THE VILLAGES, Fla. — There has always been a low-boil tension in The Villages retirement community between the Republican majority and the much smaller cohort of Democrats, but a veneer of good manners in “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown” mostly prevailed on golf courses and at bridge tables.
Those tensions, though, flared two weeks ago during a golf-cart parade for President Donald Trump’s birthday in which a man shouted, “White Power,” when confronted by anti-Trump protesters. A video clip of that confrontation in America’s largest retirement community was tweeted approvingly by Trump last weekend and then taken down.
Some residents say they’ve never seen anything like the politically inspired hostilities that have surfaced over the past several months.
“It’s like a powder keg here,” said resident Alan Stone. “And Trump is just stirring the pot.”
In the past, when conflicting political views came up in The Villages, residents said it was best to say, “I disagree,” and quickly change the topic.