I've been putting it off. Maybe, I thought, we can have one damn election where people breathe a sigh of relief and get back to the real world....
Wrong! From cartoons like this on the left to zany musings on the right that the incoming GOPpers might be too compromisory or too intransigent, from chiding warnings about the "dangers of supermajorities" to warning chides about the "perils of getting along with the Administration," I'm surround by the de-damnededest collection of sore losers and sore winners alike and even more sore-losers-by-proxy and sore-winners-by-proxy, and what they all have in common is soreness, a species of aggrieved, self-important butthurt that is about as useful a great big wart on the pad of your thumb and way less attractive.
First all, politicians? Get this: most citizens (and many non-) think government, especially Federal government, does too damn much. They may not agree on what you should be doing, there are significant amounts of non-overlap about what you shouldn't be doing, but we'd all like you to do a little less, and to accomplish it with less childish tattletailing and games of gotcha, fewer dead innocent people, fewer travels that are just disguised vacations and/or campaigning; we want you to use clearer language and less B-S- flagwaving, in-group winks and dogwhistles. Getchyer fine-suited little selves into the office and get to work, preferably on whatever the devil it was you promised the people who voted you in. (I don't care if you're to the left of Bernie Sanders and you told 'em you were gonna introduce legislation to communize everything: if you said you'd do it, go do it. Likewise if y'promised to work on enabling citizen's militias and hand out M-16s to all comers? Start draftin' legislation. Whatever. Just do your damn job, okay?)
And now the rest of us: Listen up and listen up good: if the party you like to vote for won big, or if the party that you love went down in flames,* that wasn't you. Dancing around, chortling "We won, we won," sitting around crying resentfully in your beer muttering, "We wuz robbed," oh, crap. That was some stuff happened to rich boys and girls that run for office. You still have to get up and take the Oldsmobuick to the office or factory or amber waves of grain and do whatever is the horrible, rewarding, gut-wrenching, pointless, splendid thing you do every day in order to put food in your belly and diesel or gasoline or electricity into your ride, so you can get up and do it again tomorrow. That's what you do and it's what the people on every side of you do, too. Some of them innocently and sincerely hold political opinions directly opposed to your own, and yet they smile at you every day, buy from you, sell to you, stick used gum to the underside of the tables, overtip, shortchange, etc. etc. They're just people, not The Debbil, and just like you, they go on TwitFaceBlogSpace and express their damfool opinions, as if they thought that crazy stuff made sense! --Which they do. Let them, and you do the same, and at least try to understand that the other fellow having his say is not, in fact, an attempt to suppress you and your screeds.
And what if the "other fellow" is Rush Limbaugh or Andrea Dworkin or Hilliary Clinton or the Koch brothers, Michael Bloomberg, Newt Gingrich (who?) or George Soros? --So? Yeah, they have money/fame/backers/power and yeah, those things are amplifiers; always have been. But you live in wondrous times: where once these folks would have worked in smoke-filled back rooms, leaned on editorial boards, bought media outlets and been either beneath the surface or above reproach, now you've got access to channels of bidirectional mass communications, to unfiltered (and, often, unvetted) information -- connected to most of the planet! And yet folks still fume about various "they" and "them" and how the little guy is aced out, silenced, covered up-- Oh, sure he he is; but it's like Winston Churchill's line about democracy being "the worst system of government -- except for all the others." You're not as loud as all those folks makin' heap big smoke but you've never had more information and a better chance of shouting back than right now! --And yet you're still wallowing in butthurt, just like many of the politicians.
'Cos butthurt is easy. Butthurt is familiar. Who doesn't root for the underdog? So, who doesn't want to be the underdog, and get rooted for? Thing is, here you are in the First World, and we're way short of underdogs; the Internet is even shorter of them (and they're reading this at the public library). By the standards of a lot of the world, we're all overdogs -- some a bit more than the others. You're not much underdoggy at all. Grow the hell up. Stop whining. Look your neighbor in the eye, even if he or she does vote like an idiot, and remember here's someone who's not evil, who mostly manages to keep their bills paid, lawn mowed, dog curbed and cops from bustin' down their door just about as well as you do -- and that you both have better things to do than mope around, thinkin' about politics and feelin' the butthurt.
You got out and voted Tuesday, or you didn't. You're adult-tall and it's time you stopped letting the noise distract you. I'm not asking you to be nice, I'm telling you to get back to work.
* And in that case let me, as a default-Libertarian voter, pour you some of this fine Failed-On-The-Ballot I get to enjoy Every. Single. Time. Now, tell me how bad your Party's got it again? I'm all ears. And all heart, just like most LP supporters.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
8 months ago