Puns. My kryptonite.
It’s no real surprise that we find ourselves here – either at the end of all things or, maybe, at the moment we get wise – just as the Administration comes up to their first 100 Days mark. If the bullshit we tolerate in political theater could be measured as if a water table, we’d notice we’re drowning in the filth now. As it is, I suppose it depends on your own personal tolerance for all things politically fecal.
Donald Trump, purveyor of modern miracles – how else can you explain his career, really? – predictably entered the dream job only to realize it was someone else’s dream and well goodness me, you really do have to prepare to be President. Who knew it could be so complicated? When you awake, wide-eyed, stumbling into this mortal realm, silver spoon in hand, and keep finding success despite never truly ceasing the stumble, there are no lessons to learn apart from the value of unthinking inertia. In business, as in sex, this is a man who never learned to take no for an answer. In business, as in sex, he took what he wanted anyway. If he’s showed signs of slowing as he hocks his wares in the fora of governing, I haven’t seen it.
Donald Trump: as if Willy Wonka’s terror gondola mated with a petulant man baby.
Name a country that Donald Trump hasn’t pissed off or offended in some obvious way and I’ll name you the brutal dictator that runs it. Name a policy that Donald Trump has come to Jesus on and I’ll report to you the sub-30 minute conversation that he had with someone that caused him to drastically change his perspective. Name a success he’s had out of the too-short list of successes and I’ll name you a Trump voter pissed off by it, and a policy failure offsetting it to boot.
He’s a two steps forward, five steps and an oh shit I fell backwards kind of guy… Again, he’s a professional stumbler.
The presidency has transformed into this vague collection of ill-formed ideas, ill-thought strategies and ill-educated discernment, all of course led by a man whose political career has been forged out of the iron of pure, uncut fabrications. His lies felt so fucking good at the time, I imagine, for those people who snorted the shit for sport, and we’re left with an electorate littered with Americans who got indelibly hooked on what this hack has been selling.
Then there’s the rest of us, wavering between disdain and hope, trying to hold the American ideal together with a clutch of our hands, trying to be patient with those still consuming Trump’s mountains of nonsense. It takes work, for sure, and it takes a not insignificant amount of belief that the Big Lies being sold will reveal themselves as the foundation of Trump’s heinous brand of pyramid-scheme-cum-government; some belief that, sure, the GOP has been building to this for some time, but we can build something better.
Jon Ossoff isn’t a savior. I’m not even sure he’s actually a progressive as I define it. But he’s the guy in Georgia that decided, “fuck it, what is there to lose?” and we need a lot more of that moving forward. We need Democratic politics to be about tossing a hail mary just for the fun of it; for the chance of it hitting gold. We need Democratic politics to be about showing up and showing out and letting ourselves get hype for a new wave of progressive energy, even if directed as less progressive candidates, and for young people supporting ideals before those ideals crumble under the boot of conventional wisdom and its aversion to that new shit.
We need Democratic politics to be about confronting “both parties are the same,” a statement that is both fundamentally true and fundamentally false, and instead of outright rejecting the truth of it, respond with a “Yeah? Watch this.” We need Democratic politics to be about letting our ideas – our better ideas – do the heavy lifting as we dunk on the Big Lie with everything we have, summoning the reasons we’re progressives in the first place, summoning the reasons we know a Trump voter can be, too.
Jon Ossoff isn’t a savior and the runoff for the Georgia 6th won’t change American politics. We will.