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Stacey Abrams and Stephen Colbert don’t want you to meme yourself into complacency

What did Stacey Abrams talk about on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert?

When Stacey Abrams stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2019, most of the conversation was not about her work as a voting-rights activist. It was about her romance novels.

Needless to say, a lot of viewers were not happy with that. And even as Colbert was trending following the U.S. election due to his emotional Nov. 5 monologue, some Twitter users took the time to point out the huge mistake he made in embarrassing the founder of Fair Fight Action.

Her most recent appearance on the late night comedy hour, however, was quite a bit different. This time, Colbert made sure to give Stacey Abrams credit for her hard work and a nationally-televised platform for her message. Perhaps as a form apologizing without actually apologizing, he called her a “Democratic star and the woman who flipped Georgia,” as well as “one of the architects of Biden’s victory in Georgia,” among other well-earned titles.

Stacey Abrams and Stephen Colbert discussed the hard work ahead in Georgia

Here’s what Stacey Abrams and Stephen Colbert want viewers of The Late Show to know: There are reasons for Democrats to celebrate right now, but there is also much to be done. And a big part of that is right in the very same state that Abrams and fellow organizers, over the course of many years, have worked so hard to flip: Georgia.

Colbert spent much of his opening monologue in much better spirits than we’ve seen in ages—pouring champagne, cracking jokes in a somehow just different way than usual, and even using a t-shirt gun. He danced, and he mentioned crying tears of relief and joy. But at the end of the segment, he went back to The Late Show’s more recent tone: Serious.

During his interview with Stacey Abrams, there was a similar feeling of celebration coupled with serious messaging. The infamous Lord of the Rings fan couldn’t stop himself from sharing one of the many memes about Abrams—because it happened to be LOTR-themed, of course.

But while the streets have been flooded with revelers, and the internet has been a treasure trove of Gritty jokes following the announcement that voters in Philadelphia gave the key battleground state of Pennsylvania to Joe Biden, Abrams admitted she’d only given herself about 17 minutes to savor the victory. Her mission is far from over.

Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes may have officially brought President-Elect Joe Biden to the 270 total votes he needed for a victory; but Georgia has been on everyone’s mind for its 2020 election story, as well.

voter with sign thanking Stacey Abrams

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 07: A supporter of Stacey Abrams holds a sign thanking her during a celebration of Joe Bidens projected presidential win at Freedom Park on November 7, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Supporters around the country are taking to the streets to celebrate after news outlets have declared Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden winner over President Donald Trump in the U.S. Presidential race. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

If anything, the feat of turning this consistently Red state Blue was much more significant. As Colbert made a point of saying multiple times, Stacey Abrams has been a key player in that change.

In her interview with Colbert, she discussed the years-long journey of getting Georgia to turn Blue, the importance of representation, and what it means having VP-Elect Kamala Harris be the “first” in so many ways. Additionally, Abrams she talked about what she’s putting all of her efforts into right now, mentioning one of the biggest needs for the special Senate runoff elections coming to her state on Jan. 5, 2021.

Stacey Abrams also explained to Colbert exactly why she was already putting in the work so soon after the presidential election was called on Nov. 7:

It’s about helping Georgia; but moreover, it’s about saving democracy. Mitch McConnell is not a good leader. He is not a good man.

With balance in the U.S. Senate still uncertain and the overpowering Democratic victory—the so-called “Blue Wave,” if you will—not really the actual outcome, Stephen pointed out that many pundits are saying Biden’s win isn’t really a cause to “Party in the U.S.A.” But Stacey Abrams and Stephen Colbert want Democrats to know this was definitely a victory.

So, if you’ve enjoyed all the Gritty memes over the last few days and want a reason to keep this feeling alive, make like Stacey Abrams and get back to work.

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After all, like Stacey Abrams said in the interview, “we don’t elect saviors. We elect workers.” The key part of that statement would be “we.”

You can watch The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s full interview with Stacey Abrams on CBS.com or CBS All Access.