By Buddy Early, January 2021 Issue.
There is an unwritten rule in football you’re expected to follow when your team is up by several touchdowns with a few minutes remaining: you don’t run up the score. You run conservative plays and run out the clock, to not further embarrass the opponent you just whipped. (I bring up this analogy to remind everyone of my butch factor, despite my history of belting out show tunes and going to pageants where men model evening gowns.) Anyway, while not running up the score is a good rule of thumb for football games, I can’t think of a good reason why one would apply this strategy to politics. While we won the battle of the recent presidential election, we’re still in the midst of a war in this country. Mixed metaphors be damned — it’s time to run up the score.
I have a hunch Donald Trump is going to fade away in the coming years — either broke, in failing health, in prison, living in another country without an extradition agreement, take your pick — but his horrible children and sycophant followers will still be around to try to foil any progress on the horizon. They’re going to ride the MAGA train until the wheels come off, and if we are not careful, they’ll speed right back into relevance.
There is so much more work to do, starting with simply undoing all the damage already done by Trump and his cronies. His executive orders stripped away almost every financial and environmental regulation that existed and protected us. And then there’s the matter of his stacking of the Supreme Court. Correcting that will take decades, and it will take expanding the blue hold on the House and Senate and re-electing Democratic presidents for the next several cycles.
In addition to running up the score in Washington, we need to remember the people who let this happen and make sure they feel the consequences of their behaviors (and their votes). Some of these people are in our families, our circles of friends, our community. Remember what they’ve stood for over the previous four years.
They signaled approval of Trump’s behavior on the Access Hollywood tape, on which he bragged about sexual assault on women.
They cheered when he saddled his political opponents with childish nicknames, referred to professional athletes as sons of bitches, and called other countries shitholes.
They made excuses every time we saw him and/or his family members benefit financially from his administration’s corrupt actions.
They accepted his daily lies — small and large, from the size of his crowds at rallies to completely fabricated stories about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even countless former members of his administration of whom he had formerly spoken incredibly high.
They agreed with him that white supremacists are “fine people.”
They followed his non-approach to containing COVID-19, leading to over 300,000 dead. Later, they presumed to simply not care when audiotapes revealed Trump knew of the seriousness of a Coronavirus threat.
They pretended to be deaf when he said things like “stand down and stand by” to his right-wing militia fans.
They defended his payment of $750 in taxes paid, arguing that cheating means he’s a “good businessman.”
They laughed when he threw paper towels at Puerto Rican citizens devastated by Hurricane Maria.
They turned on every single former Trump ally (including Fox News!) who spoke out about Trump’s stupidity, corruption, and the dangers he presented to the country.
They refused to be alarmed at Trump’s comments about nuking hurricanes, windmills causing cancer, and shining an ultraviolet light up our asses to get rid of COVID-19.
They remained silent in the face of evidence Trump was actively trying to steal the election by attempting to cripple the post office and supporting voter suppression efforts in key states.
They decided his collusion with Russia was no big deal.
We can’t forgive and forget. Not yet. That would be very short-sighted of us. Forgiving and forgetting are precisely what the deplorables are counting on. The people who supported Trump need to be reminded that they are not a silent majority. At every opportunity, we need to remind them of the landslide. They need to be made aware that “their kind” is not welcome in our homes, and their ideas for the country will simply be dismissed, as we will be a nation of progress, not regress.
We need to ensure Democrats fill those two Georgia Senate seats. We need to come back stronger in 2022 and increase our leads in both houses of Congress. We need to participate in passing legislation, at local and national levels, that Trumpers will absolutely hate. And our friends (or perhaps I should say enemies) in the Log Cabin Republican and LGBTQ for Trump groups need to be shunned for as long as it takes. (And, by no means should any of us have sex with them!)
My apologies to any fair-minded Republicans that may still exist. You dug this hole for yourself by letting the last four years happen. Your punishment must be decades of Democratic rule.