LA Times Columnist Has Difficulty Reconciling the Kindness of Her Neighbors and Their Support for Donald Trump

Los Angeles Times political columnist Virginia Heffernan recently wrote an op-ed admitting that she has a hard time reconciling the kindness of her neighbors and the fact that they’re Trump supporters. She compares them to Hezbollah, the Nation of Islam, and Nazis, implying that individual people who do nice things may still hold contemptible beliefs or belong to contemptible groups.

In a column titled “What can you do about the Trumpites next door?”, Heffernan describes the neighbors at her “pandemic getaway” house as Trump supporters who courteously plowed their driveway and did it well. Heffernan realizes she owes them thanks, but because they’re “as devoted to the ex-president as you can get without being Q fans,” she wonders “how much thanks” they actually deserve.

She called her neighbors “staunch partisans of blue lives,” adding that “there aren’t a lot of anything other than white lives in the neighborhood.”

A few paragraphs later she acknowledged, presumably without irony, that “loving your neighbor is evidently much easier when your neighborhood is full of people just like you.”

Heffernan compared the kindness of her Trump-supporting neighbors to the various individually magnanimous actions of Hezbollah members and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Not only that, she also compared it to the “politeness” of Nazi occupiers that an upper-middle-class French family recalled while she was living with them as a teenager.

Heffernan’s op-ed concludes by saying she can’t absolve her neighbors for supporting Trump, whom she describes as having a “near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans,” but that she can offer “a standing invitation to make amends” instead.

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.”