Mar 28, 2017 7:00 PM
Congresswoman Maxine Waters wants you to "stay woke!" She also wants you to know that she loves the Constitution, she's angling for impeachment, and she, actually, does have some thoughts about your mac and cheese.
Maxine Waters is the real deal. And she's been the real deal for decades now. Unlike many people and events that catch viral attention (and sure, Waters has done that, too), Congresswoman Waters actually has the record to back it up. And so in January, when I wrote that Congresswoman Waters "would like to cordially invite you to not come for her unless she sends for you," I was writing about the breathtaking read that captured the attention of millions as well as a long history of taking politicians down a peg. Washington has been peg-deficient for years, and Waters has been there to take them down. Maxine Waters did not come to play today or yesterday or any of the days of her 37 years of public service.
Congresswoman Waters is aware of what the Internet has to say about her. She has asked her grandchildren to explain shade to her and she is caught up on the tea. And it turns out, she loves it. In an interview during ELLE's 2017 Women in Washington event, the iconic representative talks about millennial political engagement, her history of public service, and, well, me. And, as usual, she doesn't hold back.
I have to ask you about your last tweet, "Impeaching is coming." What's that all about?
Well, here's why: I have dared to use the word "impeachment" to the dislike of even some of my colleagues who think that, "Oh my god, that's premature. It's not time to talk about that." But that's my goal. My goal is impeachment.
And after Comey admitted and revealed that the former President of the United States had not wiretapped Trump and that they did have an investigation going on to try to determine the interaction between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin or the Russians and [Vladimir] Putin, there was some movement. Because when I started talking about this, I know people had to wonder, "What is she talking about?" I was a little bit ahead of the game.
The Kremlin clan!
I got them! The Kremlin clan. Basically what I said was, "Get ready for impeachment, because I'm ready for it!" I think that with continued investigation, connecting the dots, more information will come forward, as it did with Paul Manafort.
This country will not stand by a president who is proven to be in support of undermining our democracy. Whatever Trump's reasons are, this love of Putin is not gonna eventually play well. People may be a little bit slow in getting it, but his connection to Putin and the Kremlin and all of those allies of his that have connections with Ukraine and with Russia are going to be revealed, and that's gonna be his downfall and my goal is impeachment.
Tell me about the experience of going "viral."
What [your] pieces did was to describe me in ways that I think a lot of the millennials understand or can identify with. I'm like Aunt Maxine, that Aunt who comes to your house and looks around, and says something like this, "Well why haven't you done this? Why don't you take care of that?"
Right, like critiquing the mac and cheese…
Right, "What'd you put in here?" I think that a lot of the young people identify with that. They've experienced that with relatives or with their aunts or what have you. ... The thinking is that older people cannot connect, that we can't talk [to young people]. But what I discovered is, it works if they think you're telling the truth! And if they think you have the courage to tell it like it is.
I'm having a good time talking to my grandchildren these days. I say to them: Tell me about shade, guys. C'mon, tell me about that! And then when I learn something and I see them, and they don't know what I've learned, I go, 'Stay woke.' [laughs]
And then they're impressed?
Yeah, they're impressed. I'm enjoying it, I'm having a good time. But more than that, I'm really, really, really thrilled about the fact that millennials are listening, they're participating, and they wanna be involved, they understand what's going on, and they want us to make it right. I love that.