THE BURDEN OF FRIENDSHIP-GENTLE RANT ALERT

The most infamous tow truck owner in the South…maybe nationwide…well on Facebook at least, is a friend of mine. Is…not was…! He is a friend of mine despite my social liberalism and his Trump leanings. Just so we understand his leanings, were he the Tower of Pizza, he would have fallen over into Trump’s lap by now. No I’m not going to divulge his name but I will call him Sampson. My “conservative, Trump supporting, gun toting, Christian values spouting and I refuse to tow Bernie supporters” friend started a wee bit of a furor when “God told him” to leave a handicapped woman on the side of the road because of her “Bernie” bumper sticker. Sampson says he did not know she was handicapped, despite her handicapped sticker, and I believe him. I am sure he didn’t see it because the Sampson I know would not have ignored a handicapped sticker. I am sure he was simply blinded by the light given off from the “Feel the Bern” sticker. Look guys, sometimes I can’t see an elephant sleeping under my nose or the food I dropped on the floor so I am not going to throw stones.

I am very disappointed in Sampson but I’m not going to abandon him. Abandonment is not what friends do even when they disagree with each other or one is disappointed in the other. Sampson has never been anything but kind, straight forward and above board with me and my wife Linda Gail. I’ve bought several cars from him, dined with him, shot the bull with him and borrowed equipment and tools from him. I admit Sampson is a “wheeler dealer” and probably should have named his company “Anything For a Buck!” but wheeling and dealing is not illegal…maybe. Besides, he has not tried to steal my bass boat or woo my wife so I am not going to throw him under his tow truck. Did I write that in the correct order?

I won’t desert him but I won’t defend him either. While I defend his right to leave anyone on the side of the road he chooses, I won’t defend his actual action or his decision. Sampson was out and out wrong. Good Samaritans don’t leave people stranded and the God I worship would not tell me to “leave the lady socialist on the road,” handicapped or not. The situation could have been handled differently and Sampson should make his lack of trust in “communist left wing hippy freaks” known and mention his adversion upfront.

Lack of trust may not be the whole issue but rather out and out hatred. Not necessarily hatred on Sampson’s part but rather the social and cultural atmosphere we find ourselves inhaling. My brother tells me all of the time, “It’s not Trump. People just want change. People are fed up.” I agree with him about being fed up but I fear Sampson’s presidential choice, Mr. Trump, is using our hatred and bigotry, along with the desire for change, to power his campaign. People are no longer nice to each other, especially with the anonymity of social media. Any idiot with a computer can say whatever he wants to without the fear of getting kicked in the crotch. Worse are the creative non-idiots with an agenda to push who play to the folks who think everything on the internet is true. Trump did not create this scenario and may not be a bigoted racist himself but I believe he is using bigotry and racism to his advantage.

Hitler used mass media to create a “Let’s Make Germany Great Again” campaign along with non-Aryans as scapegoats to give “good Germans” someone to hate and a focus for their energies. Mr. Trump has just taken the next natural step, utilizing social media to create a “Let’s Make America Great Again” campaign and has used most every American fear, except our fear of clowns, as a reason to create scapegoats for us to focus our hate and energies. Clowns may yet be utilized as soon as Mrs. Clinton secures her party’s nomination. Before someone points out Godwin’s Law, yes I did compare Trump to Hitler but only his methods and he has had much help from the trolls that lurk near “the bridge” known as social media.(1) Despite Hitler’s track record, I believe Trump to be infinitely more dangerous. After all, if he wins the election he will have his finger on the nuclear trigger surrounded by a group of minions yelling, “Push it! Push it! Push it! We dare you!”

Differences in political opinions can make friendships challenging and interesting but should not end friendships. When I finally talk to Sampson I will tell him that I am disappointed and why. He will listen intently and then defend himself. There may even be a little yelling involved but at the end of the day, I won’t leave until I am sure we are still friends or when the ambulance leaves to take me away. I am guessing I should leave my car with the COEXIST sticker at home. I shouldn’t be taking chances at my age.

(1)Reference is from the Norwegian fairytale “THREE BILLIE GOATS GRUFF.”

More nonfiction by Don Miller is available at http://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

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