In my career as a teacher of literature and composition, I taught students to parse sentences to better understand a text. When I read the string of texts between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows, as reported in the Washington Post, I parsed two of them to fuller comprehend the thinking of Thomas and Meadows and their intent. The italics are mine, but here are the two as reported by Woodward and Costa : Meadows writes, “ …This is a fight of good versus evil. Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”
Thomas replies, “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”
As pointed out in the Post reporting, Meadows makes two Biblical references in his text and Thomas responds with a thank you. In her text the indefinite pronouns that and This refer to Meadows’ text, which she tells him are a comfort to her and encourage her. The This [referring to Meadows’ text] is also combined with a reference to “a conversation with my best friend just now,” that like Meadows’ text encourages her. We don’t know who her “best friend” is, but we know that her immediately past conversation with him or her is as important as Meadows’ text in helping her “to keep holding on.” Thomas tells us in her own words that she is conversing about the potential overthrow of our democracy with her friend as she texts with Meadows.
It can be debated if Meadows is pandering to Thomas in his text to her; after all, we watched him to that repeatedly. However, by parsing Thomas’ text we gain a better understanding of her thoughts and hear her say that the conversation “just now” with that “best friend” encourages her to continue her support of the attack against America.
This simple grammatical exercise shows the need to know who her best friend is because along with Meadows’ text, her best friend is encouraging her to overthrow our democracy. If it is an ordinary citizen that is unfortunate, but if it is the person she has often referred to as her best friend, it is a national issue and must be dealt with. Ginni Thomas needs to identify her best friend who encourages her to keep holding on in her assault against America.