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LA Times columnist blasted for comparing Trump-supporting neighbors to Nazi sympathizers

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LA Times columnist Virginia Heffernan is being slammed for a piece in which she compared the “Trumpites next door to our pandemic getaway” in upstate New York — despite their “aggressive niceness”– to Nazi sympathizers and Hezbollah because they backed former President Trump.

The Brooklyn-born writer, also a cultural columnist at Wired, wrote on Friday that her neighbors, “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 51-year-old wrote.

“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?”

She added: “This is also kind of weird. Back in the city, people don’t sweep other people’s walkways for nothing.”

Virginia Heffernan
Virginia Heffernan also cited Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, to illustrate her point.
Getty Images for WIRED25

Heffernan went on to spark a backlash with her comments about Hezbollah, “the Shiite Islamist political party in Lebanon, which 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,” she wrote.

“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.”

snow plow Heffernan
Heffernan was conflicted by her Trump-supporting neighbors plowing her driveway.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

She also cited Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader.

“While the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies him as a dangerous anti-Semite, much of his flock says he’s just a little screwy and unfailingly magnanimous. To them,” she wrote.

Heffernan went on to describe an upper-middle-class French family she stayed with as a teen who did not attend the 100th birthday commemoration for Charles de Gaulle, who freed his country from the Nazis.

“They did have several portraits of Philippe Pétain, Nazi collaborator, on their wall,” she noted.

“What do we do about the Trumpites around us? Like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who spoke eloquently this week about her terrifying experience during the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Americans are expected to forgive and forget before we’ve even stitched up our wounds,” she continued.

“Or gotten our vaccines against the pandemic that former President Trump utterly failed to mitigate.”

She concluded: “My neighbors supported a man who showed near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans. They kept him in business with their support.”

Among those who blasted Heffernan for her piece was Megyn Kelly.

Megyn Kelly
Megyn Kelly was among many voices on Twitter who expressed their displeasure with Heffernan’s column.
Getty Images for Fortune

“This woman compares her Trump-supporting neighbors, who plowed her driveway, to Nazi sympathizers & Hezbollah & wrestles w/whether to show them any kindness since she ‘can’t give them absolution,’” wrote Kelly, who left Fox News in 2017 following a feud with Trump.

“Note to Virginia Heffernen’s neighbors: don’t plow again,” she added.

Attorney Clifton Fels replied: “This is one of the most appalling op-eds I’ve ever read. The complete dearth of humanity; the seething, insular, self-satisfied resentment…if a neighbor reads this and doesn’t immediately pile snow on your house, they will continue, admirably, to exceed you in basic decency.”

Another user, @k_andthe_boys, replied to Heffernan: “As a Trump supporter who shoveled my liberal neighbors driveway 2x last week you know what I was thinking? Nothing. I just did it.

“When my kids saw they fought over who got to help next. Politics aside, I’m a nice person, raising nice people. My neighbors? They’re nice too,” she added.

“This column says a lot more about your character than your neighbors. I’m very happy that you and your judgmental attitude are not my neighbor,” added @hitaputt.

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