Sounds crazy, right? Indulge me. Imagine this scenario: Joe Biden wins the presidency, and Democrats take the U.S. Senate. After enjoying a whirlwind of Biden’s executive orders, progressives grow frustrated. Despite controlling everything, Democrats still can’t pass most of their top agenda items (on the Green New Deal, say, or police reform, or immigration reform, or gun control) because of congressional gridlock as Republicans launch filibusters—the only tool at the minority party’s disposal. And so Democrats, declaring that they can’t let the party that gave us Donald Trump continue to impede progress, simply eliminate the filibuster, which can be done with a simple majority vote.
If you’re a progressive, this all sounds great. By adopting any means necessary to advance your goals, you believe you are defeating Trumpism. I see it differently. I would see such a move as embracing Trumpism—or, at least, a form of it. That’s because Trumpism is also about advancing authoritarian tendencies, prioritizing your base over the nation, and violating norms and institutions to consolidate power. That’s not a “return to normalcy,” and it’s certainly not change we can believe in.