Sorry, my liberal brothers and sisters, it’s time to go.
That is, unless you enjoy living in a theocracy governed by a religion that may not be your own. I believe that some Christian values may be nice, but they’re not mine. No, I’m not Christian. I’m not in any way religious. I believe in abortion rights. I believe in gun control. I believe in same-sex marriage.
I believed in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people — mainly if they were people I liked. I’ve voted regularly, once driving 450 miles round trip to vote against then-Sen. Alphonse D’Amato, Republican of New York, and bright as a turnip. (It was my fault, I forgot to fill out an absentee ballot.)
But am I an activist?
I am not. I am an observer. I always have been, since standing to the side of the playground during recess in elementary school. I grew up to be a professional observer, a journalist. That was my excuse for refusing to join protests.
But I also scorn protests. They do nothing except snarl traffic.
Maybe they used to do something, in the 1960s, but that was a time when people could apparently be persuaded, even shamed. Imagine that.
These times are not those. Partisan credentials are proven only by being loyal to a single ideology 100 percent of the time. No breaks for reason or debate.
And some of those right-wing partisans — as hardened in their dark view of a wrathful God as they are in politics — didn’t protest. Or when they did, they did so in unimpressive numbers. What they did was much smarter. These folks had a plan, even a vision. They said take your liberal protests and chants and put them where the sun doesn’t shine, we’re going to rig the whole system so that our minority can strangle your majority.
Oh, and they did.
It had been gerrymandered out of existence. After all, state senators and representatives are the ones who decide what their own election districts look like (with some help from the courts), and you’ll never guess what Republican-led chambers did…
Yeah, you will.
They gerrymandered the states, and with solid majorities, they gerrymandered federal congressional districts. And, thanks to a botched census, carried out with ill intent, they are tightening things up even further.
And who judges those election maps for fairness? Why judges, of course. And who appointed most of the federal judges on the bench? Well, damn me if it isn’t the Republicans, now nearly synonymous with a certain flavor of Christian faith.
Even that wasn’t enough to ensure a majority in the House of Representatives, though, or even the Senate. It’s currently thisclose between the GOP and the jackass — sorry, donkey. But between inflation that cost me $70 to gas up my subcompact and an eternal sense of liberal ennui in midterms, it’s impossible to see that holding.
Yes, today liberals are angry, but even if we break through that ennui, the levers of power have been taken out of our hands. Voting laws all over the country are well designed to keep people out of the election booths and to violate the spirit of the Constitution where it isn’t explicit law.
Challenge these laws in court you say?
With a 6-3 right-wing majority in the Supreme Court, there is no punitive voting law that can’t stand. In fact, there are no laws in this country that can’t stand or fall as the party of prosperity preachers wishes it.
But society has moved on you say. Large majorities support gay marriage, birth and gun control. Well, they also supported abortion and the court majority made the popular weal worthless.
But what about the shows on my TV, almost all progressive as hell? What about the biased, progressive, leftist media? Those awful colleges with their safe spaces!
They all exist at the sufferance of Congress, the president, and the courts, with the courts ruling above all.
And who owns the courts?
This is the part of the op-ed where I make some suggestion — usually mild — about how we fix the great problem in front of us. And I have just such a solution, but I’ve never seen it happen in my lifetime of half a century: Liberals would have to vote in overwhelming numbers, maybe numbers they don’t have. And not just for liberals — though that would be nice — but for anyone who believes in democracy and an America where freedom means the freedom to choose who to love, who to make love to, and to deal with the consequences of our actions as free adults.
And I mean someone who really believes in it. Is willing to get beat up believes in it. Is ready to go to jail believes in it. Maybe even willing to die believes in it.
The fact is the corruption of everything we believe in isn’t quite finished. There’s a tiny bit of daylight left that an overwhelming majority could break through to and even bask in. After Trump or an acolyte wins in 2024, that steady light will be gone, transformed into the flickering torch of fascism.
If we don’t act meaningfully for once — and I don’t think we will — those who can afford it will flee, and the rest of us will live out the bizarre quasi-Christian nightmare we thought we’d avoided years ago.
But let’s be real. We lost and it’s time to go.
Where can we go? So many places are so much worse, and all my stuff is here!
Let’s go to the moon. Elon Musk can fly us there.
Oh wait, now he’s a Republican, too.
Jason Fields is a deputy opinion editor at Newsweek, an author, and co-host of the Angry Planet podcast. TWITTER: @jasonqfields