I am often asked by whites, “What are you going to do without Donald Trump?” Or “What are you going to write about when Trump isn’t on the news?” Some people even have the gall to suggest, “You will miss Trump when he’s gone.”
It is believed that the soon-to-be ex-president, with his seemingly insatiable appetite for crime and failure, has been a “blessing” to his critics, especially those of us focused on racial and social justice. In reality, it is absurd that people think I need some kind of bloody racist at the head of government in order to have reason to write about racist and social justice in this country. And it is downright ridiculous to say that Trump, one of the most ineffective presidents of all time, was a linchpin of the “news”. Trump didn’t create news – he suppressed news with his childish, incoherent verbal abuse and proclamations.
Consider the past few weeks: do you know how many sharp and bitter border pillars I could have gotten out of the Biden transition if Trump had just walked away when he lost the election, like a regularly failed president? Do you know how much I wanted to explore the studio space between $ 1,400 and $ 2,000, but ended up being “distracted” by the goddamn coup attempt?
The question of what I’m going to write about is insulting. I wrote about the stunted logic behind a Republican theory of “justice” long before Trump came down an escalator. I have talked about the deep racist animus that continues to motivate Republican politics. For the past few years (or days), old friends have been telling me that warnings from Republicans have sounded since then secondary school “Finally making sense.” The operational difference in my career during the Trump era compared to before is that more whites are willing to listen to the truth about their country – a truth I’ve been telling them since I learned two sentences together connect to. Trump is a reflection of 40 years of Republican politics: he didn’t start this mess, and his departure won’t end it.
Whether white people have the tolerance to hear this argument after the clownish mascot of white supremacy was removed from the White House is unclear. Whether people have the stamina to eradicate Trumpism after Trump is unlikely. We are already seeing some media outlets beginning to launder the reputations of some of the Republicans responsible for the past few years of tragedy just as they were trying to rehabilitate the reputation of George W. Bush and his fellow torturers. John Yoo, to take just one example, wrote the torture notes for Bush and now teaches law at the University of California at Berkeley. This guy is regularly kicked out as a respected legal scholar, just as anyone is supposed to forget their role in promoting human rights abuses.
I expect the same thing to happen to many Trump enablers. Betsy DeVos is going to be president of the university somewhere. Bill Barr will be a frequent guest on Sunday morning talk shows and will give his opinion on Biden’s leadership actions. Stephen Miller will be hired by Josh Hawley on the 2024 Campaign Committee. Lindsey Graham becomes the caddy for every new leader who appears to be the strongest.
I’ll write about it, but history tells me that fewer people will care. My experience tells me that people want To forgive Republicans. They want to rehabilitate Republicans, including those who have caused direct damage to the country. They couldn’t find John Edwards, who was running an entire presidential campaign on the rights and dignity of the poor Professor Xaiver’s Cebebro machine after embarrassing himself. But we’ll never get rid of Kellyanne Conway. There will be a lot to write about after the Trump era because Republicans never leave.
However, I am not happy to write about that. After four long years of writing from a defensive crouch, I can’t wait to do what I do best again: the “white moderates who are more committed to “order” than justice. “I look forward to being disappointed and overwhelmed by the Biden government and to advocating a more aggressive approach to driving progress. Again, it will be a privilege to fight friends that I agree with 85 percent of the time. This is a lot less stressful than trying to sleep with one eye open and waiting for the #NeverTrump Republicans to change my priorities.
The truth is that the past four years have been intellectually boring. Fighting Republicans is boring. What applies to rigorous thinking on the right is not rigorous or even thoughtful. It only trolls with bullying in the schoolyard. Right wing leaders are just playing an intellectually bankrupt game to explain why rules and norms shouldn’t apply to Republican presidents. For example, they do not believe that presidents should bribe or bribe foreign governments to meddle in elections or label a free press as an enemy of the people. They don’t believe presidents should be able to declare fake national emergencies to steal defense budget money to build public works that have not been specifically approved by Congress, and they don’t believe that presidents put pressure on state election officials should exercise to declare them election winners they have lost.
They don’t think an old president should do these things – they think republican Presidents should do these things. And that makes it pointless to discuss them.
There is no actual or moral debate as to whether children should be kidnapped, locked up, and denied toothbrushes. There is no scientific debate about whether human activity is warming the planet or whether people should wear a mask during a communicable disease pandemic. Even their ingrained ideological arguments – that the state should force women into childbirth or encourage bigotry under the guise of religious freedom – are not interesting, or even logically consistent. Your arguments are not “controversial”. They are just a worldview decoupled from facts.
Republican arguments are made maliciously, based either on a dissociative break with reality or on the deep and lingering hypocrisy of their movement. And so I don’t argue with Republicans. I’m trying to expose Republicans. Any debate is just waiting for it to appeal to the power of an invisible man of heaven who cannot be interrogated. The only “challenge” is getting them to admit it in three tweets or less.
Arguing with other members of the left – progressives, liberals, radicals, even the occasional centrist or neoliberal – is more intellectually stimulating overall, as there are some basic facts about which we all broadly agree: “People are equal created. “” Women count as people. ” “Black and brown people have always been people and were people first when you want to find out about the whole thing.” “Poor people [checks notes] Yes, people too. “Walmart is not human, and it can be said that“ people ”are not even in their name.” These truths seem obvious, but Republican lawmakers can hardly write a bill without violating one of them.
How we achieve equality, justice and fairness for all people of the country is a live debate and often a desperate battle. But it’s worthy. And an interesting one. I firmly believe that aggressive policies are urgently needed to address the judicial deficit in this country. However, others on the left side of the spectrum firmly believe that taking a more incremental approach is a surefire way to make lasting change. These other people are (obviously) wrong and I can’t wait to tell them why. But since these other people are generally decent people who argue in good faith about the best way to achieve our generally shared goals of justice, they might actually be listening. I can convince a person to the left of the center with facts and reasons. If I make a good point, they could evolve and grow. And it’s not for nothing that I could learn something myself.
Pushing the Biden administration to do more, get them to walk further, kick them to get faster – these are the fights that are really worth my time. It will be frustrating at times and likely disappointing overall – but I couldn’t be more excited to be frustrated and disappointed.
I’ve been horrified and scared for four years. I look forward to rejoining the “loyal opposition” to the government. Because it was no fun defending the idea of ”government” from the Republicans who are trying to pillage it.