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Are The Frogs Boiled?
Early on in the Trump administration, it was popular to use the metaphor of frogs being boiled. The idea was that people didn’t perceive the seriousness of the threat Trump posed because, like frogs who are put into a pot of cold water with the temperature raised gradually, the danger wouldn’t be perceived until it was too late. Frogs, boiled.
Yesterday, an increasingly deranged and desperate former president wrote this post on his ironically named social media platform, Truth Social.
“…the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
Trump is calling for a coup. Again. He’s calling for the end of American democracy.
It is, of course, nothing new from him. But it is done here in a precise manner. It is not open to a benign interpretation. His intent is clear. It’s in print.
So the real question today is for elected officials in the Republican party. Do you still support Trump? We’re entitled to know. They work for us, too.
All too often, elected officials get away with ducking. They avoid the cameras, they say it was a joke or that Trump didn’t mean it. They refuse to hold public meetings with constituents to avoid being asked point blank questions. Sometimes they condemn Trump, as on January 6, but then return to the fold. They know they can do that, because the media moves on with the news cycle. And they get away with it.
So this, what’s happened now, has to be a job for all of us. It’s civil discourse. Let’s ask our elected officials where they stand and stay on them until they answer. Or not. Because sometimes a repeated, documented, failure to respond tells us what we need to know.
I wrote this in a tweet: Call your GOP Senators, Congressmen, Governors & other officials. Find them at church this morning. Visit offices tomorrow. Demand that they tell you what their views are. Trump has normalized violating the rule of law but this is a bridge too far & we must push back hard.
That seems fair. Trump is calling, again, for a coup—replace the duly elected president, Joe Biden, with him, the guy who lost, using a worn out excuse we all know isn’t true, Trump’s false allegations of voter fraud in 2020.
It’s regrettably easy for elected officials to ignore one of us. Undoubtedly they will try to in this case. Let’s not make it easy. Let’s amplify our voices. Reach out to the folks in your state, and after you do, let people know about the response you get. Or the ones you don’t. Tell your friends, write for your local papers about it, share it on social media. Let’s make the failure to give a public response uncomfortable. If you’d like, you can post your efforts on this thread on Twitter — identify your state and tag your officials. We can all retweet and amplify. Twitter may not be real life, but we’ve used it successfully in the past to draw attention to issues and sustain it in a way the media can’t. I’d propose we use it to do that with our efforts here, and that we keep it up, until we get a response or it’s clear that we won’t. Because, we’re entitled to know. They work for us.
Some of you are undoubtedly thinking, what’s the point? They won’t answer. They never do. In 2021, Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo wrote a piece in the New York Times about the challenge of bringing change to a red state. Their words are appropriate here: “The task is hard, the progress can feel slow, and winning sometimes means losing better.” Amen. They also wrote this: “The steps toward victory are straightforward: understand your weaknesses, organize with your allies, shore up your political infrastructure and focus on the long game.”
Our long game is protecting democracy. We have to be willing to stay engaged, even when it’s difficult. The midterm elections showed that there is a core of decency at the heart of the American electorate that demands better than Trump. So let’s fight with information and with truth. Let’s make sure we compile a record of elected officials who gave Trump another pass in December 2022 when the threat was crystal clear and unambiguous; of who went on with their Christmas shopping, as though nothing had happened. That knowledge will matter in future elections. Let’s do the hard job that’s demanded of us as citizens and hold our elected officials accountable. They need to be, and I don’t intend to get boiled.
We’re in this together,