The new Congress is less than a week old, the new Iowa caucuses season is barely a week old, and doubtless we have many political thrills, spills and inanities ahead of us. But it doesn’t seem too early to offer some advice to our crop of newly elected Democrats in Congress and those with their hands on the presidential hats they are about to toss into the ring.
I say this while speaking from a high level of discourse, taking the high road and coming across as an adult, which most Americans say the person with the nuclear button should be. OK:
Please shut the fuck up.
When Representative Rashida Tlaib calls the president of the United States, even though he is patently intellectually and morally unfit to hold the office, a “motherfucker,” that does not win friends and influence people. Despite whether you agree or disagree with her politics, that is just as bad as Donald J. Trump calling African nations “shithole countries.”
“[W]hile the fiery spirit among the new Democrats is refreshing and members of Congress are entitled to say what they want,” Maureen Dowd wrote on Sunday’s op-ed page in The New York Times, “the brat pack may want to avoid getting too far over their skis while their learning curve is steep.
“They should focus on the big picture: Trump is doing such an amazing job as a vulgarian and villain, it would be a shame to get in the way.”
Of course, many progressive Democrats heralded the congresswoman’s descent into the gutterverse. Most notable was the newly enabled left’s newest darling, sister congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted, “Republican hypocrisy at its finest: saying that Trump admitting to sexual assault on tape is just ‘locker room talk,’ but scandalizing themselves into faux-outrage when my sis says a curse word in a bar.” The tweet got almost 300,000 “likes,” which means there are hundreds of thousands of stupid progressives out there.
I’m going to say this now, and repeat it as often as necessary, as the parade of would-be Trump opponents RAGBRAI into and out of Iowa in 2019: If you act like Trump, talk like Trump, behave like Trump, you are like Trump. In doing so, you are going to utterly turn off the people who voted for Democrats in the midterms.
Americans are sick of our demonizing deep-dive. More than two thirds say insulting political opponents is never the right thing to do. Almost three-fourths of Democratic women — the voters who elected you, madam representatives — believe that people need to avoid using language that may offend.
What Americans want is for the system to work again. We want to believe that what we were taught in school, about America being the shining city on the hill, manifests itself most in the people we choose to lead us. Americans are seeking — desperately — leaders who can persuade political adversaries to agree on solutions for affordable and available health care, decent, well-paying jobs, clean air to breathe and water to drink, and a safe, peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.
As the midterms demonstrated, Americans seem ready to trust progressive Democrats to do those things. So please, concentrate on doing them.
And please, shut the fuck up.