Virtue-signaling in the age of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
In the annals of unintentional liberal self-parody, there is a special place reserved for a column by Ruth Mayor, “I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties.”
What makes it so classic is that Mayor doesn’t intend it as self-parody. She clearly intends it to reflect a liberal’s awakening to the goodness in some people she otherwise wouldn’t associate with. So it’s basically virtue-signaling in the age of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The lead-in line of the column sets the stage:
“I went to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. ….”
and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt. Not, not so simple. That would have made sense.
Instead there’s this:
“I had spent the morning sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with my 16-year-old daughter, Katherine, whose silent tears on election night in 2016 had marked the beginning of this national nightmare for me. She had insisted we drive from Charlotte to D.C. this year so that we could “protest in front of the president’s house.”…
I wanted to be with people who shared my anger. Because I have been so angry about Donald Trump this past year. I have been angry at my country for electing this man, angry at my neighbors who support him, angry at the wealthy who sacrificed our country and its goodness for tax breaks, angry at the coal miners who believed his promises.
My fury has been bottomless. I drink my morning coffee from a cup that says, “I hate to wake up when Donald Trump is President.” The constancy of my outrage has been exhausting, yet I have not yet found a way to quell it — nearly each day has brought a new reason to stoke the fire.”
Stop smiling, readers. I know you are smiling, don’t deny it.
But all good things come to an end, and Mayor and her daughter had to drive home. Through redneck country. Through the fevered swamps of Trumplandia. Through the huddled masses of deplorables.
And then her car had problems. Like when the canoes tipped over in Deliverance.
We were about 90 minutes south of D.C. when I heard a terrible popping sound. I assumed I had blown a tire and headed toward the nearest exit. The popping was followed by screeching — were we now driving on metal? Luckily, there was a gas station right off the exit.
Before I could do anything but park my gray Prius, a man rushed over. “I heard you coming down that road,” he said. Before I could say much he started surveying the situation. He didn’t so much offer to help us as get right to work….
It turned out that I hadn’t blown a tire; a huge piece of plastic under the front bumper had come loose, causing the screeching as it scraped along the road. After determining that he couldn’t cut the plastic off, he ran over to his car to grab some zip ties so that he could secure the piece back in place.
He did all of this so quickly that I didn’t have time to grab the prominent RESIST sticker on the side of my car, which suddenly felt needlessly alienating. As this man lay on the ground under my car with his miracle zip ties, I asked if he thought they would hold for four more hours of driving.
“Just ask any redneck like me what you can do with zip ties — well, zip ties and duct tape. You can solve almost any car problem. You’ll get home safe,” he said, turning to his teenage son standing nearby. “You can say that again,” his son agreed.
So it wasn’t Deliverance. The redneck was the good guy in the story.
But still, there was a lesson.
Mayor assumed the redneck was a Trump supporter, and realized that many of her liberal presumptions about and anger towards Trump supporters may not have been fair. And she knows who to blame.
Not #TheResistance. Not Democrats. Not The Women’s March movement. Not the liberal media.
No, this liberal woman’s seething anger and prejudice was the fault of … wait for it … TRUMP! He made her hate.
“While I tried to dive back into my liberal podcast, my mind kept being pulled back to the gas station. I couldn’t stop thinking about the man who called himself a “redneck” who came to our rescue. I sized him up as a Trump voter, just as he likely drew inferences from my Prius and RESIST sticker. But for a moment, we were just two people and the exchange was kindness (his) and gratitude (mine).
As I drove home, I felt the full extent to which Trump has actually diminished my own desire to be kind. He is keeping me so outraged that I hold ill will toward others on a daily basis. Trump is not just ruining our nation, he is ruining me. By the end of the drive, I felt heartbroken….
Trump’s cruelty and mendacity demand outrage and the most vigorous resistance a nation can muster. Yet the experience with the man at the side of the road felt humbling. It reminded me that we are all just people trying to get home safe. It felt like a sign, that maybe if we treat one another with the kindness and gratitude that is so absent from our president and his policies, putting our most loving selves forward, this moment can transform into something more bearable? I want to come away from the march with that simple lesson, but it begs this question: How do we hold onto the fire fueling our resistance to the cruelty Trump unleashes, but also embrace the world with love? I wish I knew.”
Perhaps Trump isn’t the problem.
Perhaps it’s the bubble of pussy hats, liberal podcasts, and prejudice against the great unwashed. Or at least the people liberals consider the great unwashed, who also happen to be deplorables.DONATE
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