point that these Trump lovers are trying to ingratiate themselves with her.
She also compares her neighbor’s good deed to Hezbollah being nice to people to turn them to their Islamist way of thinking in Lebanon. On and on she goes, plowing her own Woke furrow, comparing the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump with all sorts of demons.
It’s worth reading her article twice, just to make sure it isn’t satire. It isn’t.
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Ms. Heffernan would never, I’m pretty sure, accept the idea that she shares common ground with the horn- and fur-hat wearing, Confederate flag-waving QAnon-supporting morons who stormed the citadel of American democracy on 6 January.
Yet, by whipping her neighbors with her words, she has shown precisely the same level of crass stupidity. On a far more personal level, too. She has to live alongside these people, at least on snowy weekends during a pandemic.
Ms. Heffernan managed to humanize people she clearly thinks are inhuman and make herself look like, well, an idiot. Somehow she managed to define precisely what’s wrong with the USA right now and also managed to lose her own argument, her own snowball fight if you will.
You see, though. This is precisely the thing about Wokeness – it’s not about being a good person, civil or even just plain neighborly.
One can wrap oneself in one’s wokeness and virtue signal like a lighthouse yet it cannot hide the fact that you’re just not a very nice person. Nor disguise the fact that you simply brook no opposition, in a way your bogeyman Donald Trump himself would appreciate: ‘I am right, everyone else is wrong.’
She wrote: “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?“
Invite them over for a barbecue and a chat about the state of the union?
My guess is that well-fed, clearly well-educated and pampered Ms. Heffernan is very familiar with Aspen ski-lodges and New York high-society cocktail parties because she has that smug, chubby-cheeked and mouthy American privilege that does so annoy the rest of the world.
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On the other hand, it’s a fairly safe bet that many of the folks who attacked the Capitol didn’t attend university and don’t possess a passport, plus they’re probably way more familiar with trailer-park living and the aisles of Walmart than Brooklyn lofts and delicatessens.
Yet, still, Ms. Heffernan shares their complete lack of understanding of what freedom and democracy actually means.
Surely the whole point of political freedom, the freedom of expression, is that your neighbor can have an entirely different view and yet you can still somehow get along. Trump supporters, love ‘em or loathe ‘em, there’s an awful lot of them: almost 75 million American voters put an X in a box next to the tangerine-faced President’s name.
The very essence of a free and balanced society, surely, is the right to disagree. To be able to have a beer together even though you support different teams. America, you need to learn to have opposing views, and still get along.
Ginny, dear, you should have thrown a snowball instead. It would have been far more fun. Get baking that apple pie. It’s never too late to admit a mistake, be a good neighbor and apologize.
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