Conservatives, beware — the politics of retribution and score-settling are upon you. If you think for a second that your vote to reelect President Donald Trump was interpreted as a ballot cast for the candidate you believe best championed your everyday concerns of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice, former First Lady Michelle Obama begs to differ. According to her and, one might assume, the DNC apparatus, “tens of millions” of you voted for the president even though it meant “supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division.”
Comments like this deserve scorn and are normally best passed over unremarked. Except the sentiments of Mrs. Obama are part of an unsettling indication that unspecified forms of payback are coming. Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ominously tweeted: “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”
And almost as if by sorcery, former staffers of Barack Obama and Pete Buttigieg responded. Why yes, they publicly noted, we are keeping lists, and we call our Little Red Book “The Trump Accountability Project.”
The stated purpose of this (vague) initiative is to “Remember what [Trump supporters] did” by compiling a database of the names of anyone who “worked for the Trump for President campaign, Republican National Committee, and affiliated organizations”; those who “worked as political appointees in the Trump Administration”; and “individuals who used their wealth and influence to bundle money for Trump.” Political witch-hunts — straight from Mao Zedong and Pol Pot playbooks, will expand the definition of “Trump supporter.”
For a short time, the former Democratic staffers left up the public Excel sheet so interested parties could read the names of the accused in real-time. Tabs for donors, endorsers, appointees, judges, campaign staff — you name it — were all searchable. Access has since been restricted, but will doubtless soon open again to the public. After all, that’s the whole point. To name, shame and enshrine in perpetuity anyone with the slightest affiliation to the Trump administration.
So, conservatives, no matter how honorable and kind-hearted you may be, no matter the good you’ve done in the world, the people behind the Trump Accountability Project are here to ensure that future employers, friends, loved ones, strangers, your priest, rabbi, neighbors and, if possible, God himself, know your crimes. Or as NBC’s Jake Tapper recently put it, “I truly sympathize with those dealing with losing — it’s not easy — but at a certain point one has to think not only about what’s best for the nation (peaceful transfer of power) but how any future employers might see your character defined during adversity.”
So, the stuff of dystopias is happening. The question, for all Americans, now becomes: What are we going to do about it?