The Discipline of Being Civil to Obama Voters After the Election
When President Obama won re-election last Tuesday, it was hard pill for many people to swallow. Though the vast majority of Romney supporters knew all along that the race would be tight, and there was a good chance Obama could win, they still felt like they had been punched in the stomach when the bad news poured in.
The Obama victory spawned an uproar of bitter feelings and utter resentment from many conservative-minded people throughout the country, who took to the Internet to vent their pain to the rest of the world.
One column that received a good amount of viral attention was from a man named Eric Dondero who writes for a website called Libertarian Republican. Dondero didn't hold back any punches, calling the president's re-election "the end of liberty in America." He expressed his sharp disdain, not for Obama himself, but for the people who voted for him.
"Starting early this morning, I am going to un-friend every single individual on Facebook who voted for Obama, or I even suspect may have Democrat leanings, " he wrote. He continued with, "I will do the same in person. All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt."
The rant went even further. He suggested to readers that they break up with their girlfriends and wives if they voted for Obama. He called upon them to stop going to events and holiday dinners if friends and family members who voted for Obama are going to be there. He wrote that readers should quit their jobs if they work for someone who voted for Obama, and stop talking with co-workers who did the same. It went on and on, describing how people could effectively cleanse their lives completely of those who committed the ultimate sin of voting for Hope and Change version 2.0.
It's a pretty entertaining read to say the least.
The column has received a lot of attention for a couple of reasons. Obama-supporters liked it because it's an over-the-top example of poor sportsmanship, coming from someone they see as a political foe. Conservatives like me were amused by it because, as excessive and parody-worthy as it is, it tapped into something very true and honest: The same guilty, hidden contempt that we've been feeling since last Tuesday night's election results.
You see, this wasn't just another election to people like me. It was THE election of our lifetime - our last, best hope for putting a halt to the destructive policies that have sharply led this country away from the era of prosperity, freedom, and exceptionalism that we grew up in. We now see a likely future of permanent, European-levels of high unemployment, imminent bankruptcy led by unsustainable government dependency, a degenerative culture of entitlement, and the end of Western influence in the world.
So yeah, we're taking it a little hard.
We had hoped that a majority of the country had listened to the alarms that had sounded over the past four years. Instead, we learned that they viewed the warnings the same way the teenaged camp-counselors viewed the warnings of the wide-eyed old guy in the Friday the 13th movies, who kept telling them not to go to Crystal Lake: With a collective eye-roll.
Thus, I don't think I'm alone in having some empathy for Eric Dondero. I'll admit that I've had some similar thoughts running silently through my mind since Tuesday. When I look at someone happy and excited about another four years of Obama, I don't see a person reacting to their sports team beating mine for the championship. No, it's a little more personal. I see someone not only celebrating their own downfall, but that of every man, woman, and child living in this country.
Given another week or so, I know the resentment will fade. I'll go back to looking at people like I did before election night. But until then, I'll be controlling my breath, biting my tongue, and envisioning what I'd really like to say to those jubilant Obama people... and yes, I know who you are.
Week one has already had its highlights:
CIRCUMSTANCE: My old college roommate announced a new invention he'd come up with, and that he's looking for some kick-starter money to get his business started.
MY IMPULSIVE, SILENT REACTION: "I'm sorry man, but haven't you heard? You didn't build that! Somebody else made that happen! If you want other people's money, why don't you go see if you can still apply for a federal stimulus grant! Just call it a green project, and they'll fix you right up!"
MY ACTUAL REACTION: "That's actually pretty cool. Here's twenty bucks."
CIRCUMSTANCE: The mother of one of my daughter's class-mates wanted to set up a play date for the two of them.
MY IMPULSIVE, SILENT REACTION: "Oh yeah, that would be great if we could get them together. Maybe they can ride their bikes, or perhaps practice some Greek-style, violent protesting and looting, which are skills they'll most certainly be needing in the future. If you like, I can print out a how-to guide for lighting a department store on fire."
MY ACTUAL REACTION: "Will 3:30 on Wednesday work?"
CIRCUMSTANCE: My former boss from the job I worked during my teenage years, posted on Facebook late on election night: "It's a GREAT DAY for America!"
MY IMPULSIVE, SILENT RESPONSE: "Agreed, if by 'great day' you mean the forthcoming collapse of the U.S. economy, the end of American prosperity, three-hour waiting lines to see a doctor, ten dollars-a-gallon gasoline, and me needing to dish out a ton of money to Rosetta Stone so my kids can learn how to speak Chinese! You know, it won't be long before I'll be envying those days when I was making $2.50 an hour plus tips, busing tables at your stupid restaurant. But yeah, it's so wonderful that you think it's a GREAT DAY!" MY ACTUAL RESPONSE: "I know. We really dodged that economic-solvency bullet." (I couldn't let him completely off the hook. He's an evil one-percenter, after all).
CIRCUMSTANCE: My friend who was just laid off from his job the day after the election. MY IMPULSIVE, SILENT REACTION: "Do you really not see any irony here?"
MY ACTUAL REACTION: "I'm sorry. Good luck finding something."
CIRCUMSTANCE: A teenaged, Papa John's pizza-delivery driver pulled up to my house in a car with a bumper-sticker that read: "Not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republicans."
MY IMPULSIVE, SILENT REACTION: "Today I'm going to give you a two-dollar tip, which was worth about three dollars five years ago, and will be worth about one dollar a year from now. I want you to take these two dollars and buy a tube of Clerasil to help clear up that hideous acne on your face, because I'll soon be paying for it anyway, thanks to Obamacare. That is, unless it will be covered under your parents' health insurance plan for the next thirty years of your life as you're living in their basement, playing video games and reading comic books.
MY ACTUAL REACTION: "Sorry man. No cash on me. I'll catch you next time."
Yeah, I think another week ought to clear this out of my system. I hope so, anyway.