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Cindy Ecksol @CindyEcksol
, 21 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
This is like a fortune cookie that offers a template for evaluating things you may feel “stuck” with. Here’s mine. /1
Yesterday I went 2 see my chiropractor, a guy I’ve known for 20 yrs. I’d just returned from a trip 2 Italy so we got started talking about that. But we quickly veered off in2 politics. No surprise:he’s a conservative evangelical Trump supporter, I’m a Jewish centrist Democrat. /2
It started with him bringing up the attack on my synagogue in Pittsburgh with him adding a side comment about how the incidence of such attacks is up because more people than ever are taking antidepressants. “Really?” I said. /3
“This guy actually said he was ‘going in’ to kill the people from HIAS who were destroying our country by bringing in people of color. He was radicalized because Trump and his friends actively and passively support white supremacists” I said. /4
So then came the “what about” stuff. Did I think it was ok for Maxine Waters to call for violence? And for a crowd to protest in front of the homes of public officials and bash their doors or preventing them from enjoying dinner at a restaurant. And so on. /5
Pointing out that these were not even close to equivalent somehow led to the injustices of the #metro movement and what about how Hilary was so awful because of Bill. /6
When I pointed out that Hilary was NOT Bill, and that you could dislike Bill’s behavior and believe he should have suffered consequences he got onto “She was awful and corrupt because she stood by his side.” And he’s more worried about raising his son than his daughters. /7
All those “unjust accusations” when a boy has sex with a girl who is drunk and later accuses him of rape. “Because it is,” I said. “If she can’t consent, it WAS rape. Even if the boy was drunk too.” I didn’t say this, but, hey, if you kill someone while drunk it’s still murder./8
That got us onto Trump’s fostering of the “grab ‘em by the pussy” culture, with me asking why he thought Clinton should have experienced consequences but still supported Trump. The nut: Trump didn’t actually DO that stuff he just talked about it. /9
That took him unto the “Trump has been great for the country so far” litany. Then he said something that shocked me. “If the Holocaust hadn’t happened, don’t you think Hitler would have been acclaimed as one of the great leaders of his time?” /9
His point was that Hitler solved Germany’s economic problems and unified the people. “Holy shit!” I thought. ”He’s creating and sharing an alternative history!” And pointed out that Hitler’s whole unifying pitch was based on the idea of Germans as a superior race. /9
And of course that meant killing anyone who was “other” including 6 million Jews. He asked me what I thought of Hitler Youth and I just stared. “They were like the Boy Scouts,” he said. “Yes,” I replied. “And doesn’t it scare you 2 think that the same thing cld happen here?” /10
There were hundred of thousands of ordinary people in Germany who were just like my chiropractor. They saw Hitler as a strong leader who would unify their nation and reinvigorate it. They were willing to look the other way when “others” were persecuted. /11
Some were even willing to be the ones who executed those draconian laws “for the good of our nation.” Or maybe just following orders. My chiropractor is seeing everything around him through this alternative history. /12
He’s a smart, college educated, industrious, middle-class family man. And the tweet from @Meeky_Meek09 that started me on this thread has crystallized what I should have known: he’s a racist white supremacist. I have known him for years. And I can no longer trust him. /13
I mean, this guy has kept me healthy for 20 years. And I can never go back to him. Because he is toxic. Was this always true and I didn’t notice? Or is it as I perceive that I have stayed the same and he has moved far, far to the right as that became more acceptable? /14
Whichever it is, this terrifies me. That either I didn’t know (or was in denial) all these years or (worse!) that he is immersed in a conservative culture that has changed him. /15
Worse because that means there are millions like him who have become dangerous to me personally and to our democracy. It’s probably some of both: there have been signs along the way when I look back. /16
But I am sure that people like this man have been similarly changed or at least encouraged to come out in the open. And the press is not even reporting the bulk of anti-Semitic incidents occurring these days. /17
This morning at the minyan I heard two capable men admit that they were afraid to wear a kippah in public anymore. One wears it under a ball cap. The other just doesn’t. In Pittwburgh. Here is what security at a production of Fiddler looked like last night: /18
Because, you know, Jewish+Pittsburgh. This has been a long thread, but on this Thanksgiving I am grateful for the tweet that allowed me to fully process yesterday’s experience and share it with all you anonymous tweeps out there. Hope you are all grateful for something too. /end
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