Dear Democrats, Republicans Aren’t Your Friends

The fetishization of bi-partisanship is killing progress

Tom Williams
4 min readJun 14, 2021


Source: Time Magazine

The 2020 election was presented by Democrats as nothing less than a fight for the survival of democracy. Joe Biden ran on the slogan “battle for the soul of our nation”. Anything other than a decisive Democrat victory was presented as a fundamental threat to the very fabric of democracy. If Democrats weren’t already sure enough of this, the January 6th attempted insurrection should have changed that.

The 2020 election — and the 2021 Georgia run-offs — gave Democrats full control over the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. Though it’s easy, now, to take this for granted, it truly is an incredible feat. To win the White House, Democrats had to overcome Trump’s engrained electoral college advantage (the same one that allowed him to win in 2016 despite gaining three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton). In the House, Democrats had to rack up an even more substantial popular vote victory to overcome Republican gerrymandering and, on the Senate side, Democrats had to overcome the disproportionate power the Senate system gives to smaller, predominantly Republican states. And, in all three areas, Democrats had to overcome a patchwork of voter suppression laws designed to supress the electoral power of poorer communities and People-of-Color.

The Democratic trifecta is unlikely to last long, as the party faces an uphill battle to hold onto either the Senate or House in next year’s elections. If the threat to democracy is as dire as we were told (and, it absolutely is), then there’s no time like the present to act decisively.

Who really needs an epiphany are Democratic politicians who think the GOP will work in good faith with them to better America

Yet, the same Democratic party that said we were in a fight for the heart and soul of America is now letting a once-in-a-generation opportunity pass them by; making the fatal and flawed assumption that beating Trump was an ends in and of itself, rather than a means-to-an-end. Senior Democrat, Dianne Feinstein has even directly said that she does not see Democracy as being in “jeopardy”: a startling position to hold just months after the Capitol was invaded in the first attack of it’s kind in over 200 years.

Other Democrats may not be so flippant in their dismissal of the threat facing US Democracy, but given their policies they may as well be. Numerous Democrats — most notably Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — have voiced their opposition to repealing the filibuster; effectively making real progress impossible, and countless other Democrats have voted against the sort of systematic change needed to repair the cracks of American society — like a $15 minimum wage.

This behaviour from Democrats reflect an engrained, but entirely out-dated idea of policy-making; one that relies on Republicans as good-faith actors and harks back to a day before our current hyper-partisanship. This attitude runs all the way up to the top of the Democratic party; with Joe Biden having said Republicans would have an “epiphany” as soon as Trump was out of the White house.

Since Trump was voted out of office, there have been countless indications that this is untrue (just as there were countless indications when Joe Biden said it in the first place). The decision of the vast majority of Republicans to vote against impeaching the President who incited an insurrection that threatened them and their colleagues lives — as well as the decision of those same Republicans to vote against an investigation of said insurrection — should’ve been evidence enough that such an epiphany isn’t happening.

Who really needs an epiphany are Democratic politicians who think the GOP will work in good faith with them to better America. When the GOP were in power, they were ruthless in their pursuit of enacting their agenda. Democrats need to find some of that ruthlessness in themselves; except instead of using it to push through tax cuts for the wealthy, roll back healthcare rights and put accused sexual predators on the Supreme Court, they need to use it to give everyone a living wage, institute universal healthcare and save democracy. The GOP’s shenanigans a decade ago when the ACA was trying to pass through Congress should’ve taught Democrats that Republicans aren’t good faith actors, and if it didn’t, the soullessness of the Trump (and post-Trump) era Republican party certainly should have.



Tom Williams

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