Op-Ed: Don't Let Washington Forget Where We've Been
By Sam Youngman & Adam Parkhomenko
As President Donald Trump was continuing his coup attempt while having lunch with the vice president on Tuesday, members of the White House press corps were hard at work...
...Tweeting out pictures of their New York magazine photoshoot.
Yes, the great Washington erasure is already underway even as the crimes, corruption and abuses of the last four years continue to dominate our daily discourse and threaten our democracy.
There will be wholesale revisionism after what we’ve seen the last four years.
Republicans who enabled Trump will suddenly develop amnesia. Democrats who were too weak to stand up to him will pretend like they were great warriors. And the press that took four years and way too many dead bodies to find the courage to ask Trump about one of this almost 30,000 lies to the American public will talk about what a great job they did as watchdogs even while thousands of Americans die a day.
But we remember, and we won’t forget.
We can’t forget.
For the past four years, the guardrails of democracy have bent and at times broken as professional Washington largely tried to avoid angering the lunatic in the White House, putting their personal ambitions above their missions or just plain pissing themselves at the prospect of a mean tweet. And they’re still going.
On Wednesday, Republicans on Capitol Hill will join the president in attempting a coup as they try to throw out millions of American votes and install a dictator. This is a full-on assault on our values, ideals and system of government. And the people behind it should live the rest of their days in shame.
And if they were in another line of work in another city, maybe they would be. But Ari Fleischer helped lie this country into a devastating war, and the Washington Post still calls to get his take on the politics of the day. One of the reporters celebrated by New York magazine also threw a going-away party for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
It’s the Washington way. The pain didn’t reach them, so they move on. They hope everyone else will too.
But not this time. No, this time we’re going to remember. We’re going to remember the lies. We’re going to remember the treason. We’re going to remember the corruption. We’re going to remember the death. And we’re going to remember who made it all possible.
But it will fall on us to do so.
When politicians and the media want to move on, we have to let them know that’s not ok. After four years of working the phones, resisting, fighting and winning, Democrats know how to make ourselves heard. And it looks like we’re not done putting all that training to use.
There are traitors among us. And as good as unity sounds, we’re just not real sure how we’re supposed to make peace with the ass-kissing scumbags who will try to overthrow the will of the people for their gameshow host hero or the idiots who want to accuse us daily of trafficking and eating children.
That’s not to say we don’t want to see Joe Biden succeed in his goal of uniting the country. There’s nothing we would love to see more than an America that has reclaimed its moral bearings and its sanity. It’s just that we have a hard time figuring out how that could happen.
As long as Fox News and right-wing internet trash are lying to millions, as long as mainstream journalists are both-sidesing Democrats and fascists and as long as Donald Trump is on this Earth, unity will seem like an impossible dream.
But it’s a good dream for a good man to pursue, and we understand that the president-elect has a country to run, a pandemic to end and a national discourse to try and cleanse and salvage.
So we’re rooting for Biden and his efforts to bring this country together. And when we’re not, we’ll be pressuring him and the other people we elected to stand up for the rule of law, to demand accountability for the more than 350,000 friends, family members and neighbors we lost, to protect what’s left of our democracy and to stand up to those trying to end it.
We’re already working to find candidates we can send to Washington in 2022 to help Biden fix all that has been broken, and we will mobilize like hell when Democrats move to pass and enact the policies so many of us want to see.
When Mueller failed to protect the law and the sovereignty of our elections, it became crystal clear that nobody was coming to save us but us. But that has always been true in America, and the last four years were a powerful reminder of the potential and pitfalls of self-governance.
Let’s not forget that lesson.
If we want accountability, we’ll have to demand it. If we want truth, we’ll have to fight for it. If we want democracy, we’ll have to defend it.
And if we want Washington to remember the horrors of the Trump years, we’ll have to remind them.
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