I woke up in the bluest state in America this morning.
Washington, you see, is the new Oregon. The Beaver State has always had the edge in progressive liberalism, but we surpassed them last night. In Washington, the people spoke, and they said collectively, “let same-sex couples marry” and “make marijuana legal.” I supported both initiatives wholeheartedly, a fact that should surprise nobody as I’ve always worn my liberalism proudly on my sleeve. It’s still a bit surprising that the voters in my state so easily approved both measures. That kind of forward-thinking makes me proud to call Washington my home.
Of course, not everybody feels that way. As happy as I am with the results of the election, a lot of my friends feel otherwise. It appears I’m going to be seeing a lot of Facebook posts in Spanish and German and French since so many of my friends have declared they are moving out of the country. Sour grapes much? Alec Baldwin made similar statements in 2000, threatening to leave if Bush was elected, and I ridiculed that at the time, even though we share the same political spectrum. It’s just such a knee-jerk and ridiculously juvenile comment to make, and speaks volumes about the divide this country faces. There has been a lot of talk about tempers flaring over Facebook, and without a doubt this election was eye-opening, providing a glimpse into the true natures of a lot of people. Even this morning I am seeing the worst in people I’d previously admired. I tried to step in and diffuse one such post, writing to somebody who was predicting doom and gloom, Come on…can’t you at least try to think positive? How can America get better if people aren’t willing to put aside their differences and work together? The response was sadly typical and emotionally-driven, with talk of socialized medicine and being taken over by the Chinese.
Look, I had to put up with eight miserable years under Bush. I was not a happy camper then, but I survived. I certainly don’t hide the fact that I’m a Democrat, but I try not to let my emotions get the better of me. I did not gloat last night, even as my friends were whining about socialism and God and taxes. It’s unbecoming. I can’t say that they were all so negative, however. A close family friend named Mike – a person I have known my entire life – is a staunch Republican living in Texas, and yet after the results were announced, he was the lone voice of reason amongst my conservative friends. He congratulated Tara and I, and talked about how we are all Americans who should be working together. In response to some negative comments, he wrote, Tomorrow we can all wake up with the same goal, to succeed for ourselves and our children. Stay focused people, we are in this together no matter what side we pledge. You dems are my great friends. Although my party lost,i still love you guys. In doing so, he won over a lot of my friends last night. Love your classiness, Mike. You’re like the Chris Christie of my friends. It is attitudes like those that give me hope for America, and make me believe that it is possible to work together and make a difference.
My own mother said this morning, “There sure are a lot of idiots in America.” I guess that makes her first-born son an idiot. And that is why we never discuss politics. We’re like Family Ties in reverse; I’m a liberal, peace-loving Alex P. Keaton to a conservative Steve and Elise. Only I’ve never allowed a kangaroo in the house.
Because the election brought out the worst in people, I’m glad it’s over, though I fear I can never view some of them the same way again – and that’s pretty sad. I hope they can admit four years from now that things weren’t as bad as they feared, and I hope that I am every bit as proud of my vote then as I am this morning.
To those bemoaning the results and predicting the end of the world, lighten up, already. Listen to people like Mike. Let’s work TOGETHER and make this country great again. A little optimism and a willingness to compromise will go a long way toward making a positive change.
I do hope that in the next four years, Donald Trump’s hair swallows him whole and we never have to hear from him again. Talk about a wacko. I’ll never watch another episode of The Apprentice again.
I hope the Republican Party realizes their anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-minority rhetoric no longer flies in this era of tolerance and acceptance. Soften your tone and maybe you’ll win back your constituents.
I hope that President Obama has a productive four years in office and makes believers out of those who doubt him.
Most of all, I hope our country finds a way to put the “United” back in States.
- Obama’s speech on Election Night: The full text (mercurynews.com)