Op-Ed

Elections Won, Friendships Lost: A Local Man’s Account of the Divided Nation

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The fated $100 bill [Photograph provided by Mike Geniella]

The following essay was penned by Mike Geniella, local media consultant and former report for the Press Democrat:

Here is the crisp $100 bill that arrived in the mail the other day from a former Ukiah Valley friend to settle an election bet. He was and he remains an ardent Trump supporter. Sadly, the bet bitterly underscores the deep political divide in this country, and in our own communities.  I say ‘former’ friend because as the November election neared the rhetoric between us escalated, and then exploded. As a result, a 35-year friendship appears to be damaged beyond repair. I made the mistake of telling the person, an individual who is a prosperous community leader and the next generation in a decades-old family business, that I could not respect him because of his unrelenting defense of Trump, and his nasty attacks on anyone who dared to criticize. I almost immediately tried to reel back my sweeping condemnation, offering apologies for the heat of the moment. The efforts were to no avail. We ended up telling each other to “eff off.” This all came down before the storming of the nation’s Capitol by Trump supporters. God know what we might have said to each other had we still been talking then. I am not happy about my role in the apparent demise of this long friendship. I could have been more circumspect, I suppose. Yet I am sick of Trump and his cult like followers being given such wide berth, and somehow their actions being accorded the status of ‘just politics.’ It is not. It is dangerous. The man tried to seriously undermine our nation’s democracy, and his reckless antics still at play. Since the Ben Franklin arrived in the mail, I have pondered what to do. (“I pay my bets,” declared the one line note from the former friend.) Then over the weekend I read about a new Political Action Committee formed by Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of 10 GOP lawmakers under fire from the Trump crowd for his support of impeachment. It is Kinzinger’s plea for responsible Republicans to take back their party. I have decided to donate the money to Kinzinger’s cause in the name of my former friend. Join me if you like: https://www.country1st.com/.

Categories: Op-Ed

4 replies »

  1. That is a lovely post! Brought tears to my eyes!
    Thank you, Mike Geniella, for sharing it with us.
    So many of us share similar experiences.

  2. Hmm well it’s peppered with what seems some sincerity and regret, but then smacks of an op to gain support for Trump impeachment 😀

    Was quite exciting this term to see the black vote go up…way up…for Donald Trump this time ’round. That means black folks watched him for four years on, and concluded: “You know what? I like this man. Four years of studying him, watching him, seeing his actions, has shown me that he is in fact looking out for black folks, and all skin color folks for that matter. So much more than democrats that I’m actually going to vote for him”

    You want proof white liberals are the real racists? White liberals everywhere, from my own workplace, to youtube vids, to news talk shows, mags, books…. have all come back with the same condescending, racists reactions: “It’s sad that black people have become so victimized and brainwashed to believe Trump and conservatives care more about them than democrats!”

    Or in layman’s terms: “Ah, poor little uneducated ignorant black people, awww you’re just so naive. If only you could become like us intelligent, ‘educated’, discerning white liberals! Yes then you would understand why we, white liberals, are so much more enlightened, ‘woke’, intelligent than you poor little black folks. But it’s not your fault, and we understand, that’s why you need us white liberals so much, you see? You’re inferior to us. You NEED us. We’re your saviors! Because you black folks are so weak and pathetic, you can only be saved by us….*white* liberal people!”

    Black folks have been coming ’round for a long time now. Things is, liberals don’t know it. They refuse to watch conservative news…where intelligent, thoughtful black people often voice these things. They refuse to watch conservative Youtube channels….where discerning, smart black people often voice these things. They refuse to watch *black* conservative Youtube channels….where a very, very large population of thoughtful, intelligent, discerning black folks discuss all of these things.

    And why do white liberals refuse to watch these sources. Because….”conservatives are hateful!’….”they’re racist”….”they’re a cult!”…We DON’T WATCH OR READ HATE!!!”

    Um, no sorry, what you don’t watch or read is any form of *dissent* to your opinions. (Or your “facts” as you insist). You refuse because your are utterly convinced that you are superior, that you are “educated”, and that you would not “lower” yourself to mix with such peasants.

