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Pro-Trump Retirement Community The Villages Is Descending Into Civil War

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When an elderly man was filmed shouting “white power” while driving through America’s largest retirement community on a golf cart, it was the latest installment of a culture war Chris Stanley had watched unfold for years.

“Battle lines are drawn,” Stanley, who serves as president of The Villages Democratic Club in the enormous town geared at well-kempt retirees in central Florida, told The Daily Beast.

But the scene—which was amplified when President Donald Trump approvingly tweeted it before deleting the post this weekend—marked a sharp deterioration from just a few years ago, Stanley explained. In fact, political relations were relatively friendly until Trump’s election.

“We coexisted happily,” she said. “We had our club, they had their club. They had their speakers, we would occasionally get a speaker.”

A massive 55-and-over community in Florida, The Villages is a longtime Republican stronghold. Donald Trump carried 70 percent of the vote in the area in 2016, the expanding town amounting to a sort of Baby Boomer rebuttal to the much-hyped idea of waning political power among elderly white people in America.

But conversations with residents suggest Trump’s election brought a surge in hostilities that has boiled over in recent months. The president’s tweet this past weekend—of one of his supporters yelling the racist phrase during dueling political rallies at The Villages—showed how far relations have degraded.

“Now anywhere we go, they’re waiting for us,” Stanley told The Daily Beast.

Tensions came to a now-infamous head on June 14. One demonstration, a large golf cart rally, was composed of Trump supporters celebrating the president’s birthday (some also had other messages like “blue lives matter” on their carts). Counter-protesters........

© The Daily Beast