A few weeks ago, Karlyn Borysenko from New Hampshire, a knitter by avocation and a liberal Democrat by choice, began to feel very uneasy with her online peers as their political vitriol was pointedly and continually directed at anyone who made even the most seemingly innocuous statement in support — or even neutrality toward — Republicans, the president, and any of his supporters.

She wrote a blog post about her decision to challenge her assumptions about Trump supporters — all Trump voters are “racist” and stupid — by attending the recent Trump rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, to see and experience for herself whether the online attacks by “social justice warriors” within the knitting community were valid. You can look up her lengthy post online fairly easily, and no doubt find her attacked now by the same dogmatic SJWs and their media allies.

Karlyn’s reaction to the hate that she was seeing within the online left-wing group she followed is summed up in this quote from her post:

“I started to question everything. How many stories had I been told that weren’t true? What if my perception of the other side is wrong? How is it possible that half the country is overtly racist? Is it possible that Trump derangement syndrome is a real thing, and had I been suffering from it for the past three years? And the biggest question of all was this: Did I hate Trump so much that I wanted to see my country fail just to spite him and everyone who voted for him?”

She writes that people at an MSNBC taping about the upcoming New Hampshire primary urged her to not go to the Trump rally out of fear for her safety, and as one woman said, “those people were the lowest of the low.” Even attempts to dissuade her with offers of pepper spray and warnings of harassment by muscle-bound men did not phase Karlyn’s decision to experience the rally firsthand.

And attend the Trump rally she did, with results that surprised her and would probably dismay purveyors of the typical left-wing narratives about Trump and his supporters. A small part of her commentary: “As I waited, I chatted with the folks around me. And contrary to all the fears expressed, they were so nice. I was not harassed or intimidated, and I was never in fear for my safety even for a moment. These were average, everyday people. They were veterans, schoolteachers, and small business owners who had come from all over the place for the thrill of attending this rally. They were upbeat and excited. In chatting, I even let slip that I was a Democrat. The reaction: ‘Good for you! Welcome!’”

Karlyn left the rally with the sense that Trump conveys optimism for, and pride in, America and Americans, stating the opposite is true when she attends the pre-primary Democrat rallies. She is not committed to voting for Trump, but she clearly recognizes that she has been propagandized by the left into believing the worst of Trump and all his supporters. I can only imagine the sadness she must feel for those among her knitting community who have been attacked and ostracized by the SJWs online. Is it any different in person?

To be clear, anyone who is honest with themselves can’t be entirely happy with any of our presidents in my lifetime — going back to Truman. There is always something to pick apart, some more significant than others. What we now know of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, the Bushes and Obama during their varied tenures is seen through a different lens, depending on how much you read, and who writes it. Now that social media has become the Petri dish for instant toxic political viruses, as Karlyn’s anguish showed, and we currently have a mainstream media that is embedded with the Democratic Party, it is easy to see how the partisan divisions are purposely amplified.

I have worked with, and cheerfully helped out, people who are Bernie supporters, or perhaps Warren supporters, and never dismissed them as people or refused to deal with them. I have relatives with whom I disagree profoundly on politics and religion, but that does not require me to dogmatically classify them as “haters” and shun them. What surprises and dismays me deeply is the opposite seems to be true from the other side. It is well worth considering Karlyn’s introspective examination of this issue followed by looking in the mirror.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.