    Here’s the funny part: Because you refuse to watch. To read. To SEE what’s happening among the *real* people out here. The workers. Moms and dads. The common people. Because of your stubborn ignorance and superiority complexes, you never *see it coming*….and then are just shocked, “shocked” you tell us, when the country moves more conservative. “Shocked” when Trump gets 70 MILLION votes. And really, really shocked when more, LOTS more, LOTS and LOTS more black folks voted for him. And Mexican folks 😀

    You see, there’s no way for me to explain this to you, because in all likelihood, you’ve already stopped reading. Because, you know…”racist, bigot, cultists, I won’t read this!”

    And because of that, you’ll continue to be “shocked” as the country continues to move more conservative, Shocked when the coming elections, in all areas, will show a larger and larger percentage of brown-skinned folks voting conservative. Shocked I say.

    Black folks, and let’s just say all brown-skinned folks, are far…far…more discerning than any white liberal will ever care to admit. Why else do you think so many black conservative movements have been so successful over the last 10 years? Do you know how many black folks *hate* Black Lives Matter? No, no you don’t, because you quickly dismiss any such thinking person as poor pathetic black person who has been brainwashed (unlike you the white unbrainwashable liberal).

    You cannot, and will not, ever admit that at the very root of your “anti-racism”, is pure racism. You’re very angry at the thought of black people becoming more educated than you on facts. More discerning. More anything. Are you screaming mad at me right now for saying this? No, not really, what you’re really mad at is that you know deep down, you are thinking exactly what I am saying. That these black folks, particularly black conservatives, or simply black non-democrats, or simply the non-voting common black layperson who dares to intelligently questions liberal racism…..cannot, can not, possibly be smarter on these issues than me: White Liberal.

    Watch this and by the video’s end, ask yourself how many times you called these black men uneducated, ignorant, poor-victims, brainwashed, misled, or any other inferior-insinuating term or name:

    Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World – Full Video
    Channel: Free To Choose Network
    Site: Youtube

    Or Larry Elder. Anthony Bryan Logan. The Officer Tatum. Candace Owens.

    • Thank you for pointing out the obvious! You are 100% right! I watched Trump meet with the members of the black caucus and they thanked him for being the only one (politician) that didn’t talk differently when he talked to them. They made a joke about Hillary carrying her hot sauce in her purse and Joes you aint black statement. They said, Youre the first black president! It was great! But the thing I really noticed and Im sure its what they noticed too, was that Trumps body language and everything he said told it all. He doesn’t think black people are different than white people, he was completely comfortable in his skin. and with theirs, and he LISTENED to what they were saying and asked what he needed to do to get what they wanted . At one point he stopped the meeting, apparently someone in attendance had someone waiting for her in the car outside. He said , go out there and get him . Its too hot out there to wait in the car. Bring him in…But of course nobody covers or even noticed theses things in the press. Trump was a good president. Its a shame that people don’t know it.

  3. “The man tried to seriously undermine our democracy” ?????? LOOK up the meaning of democracy. NOWHERE will you find all three branches of government being dominated by one party called democracy, unless you are a DEMOCRAT. NOWHERE will you find the censoring and cancelation of 74 million voters voices described in a democracy. It comes down to logic and emotion. Trump voters voted for policies that would be beneficial to all Americans. What did Biden voters vote for? 10 days in and LOOK at what he has done already. NOTHING GOOD OR LOGICAL for US, though Pelosi just made millions and Janet Yellen 800k on stock exchange. Those are only the ones we know..Mr. Monsanto is in charge of agriculture again, more yummy cloned beef and who poison in our crops, 11,000 + good paying union jobs gone and broken agreements with Canada and Mexico/ China and Russia telling US what to do or else nuclear war, which is now a very real threat. I lost a few stupid ‘friends’ over this election too. Frankly, I can’t respect people that are so emotional they can’t think. I cannot even believe you would feel victorious or vindicated to post such an article of stupidity. I’ll wager you will miss your friend more than he will miss you

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