Op-Ed: Let’s Defend Democracy Now & Fight With Each Other Later
By Sam Youngman & Adam Parkhomenko
The Republican Party is threatening to overturn the election, subvert the will of the people and install Donald Trump as an illegitimate president.
So maybe Democrats can pick another time to fight with each other.
Aside from the orgasmic celebrations of Saturday, the days, hours and minutes since last Tuesday’s elections have been nerve-wracking. There are way too many conspiracy theories and way too many conspiracy theorists out there pushing insane ideas about how to steal this election, and the official Republican Party has led these efforts at every turn.
And while we take a great deal of comfort in the soothing words of President-elect Joe Biden, keeping the faith is no easy chore when we know just how dishonest, despicable and desperate Republicans are.
If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now: the GOP doesn’t give a shit about America or Americans. They care about themselves, their bank accounts, their jobs, their ambitions and their party. And that’s it. It’s why they’re trying to undermine our democracy instead of working to save Americans from COVID.
And the political media, well, they care about ratings and clicks and their ambitions and their jobs and making sure everyone knows how fair and balanced they are. And that’s it. It’s why they keep telling us they’re not worried about a damaging Trump stunt after five years of getting played by underestimating damaging Trump stunts.
Democrats, on the other hand, care about a lot of things and a lot of people. It’s one of the many things that makes us different from Republicans, and it’s also one of the reasons we’re always fighting with each other. Most of us mean well, but we have different ideas about what our priorities should be and how we should accomplish them.
Some people want to fight for Medicare for All right now because healthcare should be a human right, and that right shouldn’t be held off for a minute longer. Others want to move slowly with an approach that expands Obamacare because it’s also important to win elections and doing too much too fast can scare people off.
Some people think the House would’ve gained seats or we would’ve won the Senate if the progressives in our party were more savvy and more understanding of the challenges Democrats in tougher districts face. Others think we would’ve done better if Democrats were more aggressive and less apologetic in declaring and defending where they stand.
And while our people have been having this debate in view of a press corps that loves to write “Democrats in disarray” stories, Trump and his idiot cult have been working overtime to steal this election at worst and undermine our democracy at best.
Too-cool-for-school beltway types are telling us this can’t happen. Of course, most of them were telling us a week and half ago about the landslide that was coming. And you know what their record is for the past five years. So they haven’t let being massively wrong stop them from continuing to claim they can see the future. Yeah, they’re basically shittty fortune tellers.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe this is all just bluster. Maybe the installation of the heartless anti-American kiss-asses at the Pentagon is just fine and dandy. Maybe these state legislators suggesting they can decide this election themselves is just talk. And maybe it’s fine that a Turkish dictator will respect American democracy but the leader of the United States Senate won’t.
We sure as hell hope that’s the case.
But after five years of watching the unthinkable happen on an almost daily basis, who in their right mind would say now that it can’t happen again? It seems like after all this time in Trumpland, we would’ve learned that norms don’t hold and it’s smart to assume the worst.
There will be plenty of time for Democrats to fight with each other. Aside from worrying and kicking Trump ass, it’s what we do best. And there are real debates to be had about the future of the party, especially as generational divides become more apparent. But now we need to be focused on defending our big victory from people who spent the last few years showing us they don’t believe in American democracy.
And here’s a newsflash — more than 70 million people watched Trump talk about his ratings and play golf while Americans were dying hard, lonely deaths in isolation and they still decided they wanted another four years of that. If there are that many dangerous, uncaring or uninformed dunces among us, then we will need a united front to repel them.
We need the progressives, we need the centrists, we need their relatives and their friends, we need city folk and country folks and we need anyone and everyone else who doesn’t want to become the United States of the Goddamn Trump Family. This isn’t about kumbaya. This is about survival.
So until we get this un-American orange asshole out of office and make sure our democracy has been saved, let’s stop attacking each other and remember what we’re up against.
We can go back to our usual disarray when this job is finished.
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