Nightmare or Déjà Vu

This past weekend, we went to a dinner party. At the adjoining table were six people, all six more than acquaintances, but less than close friends. They were talking politics, and it became clear that all were Trumpists, very firm ones at that. All six would likely fall into the income classification of upper middle class but might well deny it. The men were professionals, a CPA, a retired consumer products plant manager, and a retired senior regional executive of one of the largest big-box retail chains; the women were a retired schoolteacher, the office manager (and wife) of the CPA, and a full-time housewife.

All were talking about how much they loved Donald Trump, using exactly those words and how much they hated Joe Biden, calling him an incoherent puppet of the far left.

I was tempted to point out a few facts, but refrained because a few weeks ago, I’d had a talk with the retired regional sales executive, and I knew exactly where anything I might say to the six would go. When I earlier pointed out that Trump had been convicted of tax fraud and evasion, as well as sexual assault and defamation, and faced four indictments and 90 some criminal charges, and tried to overthrow an election, and I asked him how he could support someone like that, his answer was, “All politicians are corrupt. What about Hillary and her emails, and Hunter Biden, or Biden’s brother?”

I suggested there was a difference between hard evidence with convictions and indictments and no charges at all in the case of Hillary and charges against Hunter Biden far less damning and not involving his father, and that Hillary hadn’t tried to overthrow the election she lost, to which he replied there was no difference.

Now, I can understand someone who dislikes or despises the policies of the Democrats and who will vote for any Republican rather than a Democrat. I personally think that’s a bit extreme, but I can understand it. What I find unfathomable is LOVING a convicted criminal and proven sex offender who tried to overturn an honest election, and who currently continues to spout proven lies about people in government just doing their jobs.

And then, that night after the dinner, I had a dream, more like nightmare, about the six of our acquaintances, back in Germany in 1933, sitting at dinner and saying how much they loved Adolf Hitler because of the way he was handling the communists and the Jews.

I did wake up from that nightmare.

15 thoughts on “Nightmare or Déjà Vu”

  1. Bill says:

    Your nightmare is our collective nightmare. Years ago, I studied the Holocaust and people, like myself, who were born long after WWII kept asking how could this happen? We didn’t have an answer then. And until we have an answer and a way to change it, this behavior will repeat itself.

    1. Wren Jackson says:

      In very broad terms the answer is that good people are tolerant and patient and try to avoid underhanded garbage and violence…

      You can see glimpses of it over the last few years as the Right has gotten more and more negative, dishonest and outright hostile in their behavior and tactics. Meanwhile the left has tried to stay on the higher road and when individual people on the left have said “No, fight fire with fire” they’re then facing pushback and argument from their own allies for “sinking to their level.”

      The Intolerance of Intolerance argument is valid and people fall for the issue over and over again. Even internally.

      Not to mention the error where if it’s not impacting us directly it gets glossed. Example, I always considered myself an LGBTQIA+ Ally and thought I was doing what I could to help and that we were making good progress. The lens looks very different now that I AM LGBTQIA+, suddenly I see all the things I didn’t do, all the ways people ignore the problems.

  2. Tom says:

    To my knowledge there is only one person in history who is reputed to have managed not to sink to the level of those around him: however He did overturn some tables and stalls in the courtyard of a temple. Analysts think this action triggered his death. Some historians indicate that the victim caused his own death-sentence by refusing to defend himself. I think He knew the presiding Consul had no choice but to have him killed to preserve civil order and his own life. Like the apparently well educated people at your nearby table those calling for His death were also of the educated, business and upper class. It would seem that humans have overwhelmed the Earth but have failed to evolve much beyond their manipulative base despite the development of The Mind.

    1. Wren Jackson says:

      There are droves of people who “didn’t sink to the level of those around them.” The problem is that doing that leaves you more open for attacks and slander.

      Also, given that your example has many names and forms through recorded history… Not sure that’s the best example of a “Singular” stance.

  3. Darcherd says:

    The first victims in any civil war are the moderates.

  4. Grey says:

    I’m curious as to what the religious background / fervor level is of the six. I have personally noticed a strong overlap between people who volunteer to me that they are Very Serious Christians and those who go all in on Trump clap-trap.

    1. Two of the six are devoted, but not extreme, LDS. The other four I’d characterize as moderate to apathetic Christians. The more defining characteristic is that they’re all “business or bust” and strong fans of lower taxes and less government regulation. They all hate big government.

      1. KTL says:


        I am not too surprised at the results given that these ‘professionals’ were all business people. Though they may have had higher levels of education, one cannot assume that their educations included critical thinking / fact laden subjects such as hard science courses. I’ve run into a LOT of folks with such backgrounds and they don’t sort neatly into liberal and conservative just because they have a higher education. More of my scientific colleagues, however, do lean progressive given their propensity to have their careers driven by fact-based research, history, and accountability.

        I wonder as well if you secretly polled the wives apart from their husbands if you wouldn’t peel one or two away from that group think? Thoughts?

        1. In this case, I doubt that the wives are much different. The former school teacher was the most vocal of all in support of Trump.

  5. Christopher Robin says:

    This is something that my friends and I find baffling. My age group (mid 40s) is increasingly baffled by the older generation falling hook line and sinker for Trump. Many of our parents love him despite his actions being the antithesis of the values we were raised to exhort. The only apparent commonality we have seen is the almost religious devotion by which they watch Fox News at the exclusion of any other news source.

    As someone who tends to lean conservative, I find this especially frustrating since Trump represents a far greater threat to conservative values than Democrats do. The insistence on supporting Trump rather than outright rejecting him simply pushes voters like me further and further left. For a group that wants to so loudly tout the importance of the Constitution, Republicans are pushing a candidate that represents its very antithesis.

  6. Ronrythm says:

    I have asked several Trump supporters what he accomplished in his term as president. Not one has been able to give me a coherent answer. What do they see in him? The Republican Party has become the face of dysfunction in our country. The latest battle for Speaker of the House highlights how little vision the Party has. It’s sad to think the Party of Lincoln has fallen so far.

  7. PatrickH says:

    Are you really surprised? Trump is the most outspoken dog whistler, birther, etc… You live in one of the most segregated states in the Union with a church that did not allow blacks into the priesthood until 1978. So a 65 year old would have been 20 before blacks were officially not 2nd class citizens. Very few people born to privilege ever believe they did not make it on their own. I had a friend about 70 now who to this day that does not think going to a very exclusive private school having college totally paid , and getting his first well paid job at the company his father was a vp wasn’t privileged.

    Trump being an ass…, starting with 200 million, 3 bankruptcies, shafting anyone that he can, but he’s the President, it’s ok that I really feel the same way inside.

    1. I wasn’t surprised that they’d vote Republican, no matter what. It did surprise me some that they’d blow off trying to start a full insurrection and ignore actual convictions and indictments.

      I know several people like your friend, and they have the same attitude.

      1. PatrickH says:

        Have you heard the interview question, “what animal would you be?”? I think most Americans should answer ostrich. I think both sides are unwilling to logically look at what we can afford and want to believe our tribe/team will be better as long as they support them no matter what. (I have supported the Buccaneers for more than 40 years which has to be the definition of insanity even when i moved to cities with much better run teams.)

        Then when we here bad things about the guy we picked to make us winners, we close our eyes stick our fingers in our ears, and yell my guys better than your guy. Thinking is not allowed.

        1. Wren Jackson says:

          The problem with “Both sides” don’t look at things is… Please share what the left wants that is unaffordable.

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