Some post-election ruminations for those taking it so hard
Talk about entertainment: Late Tuesday night, I took a Facebook scroll down the pages of some of my more conservative friends.
The reaction to President Obama’s re-election was ... well, there are no words. “Dumbfounding” and “staggering” both apply, but some of the comments I read border on absurdity so extreme you’d swear the writers weren’t real people. To wit:
• “Thanks, Obama supporters and third party supporters. Ya’ll just ruined the greatest country in the world.”
• “Tonight I pay respects to my country ... the United States of America ... may she rest in peace!”
• “Bless the USA. We have to stand strong and fight this black Muslim Man to save our country for the next 4 years.”
• “Way to go Amurca!! 4 more years of golf and vacations for these morons paid for by YOU!!”
• “It is what it is. Gloat now. Your right to free speech may be gone tomorrow.”
That got me thinking, and while I realize there are those of you who hate it when I write about politics in the Weekend section, indulge me once again, I beg of you. It’s a presidential election, after all, and I have a few things I want to say ...
a) Those of you who backed Romney and accept his defeat graciously, I appreciate your maturity. Despite ideological objections to him, I also thank him for putting himself and his family through such a grueling process for the sake of democracy. I’m not so jaded that I don’t believe a part of him, however big or small you want to speculate it to be, thought he could make a difference for the betterment of the nation.
b) To those of you donning sack cloth and tossing fistfuls of ash over yourselves ... call a doctor. Get some Xanax. Calm down. This doesn’t mean it’s the End of Days or the fall of Western civilization or the coming of The Beast. Big Business is too invested in politics as usual to let things jump the track, because it lines the coffers of this nation’s true power players. And if you think God is going to smite the United States because Obama was re-elected, I hate to break it to you: If He didn’t smite us for massacring Native Americans, enslaving African Americans or for any of the other despicable things that have been a part of our history, I doubt He’s going to start raining down hellfire upon us now.
c) Although it appears Obama is on a path to victory by popular vote as well as in the Electoral College, if it turns out Romney does get the popular advantage, I feel you. I felt you back in 2000, when George W. Bush won the election by the same path. It feels unfair, but as a recovering Dubya-holic who came through eight years and lived to tell about it, I can assure you: It’ll be OK. You’ll survive. And so will the country.
d) For those of you so fuming-mad and outright-offended because your candidate lost ... so convinced that you’re privy to some special insight into our nation’s future that somehow passed over the heads of your fellow Obama-supporting Americans ... I ask of you, please: Relax. You are not smarter than your fellow Americans. I know, it feels that way because, dang it, if they’d just see things as you do and do what you think they should do, your guy would have won! It’s HORRIBLE being in the intelligent minority, isn’t it? If that’s how you feel, you’d probably better check your ego. I have a feeling you’re not as smart as you think you are, and your fellow Americans aren’t as stupid/lazy/pathetic as you believe them to be, simply because your guy lost. You claim to love America, right? Which means you love democracy, right? So chill out and embrace how the democratic process played out. Don’t make excuses. Don’t whine. It’s unbecoming.
And finally …
e) Yes, Obama is your president. You may not like him, you may not agree with him, but he’s been elected PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Since I’m assuming you have no plans to renounce your citizenship and move to another country, that makes you a citizen of the United States, which makes him YOUR president.
Of course, if you feel that strongly, don’t let the door hit you in the butt. I hate to see you go, but really, if your hatred and loathing of democracy make it unbearable to live here any longer ... if you’re convinced we’re sledding downhill into the abyss and only picking up speed ... if you believe in your heart of hearts that the United States is on its way to becoming a socialist wasteland ... then best of luck to you.
In the words of Powers Boothe’s “Tombstone” character, Curly Bill: “Well ... bye.” Seriously, I hope you learn to smile again and find the happiness that you think will forever elude you under our 44th president. I really do cross my fingers that you’ll find contentment someplace else. Godspeed.
I hear Canada’s nice.
Contact Weekend editor Steve Wildsmith at 865-981-1144 or at (firstname.lastname@example.org)