Dear Right-Wing Acquaintances:
I can't quite call you "friends," folks. If you voted for the rich white guy, on some level, I can't call you my friend. Friends don't vote for someone who's going to take away civil rights the first chance he gets. Friends don't vote for someone who's going to gut the economy for the rich people. So I can't quite call you "friends."
But I do need to say a few things to you today, my right-wing acquaintances.
Tomorrow, it will be a week since your party's lies were exposed for the entire world to see in ways that no amount of money will hush up. Tomorrow, it will be a week since we re-elected a black man to the Presidency, despite your best efforts at voter suppression and lie-filled propaganda. Tomorrow will mark one week since this country definitively rebuked the anti-gay coalition in your party's ranks, both by voting in marriage equality in three states and voting down a ban on it in one, and by electing more openly GLBTQ people to positions of responsibility than have ever been elected there before. Tomorrow marks a week since rich people who try to buy elections have been put on notice. Brown people are increasingly being elected while white people are increasingly being kicked out of spots they've held for years and sometimes decades.
I understand that it's a sea-change for you. I understand that it rocks your world, and not in a good way. I understand that your perfect white, Christian, straight world seems to have failed you (here's a hint: it has).
Now, you need to understand that I couldn't care less. It's long past time that your party, and by extension you, got the very clear message that this country is tired of waiting for you to grow up, and we're putting you in time-out until you do.
There are so many avenues I could take to talk about why your party's position is the position of a petulant adolescent. Your party's base shows all the major signs of people who are mentally still teenagers. I'm not saying they're not smart - many of them are - but I am saying they are immature. Piaget, one of the major theorists in child and adolescent development, says that teenagers have the capability to do certain things, like reason abstractly and think flexibly, but that not all teens exercise that capability. The ones that don't remain immature.
I think that the main issue that you, and by extension most of your party's base, is having with these developmental stages is that you are trapped in the immature thought patterns of egocentrism (self-centered thinking and lack of connection to the needs or feelings of other people), the belief that you are the center of attention, the belief that you are a special snowflake and unlike anyone else (and therefore exceptional) and the belief that bad things only happen to other people. Let's take these one at a time, so I can show you why your party lost on Tuesday last week, and why it will continue to lose as long as it appeals to an immature base.
First, being unaware of the needs and feelings of others, especially those who are not like you, is one of the main reasons why your main candidate (and many of your downticket ones) lost. They had zero connection with the people whose votes they needed. I can name a bunch of gaffes Mr. Romney made that alienated people due to his complete disconnection from their needs and feelings: his argument against immigrants, his argument that women need jobs that allow them to be at home when their husbands need them, his remarkable statement in one of the debates that he was for tax cuts on the kinds of income that most people in the real middle class will never see (capital gains and stock dividends), and of course his infamous disparaging remarks about the 47%. Immediately after the campaign was over and he lost, his own staffers - his own supporters! - found themselves unable to pay for their cab fare home with the campaign credit cards they'd been issued, because they'd been canceled. I'm sure you can think of other instances that show that Mr. Romney just didn't care about anyone who wasn't him. I know it's hard to take this in, but to anyone who wasn't living in your party's alternative reality bubble, Mr. Romney's overall presentation of self was obviously that of someone who couldn't really give a damn about anyone who wasn't White, Male, Christianist, rich, and powerful - in short, the 1 percent.
Mr. Ryan wasn't much better. His fake-up of washing clean dishes at a homeless shelter was on the level of George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo op. So many of your candidates all across this election made it clear they had zero idea of what things were like for most Americans, and that they not only didn't know, they couldn't care less.
When it comes to needing to be the center of attention, again, I draw your attention to the ongoing antics of your candidates during Hurricane Sandy. The fact that President Obama was not doing photo ops during the aftermath, but his job - helping the American people - seems to have escaped your notice. Instead of helping, Mr. Romney paid people to buy canned food to "donate" to the Red Cross so that he could be seen running the "donations." Being told that it wouldn't help didn't stop him - it was all about what he was doing, not about what the needs were. Again, this shows a shocking lack of understanding about what the world needed at that point.
You're not unique, special snowflakes, either. You have no more right to this country or how it's working than anyone else who lives here. Being white, being Christian, being male, being straight - that's fine, those are things you are. But this country belongs to the brown, the non-Christian, the women, the queers and perhaps most importantly to the next generation as much as it belongs to you. You're not exceptional or special, and I think that might be the biggest blow you've taken here - the fact that you have to admit you're really no better than any of us, and in some ways worse due to your incredible immaturity and petulance.
Finally, I hope this election has knocked the props out from under your belief that you will always win, and that losses don't happen to "good people." Get away from your Just World fallacy (look it up). Bad things happen to everyone. You're not exceptional or special enough to dodge them.
But here's the thing. Now that you have had to face the shocking truth - that people are done with your adolescent behavior and belief systems - you have a choice. You can regress into a three-year-old having a temper tantrum, as many of your party leaders are doing; or you can grow up and realize that you need to work with us, not against us. You are the ones who need to extend a hand across the aisle, not us. Your leaders are counting on you having a temper tantrum so they can keep telling you that the union guy wants part of your cookie while the leaders took the other eleven cookies in the box. Your leaders are counting on your immaturity. They are counting on you continuing to be idealistic, self-centered, and selfish.
So grow up already. In case you didn't get the message, the grownups are in charge now. Perhaps you should think about joining us. And until you do, we're going to keep you in time-out, because this behavior is why you can't have nice things.
Actually, let me put it in a way that a teenager would understand. You're grounded. Go to your room.