Final Thoughts

I don’t think I could have ever imagined something like this happening. Only an hour or so ago news reports started flying that Sen. George Allen has conceded the race, not only solidifying Jim Webb’s seat in the Senate, but also giving the Democratic Party the majority in the senate.

Two years after the Democratic Party looked as though it may be going the long, slow, and painful route of the dinosaur, it has won back congress; somethingthat a lot of us hoped for, but didn’t dare believe could actually happen.

The strategist in me is already thinking two years down the road. A part of me only cares about taking the White House. To this regard, I’m itching to tell our new Democratic legislature to write bills with a fast and furious fervor. This part of me wants to see a veto every single day in the headlines so when it comes down to the presidential race in 08, the big tagline could be, “You wanted progress? Remove the big veto stamp in progress’ way.”

There’s the competitive part of me that just wants to spend the next, I don’t know, two months or so just singing “Nya nya nya-nya nyah!” Heh, a nice “Ya BLEW IT!” wouldn’t suck either.

But these are parts of me… They’re not necessary, and they aren’t right. I’ve been out of the game for a while, but at a cursory glance around our little chunk of the liberal blogosphere, the thoughts I expressed above are not what I’m seeing in the aftermath of the elections.

No, instead I’m seeing a cautious optimism.

Sure, there’s gloating, I think you’ll always have gloating. But now is not the time for gloating. Now is the time for progress. Now is the time for bipartisanship.

So, for my final thoughts, I just have a few words for some of my friends on all levels and sides of the political spectrum.

To my republican politician friends. I hope that this experience teaches you something, and I don’t mean this in a mean way. I have always respected certain aspects of the conservative ideology, and as liberal as I am, the country doesn’t match me. We don’t just need liberals to advance and progress, we need everyone too. So to you, I think now is a good time to look at the mistakes that have been made in the past; to reflect without animosity and vengence. To review your core values and the shifting values of the nation, and find those parts of your ideology that fit into the evolving global and national culture. I think that now is a great time for your party to become reaquainted with the ideals of public servitude and mutually beneficial progress as opposed to those of power and political rancor. Accomplish this, and I think my liberal and Democratic friends would be more than willing to work with you to build a better America, and thusly a better world.

To my Democratic politician friends. First, congratulations. It’s been a long hard battle getting here, I know. And you’ve done some very hard work. But also, I know there has been some dirty work done as well. I do not place the blame of the mud flinging in the political arena wholely on the Republicans, and now comes the call for you as well to engage in bipartisan discourse, utilizing compromise and civilized debate to move forward, and not bully tactics to move backwards. Do not forget the past twelve years you’ve spent in the minority. Your republican counterparts are your coworkers, not your enemies. I think the biggest thing to remember for you now is that, as Goose stated below, now is not the time to run off claiming mandate and thinking you own everything. While the Senate may be safe for awhile, the House can change hands again just as easily two years from now. So legislate wisely, and generously. Listen to the counsel of your advisors, and your experts, and most importantly, to the people who put you where you are now. Progress is now a possibility, but it will take hard work. But possibly more important is the chance you have to change the atmosphere in DC, if you can play a pivotal role in that, then i have a funny feeling everything else will turn out alright.

To my friends on the right, from the blogosphere to the multi million dollar television and radio productions. Please do not fall into the same rut of antagonizing and fear mongering. Now is not a time for hate, it is a time for hope. You specifically, I’m going to challenge. I challenge you to stop being mouth pieces to an old way of doing things. I’m going to challenge you to stop demonizing the ideas of the opposite party, and start engaging them. By this I don’t mean embrace them, but at the very least entertain them. Consider the possibility that someone with a “D” by their name may actually be right once in a while. You hold in your hands the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, and your influence could mean the difference between the success of our newly elected government, and as a result our country as a whole, or your words could result in our mutual destruction. I challenge you to understand the gravity of your words, and to use them responsibly.

And finally, to my friends on the left, from Al Franken, and Mike Malloy, to those folks I’ve worked with right here on this blog and others; friends like Macswain and Goose, Fester, Shamanic at Simianbrain, Cernig at Newshog, and Alicia (who contributes to just so many places I’ll just ask you to click on her profile off to the right), we too have a challenge before us. We must first be patient, change does not happen over night. We, like our rightwing friends, have an opportunity to use this event to rise above the antagonism of years past. And we should and must do this. But we have a deeper responsibility. Now, not a whole lot of people seem to like Mike Moore anymore, but there will always be one thing he said that I agreed with. I can’t remember where, probably at the end of Farenheit 911, and I can’t remember the quote exactly, so I’ll just paraphrase. The sentiment is this. After working so hard to try and get Kerry elected, Moore explained that if Kerry got elected, he would turn his critical eye upon him as well.

It’s an important concept. We cannot afford to now let ourselves drift into the role of team player. All of us must endeavor to keep one simple fact in mind. Our elected officials work for US, not the other way around. We must continue to be vigilant of our public servants, we must continue to be critical of them, and we must hold them to the same, if not higher, standards as we’ve held politicians in the past.

To everyone, this is a unique and wonderful opportunity we’ve been given. Let’s take advantage of it.

Now, whether I am returning to blogging or not. I only intended this to be a one time thing. Actually, I didn’t even intend that. But I got sucked in. To be totally honest, my life really sucks very much right now, and I know I don’t have the time, energy, or mentality to return to full time blogging. However, as I mentioned in the comments to an earlier post by Goose, the last two days didn’t suck… So… I guess you folks may be seeing me from time to time.


ps. Could someone please duct tape John Kerry’s mouth shut? I’d take it as a kindness.

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