Do Whatever You Want, Forever

My biggest takeaway from the Trump administration was that you can do whatever you want, forever. It’s depressing how little of an exaggeration that is.

I came to this conclusion in like 2018, after all the bananas-corrupt cabinet appointments and the first couple rounds of crimes and the metaphorical flaking off of the last big pieces of gold veneer on our democracy. You can just do stuff, and you can do it shamelessly, and probably you will face no consequences. Now this is obviously an oversimplification. Buti f you’re white, and you speak English with an American accent, and you’re able-bodied and your gender presentation isn’t too fucky, you can get away with a lot more than you think you can.

And most of the elected officials in this country meet the criteria above. The GOP elected officials figured out that they can do whatever they want forever decades ago.

The Democratic party has not fucking figured it out, and I simply do not understand why not.

“When they go low, we go high” is a rallying cry that does not apply to the real world anymore (if it ever did), and certainly does not apply to dealing with fascists. When fascists go low, you string a tripwire. When fascists go low, you rent an excavator. The Christofascists running our state legislutures and courts think they know what hell is, and it is the responsibility of decent people to show them that they don’t know a damn thing about hell.

I’m not saying there are never consequences. I’m saying there are often fewer consequences than you anticipate, especially if you are an anxious sort who likes to think through every possible consequence before making a decision. I’m saying this most especially to my fellow majoritarian-appearing folks who don’t trigger immediate sirens in the minds of small town sheriffs. We could be doing more. We should be doing more. We have a moral imperative to be doing more to fight authoritarian movements.

The Democratic party is so utterly afraid of being perceived as impolite that they’ve punted on dozens of good opportunities to improve their constituents’ lives in the last four years alone. And in the meantime, the GOP does whatever they want, forever. With no consequences. They’ve taken bribes, gutted beloved social safety net programs, stonewalled nominations, harassed colleagues and strangers alike, punched journalists, you name it. I would ask when the Dems are going to decide to face the reality of U.S. government in the year 2024, but I know the answer.

They won’t.