Dear Republicans and Democrats

You see that picture right there? That’s Milo and Otis. A cat and a dog. Best friends, even though the world tells them they should be enemies. Let’s for a moment replace “cat” and “dog” with “Republican” and “Democrat.” (I don’t much care which is which. Democrats can be cats or dogs. Same with Republicans. No fighting!) Got it? Now, watch the preview for Milo and Otis, and replace those words. Got it? Here it is:

Here’s the thing. We’re all on this adventure together. We can fight and bicker and argue and eventually get eaten by a bear, or we can get along, have our disagreements and differences, but still get where we’re going in one piece.

The election has come and gone. (And it more or less like I expected it to. Closer than both sides were thinking, but not close enough to give us all weeks of recounts. Thank goodness!) This is the part where we all move on.

In lots of ways, we should all look to board gaming as a way to handle what comes next. You play a really close game, and you get really invested in winning. Tempers are lost. Dice are thrown. But in the end, somebody wins, and somebody loses. Looking at my Twitter and Facebook feed, you’d figure a whole lot of people in this nation have never actually been taught how to win or lose gracefully. For the help of you who haven’t learned this, let me give a few pointers:

  • Don’t gloat if you’re the winner. Don’t call the other side names. You won. There’s no need to rub it in. The other side is well aware of the fact that they lost, and one day, they’ll be on the winning side again. There’s a good chance they’ll want to treat you the way you’re treating them right now. Remember that.
  • Don’t sulk if you’re the loser. It’s okay to feel bad, and you don’t have to feel good for the guy who won, but sitting there pouting isn’t going to get anything done.
  • Don’t blame the rules. The rules are established ahead of time, back before the game starts. They’re there so we all know exactly how this will be played. Both sides know them (or should, at least). Live with the results.
  • Don’t threaten to take your game and leave and never come back. One, because the other side would probably love that. Two, because that’s just silly and petty.
  • Finally, don’t–DON’T–decide to be That Guy. You know the one I’m talking about. The one who loses, and so decides he’s going to screw over everyone else playing the game as best he can. He doesn’t care if the entire game gets ruined. He will have his revenge! Because that guy? He’s kind of a tool, and nobody likes him. So don’t do that.
The country is not going down in burning flames because Obama was reelected. It’s also not going to suddenly start erupting in rainbows and cupcakes, either. It’s going to be like it’s been. Divided. To get anything done, people are going to have to start compromising. You got that? Compromise!
Guess what? Democrats aren’t a bunch of socialist, weed-smoking, gay, baby-killers. And Republicans aren’t a bunch of misogynistic, racist, rich, god-fearing nut jobs. I’m deeply troubled by the rhetoric that gets lobbed both ways in this idiotic sibling rivalry. The more we all listen to it and believe it, the more divided we become. The more divided we become, the less gets done. The less gets done, the more trouble we’re in as a whole.
Milo and Otis, people. Milo and Otis! America’s a great country. This can be a grand adventure. Start enjoying the ride and working together.
And that’s hopefully the last political post I have to write for quite some time.

6 thoughts on “Dear Republicans and Democrats”

  1. I found your post when a friend retweeted it. This is excellent.

    To me, one of the most disturbing things about the election has been the rhetoric used not by any talking heads (though perhaps parroted from them), but from individuals.

    If you really, absolutely cannot find one single redeeming quality in the other party or even twist your brain to understand one perspective on a key issue that differs from your own, we have deeper problems than any political issue.

    Thanks for sharing this. I retweeted it as well.

  2. Loved this, Bryce. Campaign season is just about the ugliest regular people get, I think (I’m not talking about war or famine — just day to day nastiness), and it lasts more than a year, and I am breathing a deep, deep sigh of relief and hope, that we can all get back to doing our best to be good to one another.

  3. Thanks, Lisa. There’s still some lingering nastiness, but things are already getting better, thankfully. Thank goodness. (Though I wonder where social media will be in two years of four years. Can it get even worse?) It’s sad when I see people I know and love just bickering and name calling and being intolerant in general. But then again, I suppose that reminds me of some family reunions, too . . . 🙂

    Glad you liked the post.

  4. Great, now if you could convince the people doing the talking (the media) that they’ll be doing a great service to this country by promoting issues that unite people instead of divide them…wait…what am I saying? Media doesn’t care about service, they care about money. And what makes money? Division, drama, injustice, and grudges. So much for that idea.

    I’m grateful that YOU get the picture though.

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