Yesterday a Trump district chair called me and said she was off the Trump train. Over 50,000 people viewed the interview on my blog, DailyKos, OpEdNews, and Facebook. One of my Liberal readers, Cliff Nelson, wrote an extensive rebuttal saying "Tania Vojvodic is poison!" What do you think about the points he made.
The point of the interview was to hear out a Trump supporter who was having several thoughts and wanted it known. My goal was to give her space. I wanted to listen and have her say as much as possible. It helps me understand the thought process and provides inroads when it is appropriate to work on eradicating that type of mindset.
I think it is important for liberals and Right Wingers alike to understand that no one will change anyone's mind unless we get to the root of the pathology.
I understand where Cliff Nelson is coming from entirely. I understand the inability to understand how people who genuinely believe they are good can fall prey to the evil emanating from well-constructed campaigns that necessarily use all the isms to foment division, dissension, and fear. My thought is if both sides abide by that tenet, then the purveyors of said evil would have won.
Here is the letter from my Liberal reader.
Dear Mr. Willies:
I don't know where to post this publicly. I tried to register on your site, to put it in the comments, but apparently, my pop-up blocker won't let me. I wish I could somehow scream this warning from the rooftops: Tania Vojvodic is poison!
My observations, taken chronologically as the recording progresses:
Vojvodic said she's "never had a bad engagement with a liberal." That's too bad, because she deserves to experience one. She bears a great burden of responsibility -- a personal guilt with which she obviously has not yet come to terms, and desperately seeks to avoid confronting, as do all embarrassed Republicans these days.
Some will claim I am being superficial with the following point, but to me it is important: her poor command of language -- repeated subject-verb disagreements, bad conjugation -- are enough to put me on my guard. I have seen the fruits of leadership by mediocrity. One thing about it, though: she's the perfect GOP communications pro -- saccharine, sly, and windy.
Vojvodic seems mainly annoyed that Trump hasn't kept all of his worst promises -- e.g. she thinks Trump isn't deporting enough "illegals."
And did anyone else notice this? She referred to "Democrat caucus leaders" -- so she's got the old "Democrat as an adjective" slur down pat. I'm willing to believe she doesn't know any better, but it is still repellent, an indicator of the unsanitary political space that hatched her.
I don't like the way Vojvodic nods reflexively at her interlocutor even as he is still framing his question, before she can really know what it is he is going to say or ask. That kind of tic has always alerted me to fake comity, dishonesty, even to total lack of interest in what is being said. She's just trying to get through to her next turn to talk. Which reminds me: I don't like her overbearing speech style, either. She didn't have that much to say, and it needn't have taken 19 minutes.
Vojvodic said the only Trump "appointments" she agrees with so far are Jeff Sessions and Neil Gorsuch! Really? If she agrees with those disastrous nominations, then what basis for constructive engagement with her can liberals hope for? She hasn't at all changed her heart or her mind; she's just disappointed in Trump because (in her view) he's not as awful as she had hoped he would be.
Vojvodic said, "I think you and I can agree that both parties has [sic] gone in a complete different direction [sic]. (I cannot agree on that.) She then takes the thought to exactly the place she really wanted to go, adding, "both parties are just as corrupt" and that it's a "major disappointment on both sides." That's right, she even shoe-horned in the literal, hackneyed "both sides" phrase. This destroys all trust with me. Here I am being sold false equivalency between the treasonous, seditious, venal, white-nationalist, neo-Nazi GOP, and the Democratic party. False equivalency is how Vojvodic inoculates herself from answering for her own complicity: by tainting the "other side" with an "equal" brush where it is not deserved. She wants us to believe we are all just as traitorous, and so we should all just get along. Well, she's not getting away with it -- not with me, anyway. It is the Republican party that has gone insane. Democrats are pretty much still where we have been since the New Deal. Democrats are not veering in any "direction." Republicans are detaching from the Earth!
Vojvodic ended on a predictably Christian note (how did I know this was coming?), claiming that one can't be a Christian and "bash a liberal" without being a hypocrite. She said, "If you are a Christian then you need to treat others as you would like and want to be treated." Ah! The Golden Rule! Someone should tell her that the Golden Rule runs across virtually all cultures and faiths and non-faiths, and is much older than Christianity, and does not depend on any religious superstition to work beautifully. I am an atheist, but I still believe in the Golden Rule, as it was taught to me in kindergarten and by my mother.
I wish Tania Vojvodic only well personally, but I don't want to be allied with her; I don't want to be friends; and I don't want any "dialog" with her or people like her. I don't want to make room for their rehabilitation, so they could have a place to come after they have betrayed Trump the same way they betrayed America. Life is too short, and after 58 years I'm starting to feel the press of time. Today I only want to commune with the good and the wise. And I want to defeat and destroy the political party to which Vojvodic will always naturally attach herself. Not make peace with it. That time has passed.
So what do you think?
Also published on Medium.