Crowd at March for Our Lives against gun violence

After Trump’s “Acquittal” — What Do You Do?

Donald Trump was “acquitted” Wednesday on the two counts the House had passed to the Senate. Every Republican except Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Mitt Romney had voted against hearing witnesses in the trial, breaking hundreds of years of precedent. Every Republican except Romney voted to acquit Trump on the count of Abuse of Power. Every Republican including Romney voted to acquit Trump on Obstruction of Congress.

To cover up so many witnesses is unthinkable. Is democracy broken? To hear many, it’s a death blow that democracy can never recover from. To hear many, the fight is all but over.

This is only a death blow to democracy if you allow it to be. Months back, we were wondering if we could even get an impeachment process off the ground. We were trying to pressure Democrats to instigate something long delayed. Now we’re trying to pressure Republicans to simply do their jobs. That’s a distance traveled.

Does it mean we succeeded? No. Does it mean we failed? No. It means there’s more work to do. It means we succeed if we do that work and get others to do it with us. It means we fail if we don’t. That’s always been the equation. It hasn’t changed.

Democracy is no less intact or damaged because you’re the democracy. Stop pretending these fools are. They’re a system built to represent that democracy. If they fuck up, the democracy itself is still intact unless it decides it’s too dejected to be.

Our job is to get in their works, and slow them, and frustrate them, and expose them. They sand us out, replace a part, ignore the problem, we get right back in there and fuck up the works and slow them and frustrate them all over again.

They disconnect Congressional phone lines when they get overwhelmed. They stop answering phones as often and let voicemails stay full so no one can leave more messages. Those aren’t the acts of people in control, unburdened. Those are the acts of the overwhelmed, of desperate people clinging to waning power in the face of the people who they know really control it. They want to avoid you and their accountability to you because they fear it.

Democracy isn’t dead or broken. It’s simply in your hands instead of theirs for once. How do you mistake that as dead or broken? That’s you mistaking your power for something useless. That’s you mistaking their desperate fatigue for your own. Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you envision us as so incapable?

Republicans in government are the ones who are acting out of cowardice. They’re the ones who hid from you. Democracy isn’t dead or broken. It’s simply been abandoned by cowards who hope you don’t find where they left it. Pick it the fuck up and use it.

When they try to hide, call them out. When they forego accountability, keep asking the questions you need answered. Do it consistently, publicly, and keep yourself capable of doing it consistently. Most importantly, get others to do the work consistently by your side. Get the vote out. Register voters. Arrange carpools to voting locations for those with decreased access. Participate in phone banks. Write letters to the editor. Call the offices of elected officials. March.

This has always been a war of attrition and Republicans’ only strategy from the beginning has been convincing you that we aren’t strong enough. They wouldn’t spend so much time trying to convince us of that and then hiding from accountability to us unless we fucking were. This is one more battle among so many that we’ve forgotten half of them.

Republicans in government are overwhelmed and desperate. Treat them that way. Keep pressing. They have less and less ground every day because we’ve been taking it day after day for three years. They’re fading, retiring, negotiating shreds of cover where once they had systems of it.

Keep doing the work. The work is democracy. Getting others to do it with you is democracy. Keep doing it, and democracy will eventually fuck these cowards up. You do the work, and democracy is fine because it’s yours and not theirs anymore.

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