Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lessons in Losing

Okay, I've wanted to write this post in the past, but I've been holding it because it seems more significant to say these things in victory. Tonight, I write this to my Democrat friends (and some who don't particularly like me that much). But to my Republican friends, I recommend you read this, because it is advice that may be significant as soon as the next election cycle.

1) The other party isn't your mortal enemy. Seriously. Many of you caricature them in horrible ways, though. But remember, neither party is interested in driving the nation off a cliff, no matter what you think. The other side just thinks it has a much better path to a mostly common goal.

2) You shouldn't treat politics as a team sport. If you want to talk poop with rivals, maybe you should invest yourself in sports a little more. For all of its flaws, politics is more serious than sport. But that doesn't mean that you hate the other side the way Packers and Bears fans might hate each other.

3) Your side ain't all that, believe it or not. It is just as flawed as the other side, and it is wrong just as often as the other side. Some humility is in order when the American public rejects you for being wrong.

4) Pissing and moaning about the voters isn't constructive. They aren't dumb, and they aren't "re-tarded". They aren't always right, but they often move together for very specific reasons. Some reflection might be in order.

5) If you are fully invested in your party's propaganda, you should probably give up politics for a while. There is no sacred constituency a given politician won't screw if it means re-election. No, not even yours.

6) Mandates are over rated. So is political capital. When either legitimately occurs, their existence is fleeting. When it comes time to vote, it will always come down to "am I (or are we) better off now than we were last time we did this." Your elected official's job, regardless of party, is to make sure you say yes.

7) All those "unpopular" things elected officials do? Yeah, they do them because of #6. They legitimately think they are doing what will make you feel better off come the next election. Sometimes instead of blaming the politician, we should be blaming ourselves a little more.

8) I know many people segregate themselves socially based on party affiliation/political beliefs. You really shouldn't, because you are all missing out on a lot of terrific people.

9) Don't waste your breath/ink/pixels saying that you are going to leave (location x) or move to (location y). It shows a lack of fortitude. The next power shift is as soon as two years away. Spend your energies there if you believe so strongly.

10) If you think your political opponents are stupid, you are wrong and you should probably invest some effort in getting to know why, or you'll start finding yourself on the losing end quite often.

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