Leftists seem to have trouble understanding what the word “unity” means. Indeed, judging by a recent Los Angeles Times article, one might be tempted to think that so-called progressives in the activist media had never heard the word before President Joe Biden said he wanted to promote unity while struggling to keep a straight face.
Author Virginia Heffernan wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times in which she frets about – wait for it – her Trump-supporting neighbor plowing her driveway in a brazen act of kindness. She writes:
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?
The author then asks: “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?”
Heffernan explains the reasons for her confusion over how much thanks she owes to her right-leaning neighbor and if you’re guessing it has to do with a performative aversion to bigotry, you’re absolutely right. “These neighbors are staunch partisans of blue lives, and there aren’t a lot of anything other than white lives in neighborhood,” she observes.
Here’s the thing: white liberal types like Heffernan constantly feel the need to establish their progressive cred by looking down on other white people who aren’t quite as enlightened as they are. Indeed, studies have shown that insufferable virtue signaling is as critical to the white liberal as eating, sleeping, and sipping pumpkin spice lattes in the Fall season.
Noting that “back in the city, people don’t sweep other people’s walkways for nothing,” Heffernan continues, comparing this act of kindness to a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that we all know and love. She writes:
Maybe it’s like what Eddie Murphy discovered in that old “Saturday Night Live” sketch “White Like Me.” He goes undercover in white makeup and finds that when white people are among their own, they pop free champagne and live the high life. As Murphy puts it: “Slowly I began to realize that when white people are alone, they give things to each other. For free.”
But wait, it gets even worse.
After driving straight through the absurd Eddie Murphy comparison, the author pulls a sharp left turn into “people who disagree with me are evil bastards” territory and jams her foot wildly on the gas pedal. She then likens conservatives to Hezbollah, an Iran-backed radical Islamic terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of scores of people. Heffernan writes:
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.
After pretending that Trump supporters are somehow akin to terrorists, Heffernan descends further into madness when she brings up the Nazis. She recalls a family that she stayed with in France when she was a teenager who had a portrait of a French Nazi collaborator on their wall.
“When I screwed up the courage to ask how it was for them during the occupation, the lady of the house replied, ‘We were happy because the Nazis were very polis.’ I didn’t know the word, so I excused myself to consult a French-English dictionary. I was in tears when I found the entry: ‘polite,’” she recounted.
Another Nazi comparison. How original.
Heffernan then seems to struggle over how she should approach her Trump supporting neighbors, who are clearly only being nice to her because she is also melanin-challenged. “Loving your neighbor is evidently much easier when your neighborhood is full of people just like you,” she states.
The author wonders how she is supposed to view a neighbor who plowed her driveway, but also “supported a man who showed near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans” and “kept him in business with their support.”
She references Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who called for Americans to love their neighbors after the riots at the U.S. Capitol building. “At the time, I seethed; the Capitol had just been desecrated. But maybe my neighbor heard Sasse and was determined to make a bid for reconciliation,” she muses.
Heffernan concludes that she will respond to her neighbor “politely, but not profusely” and that she “can offer a standing invitation to make amends,” which conservatives can accept by “recognizing the truth about the Trump administration” and “by working for justice for all those whom the administration harmed.
This particular article is an instructive example of the cognitive dissonance that leftists like Heffernan experience when people she views as the epitome of Hitlerian malevolence behave in a way that contradicts this false perception. Her apparent confusion over the matter is indicative of the echo chamber in which folks like her reside.
Even in the face of a conservative neighbor doing something nice for her, she has to engage in mental gymnastics to make sense of it all by remembering the some folks believed Nazis were “polis” and that even members of a murderous terrorist group give “things away for free.” Let’s be clear: the last thing people like Heffernan want is unity.
Having unity means finding mutual understanding and searching for areas of common ground and it is clear that she desires neither. To understand people like Heffernan when it comes to this issue, one must replace the word “unity” with “submission.” They don’t want to work with us, they wish to dominate us and compel us to get on board with their agenda.
It is worth remembering that not everyone on the left views the situation the same as Heffernan. Indeed, as a resident of Austin, TX, I have seen that most rank-and-file Democrats may not like Trump, but they do not see all of us as nefarious actors. However, it is the left-wing elite, the punditry class, who seeks to persuade their audience to believe the worst of their opposition. Unfortunately, it appears they may achieve their objective over time.