“The election was over three seconds after Mitt Romney opened his mouth.” This quote by comedian Lewis Black basically represents a sigh of relief represented by about 53% of the voting public and basically every other country on Earth. But really, let us be frank and honest. While the election results were rolling in and Mitt Romney held a firm lead until the battle ground states rolled in, we were all terrified and entertained the thought ‘what if Romney wins’.
But with all that sentiment behind us, we move forward and we do so smugly. The Conservative Right is bashing their heads, wondering where it all went wrong. And we move forward, celebratory and really rubbing this whole ‘victory’ think in the face of who many of us have made stagnant enemies. Facebook friends have been lost, media channels cursed and co-workers scorned over the elections: this is all serious business. But now that we have victory, should we continue to rub salt in the wound?
At first, it is easy to say yes. Considering extremists like Donald Trump hounded Obama over his birth certificate, Ann Coulter stopped short of calling Obama every dirty name under the Sun and Fox News treated the president of this country with all the respect and grace one would a gopher in the garden, it is easy to want revenge.
The thing is to consider is this: we do not make progress from sowing seeds of discontent. Look at how alienated and out of touch the Conservative Right has become. They are dragging the country downward because they will not accept compromise. There are politicians who will fight Obama, to the point of hurting this country, because they cannot look beyond their own selfish agenda. The problem is that if we continue to hold fast to our personal agenda of destroying the right, they will fight back with an equal and opposite force.
The best application of this lesson comes from President Abraham Lincoln. After the Civil War, America had the option to greatly punish the Southern States. Before his death, Abraham Lincoln made one command very clear: after the war was over, the South was to be greeted back as our dear brothers. Cities would be rebuilt, people would be greated as brothers and sisters in the American family. There would be no difference made and look how far we have progressed since then: we have an African-American president, one who carried a Southern State to secure his election victory.
GOP: You’re old, You’re White, You’re History! It feels so good to wag this in the face of the people we’ve battled for the last year in these elections, but really, it is immature. It would be akin to rubbing our collective Yankee-supporting crotches all over the faces of General Lee and Stonewall Jackson in front of Southerners after the war. As a young boy, I grew up along the Mississippi and before I got ‘uppity’ and moved East for school and out here to California to teach, let me tell you, Civil War II would have been launched with that flagrant behavior.
Now is a time of healing. How do we kill Fox News? With kindness. How do we ensure legalization of gay marriage in every state and keep Colorado’s new puffy laws from being demonized, as it will? With patience and facts. But in that process, we do not create covers like this Newsweek ditty. It is not representative of progress, but instead, an item that will only inflame, alienate and reenergize the extremists who nearly got Mitt Romney elected. And trust, these people will still be around in 2016 and if we do not knock off our holier than thou whilst on a high horse attitude, it will bite as in our ass. And I am talking about the mascot for the Democratic party.