Wow. Well that sucked, didn’t it?
I know how you’re feeling, and I don’t mean that in a condescending, mock-sympathy, shoulder-rub way. I really do. On a brisk November night in 2004 I lit a candle at my college’s chapel and despaired precisely the way you are now. I remember all too well that pit of dread in my stomach and the disbelieving heat flushing my cheeks. I get it, I really do, and I’m sorry about that. Kind of.
Now it’s the days after. All us liberals are walking around with huge grins, holding doors for people, and being all cheery and spry. Even our hangovers taste sweet.
Despite all this, the election produced some very good news for you.
What is it? That the Republican Party—in its current form—is dead. Its heart monitor is screaming “BEEEEEEEE” in flatline and no matter how hard you pound on its chest you’re not bringing it back to life. Step back from the gurney, wipe the sweat from your brow, look at your watch and call it: time of death, 1:50 p.m., November 6, 2012. Why is this good news?
Yesterday’s Republican Party had become diseased with anachronistic, extremist, jingoistic, and xenophobic ideology. It was infected by the Tea Party, the religious right, and the Koch Brothers. The Party was no longer the moderate, dignified, intellectual conservatism of yore, championed by well-educated members of the middle class. It had mutated into the party of people who protest outside post offices with handwritten protest signs declaring Obama a Muslim “socalist” and that English should be our official “langauguage.” In short, your Grand Old Party poisoned its grand old self.
Do not mourn its passing though. The death of yesterday’s Republican Party was necessary to ensure tomorrow’s Republican Party is a viable political movement for the future. That movement must embody fiscal—not social—conservatism, small egalitarian government, and responsible free markets. Lastly and most importantly, base your political ideology on solid data, statistics, and reason, NOT fear, jingoism, and bigotry.
Look to sane conservatives—the Log Cabin Republicans, the Megan McCains, the John Hunstmans, even the Chris Christies. Approach political discourse like adults, not petulant children. Leave religion and your Bible totally and completely out of it—as per your favorite document, the U.S. Constitution.
The right-wing blogs are aflutter—this country is doomed, they say. America just died. In a sense, they’re right. The country they wanted, their ideal America, the country of backwards social policies where gay weddings will ruin your marriage and weed is bad mkay and women can’t look after their own bodies and anybody with dark skin is probably stealing shit be it TVs or jobs—that bizarre notion of America is dead.
What these people don’t get, and what they’ll never get, is that America’s laws and politics should always reflect the desires of the majority of its populace, and the majority of its populace isn’t interested in their version of America.
These people will never adapt to the changing times. They will prop up the party’s corpse and scream louder, spittle flying as they rage about the death of our Constitution, the sanctity of marriage, of God’s rape-given gifts. They will insist “Obama Hussein’s” reelection means WAR, dammit, REVOLUTION. When this happens—and it already is—here’s what you do:
Tell them to Fuck. Right. Off.
Why am I telling you this? Why tip my liberal hand and give you advice? Because we—the Democrats—we need you.
I know, that sounds weird. The liberals reading this just choked on their soy lattes. But I’m serious. We need a reasonable counterpoint, an opposing view, a dissenting opinion. When you challenge our ideas with sound argument it will force us to make them stronger. The arguments of yesterday’s Republican Party were not sound, and the electorate knew it. Democrats didn’t so much win this election as the GOP lost it.
If you want to stick to your old ideology, we liberals take great pleasure in thumping you again. If you don’t think we can, remember you’ve lost the popular vote five out of the last six elections, and your demographic is only getting worse.
So please. Realize that yesterday’s Republican Party sucked. Light its funeral pyre and say a few words as it burns. Then from its ashes, rebuild it to the respectable party it once was.
Much love, if you can believe it,
Your (liberal) fellow American
—From A Liberal’s Letter to Conservatives