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Seditionists

Now that Trump has retired to Florida, and Biden is in place as President and is forming his Cabinet and is undoing the damage that Trump has done to our nation over the past four years, how do we Democrats/Progressives deal with those who believe Trump is still God’s Gift to Politics, even though he ended his four years of grift by staging a coup against the U.S. Government?

All of us have relatives and old friends who still believe that Trump is their savior, like the woman who posted herself on the internet in the middle of a panic attack because she thought Biden was going to ruin her life. Welcome to the club, lady. We Progressives remember how we felt on January 21, 2017. I was marching with my daughters on that day in the Women’s March. It was all we could do, hoping that Trump would not be as bad as others thought he might be. After all, he used to be a Democrat.

But Trump was far worse, and must be eradicated from future U.S. political life. In ranking who will be regarded as the worst President, Trump will sit forever in the subbasement. And he must be convicted by the Senate in the Impeachment trial, to send a message to future Americans that such conduct will not be tolerated in our country.

Some old friends want to put their heads in the collective sand for the next four years and live in the total white world they have surrounded themself with.

Since the Inauguration, I have been asked by my best high school friend and others I have known throughout my life to refrain from sending them any more of my LA Progressive articles. They don’t want to hear what I am saying; they want to put their heads in the collective sand for the next four years and live in the total white world they have surrounded themself with.

A California woman who supported Trump just called me because I am an officer of my local Democratic club. She said that she had just been to the store and gas station and only heard Spanish being spoken, and as a white woman, complained to me that she was now just a minority in her own country. I responded by saying “But you have to recall that we Americans stole California from Spanish-speaking Mexico in 1848, and made it a state in record time.” And I mentioned to her that I have family members of all races in my family and that I thought it was a good thing. And she admitted that she did too. So perhaps I gained a little ground with her at reaching a common understanding.

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What happened after the wars America has fought, both inside and outside America, in the past? By the end of the Revolutionary War, many of the “Loyalists” to Britain had fled to England or Canada, including Benedict Arnold. After the Civil War, the defeated Confederates (who were not jailed) either submitted to Reconstruction or joined the KKK, and passed their membership in the KKK to today’s Mo Brooks type people. Germans living in the U.S. after World War I such as Trump’s parents told everyone they were Swedish to pass as non-Germans, especially when they wanted to do business with Jews.

During the Cold War, no one wanted to be branded a “Communist”, or you would be ostracized, fired from your job and blacklisted, as happened in the Joe McCarthy/Roy Cohn 1950s era. During the Vietnam War, many of us anti-war Americans heard the words “MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG” shouted in our faces. (However, for some reason, I ended up as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War). And being called a “Socialist” then was not much better. Today, you can be a “Democratic Socialist”, like Bernie Sanders calls himself, and be a serious candidate for President.

Living with Seditionists

What do I say to my high school friend (also named Ted), who wants nothing more to do with me? Should I write him off, and socialize in person or online only with those who think like I do? We both went to great colleges and have graduate degrees from two of the top universities in the world, have children who don’t hate us and partners who love us. What’s next?

Should I stop being so obnoxiously “liberal” in my thinking and, as a white man with a super-WASP background, join a country club and settle into a life as a relatively well to do person in America and spend my remaining years playing bridge and bingo? Or should I continue to be a thorn in the side of those in America who accept the unjust life that many Trump Republicans practice: they are racists, excessively greedy, and remain head-in-the-sand low information voters.

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Is there anything I can do to turn them around to my way of thinking, or is it a lost cause?

What do you think?

Ted Vaill