Op-Ed: A Republican’s Olive Branch

| February 21, 2017

If the Democratic party honestly wants to see the office of the presidency again, including the Congressional and Senatorial seats open in 2018, I would suggest they stop taking everything for granted. Trump won 2,622 counties out of the 3,112 counties for which there was collectible data in the United States; Hillary won 490. Trump poached 220 counties that voted for President Obama — I dare liberals call such counties ‘racist’ — to Clinton’s 17 counties that voted for Romney in 2012.

Hillary beat Trump in the popular vote by about 3 million. That means, within those same 490 counties mentioned above (only15.7% of the available counties), Hillary managed to gather millions more than Trump by the popular vote. Such counties are undeniably more densely populated, therefore watering down the potential pool of votes as democratic. More preposterously disproportionable, however, is that 1.5 million of Clinton’s popular vote came from the five counties that make up New York City.

Goodness.

I am not a democrat, but I do not wish to live in a world where I must passionately despise the party I do not belong to, which I’m afraid is beginning to happen — or has already begun. The founders wanted a two-party system and damned if we don’t give them one. If we are going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place anyway, its best, I think, to get along.

This is not to say I am a moderate. I’m far from a centrist. But even the late Antonin Scalia said you can hate ideas, but not people. Unfortunately, now we have petty partisanship and contesting factions of Americans that absolutely abhor their opposites.

So, for the sake of making American politics more genteel and humanely pragmatic, I must start with the party that has quite possibly fumbled in the most blundering, elephantine kind of way imaginable. I say this because the Republican party currently holds the executive and its administration, the Senate and the House and an overwhelming majority of the state governorships as well as the state general assemblies.

Forget the name-calling. Don’t get caught up with the insistent labeling of those you do not agree with as ‘racist, sexist, bigoted,’ and so on (that’s just to save time, the list is much, much longer). Seriously. The more hysterical you get compounds the effect of name-calling like the boy who cried wolf did when he, well, cried wolf.  Even if they truly are those bad words, undermine them with knowledge and not simple words or phrases that do nothing.

Ignore elitism. The Democratic party, after 8 years of strong-arming the executive, has gotten extremely lethargic and complacent. They have, by virtue, become the vaunted and often disliked “establishment” if you will. America has an interesting, though quite active, history of retaliating against its authority; even when that authority becomes herself. No matter how much it may irritate the academic cultural Marxists centered around an urban periphery, it is best not to act snobbish and entitled to the votes of middle America; or to belittle their background or way of life.

Fight political radicalization. Obviously states like Massachusetts and California will have their far-left progressives, but the Democratic party must understand that such views are not necessarily compatible in every state. A rural miner in Pennsylvania will not appreciate the delirium of being a cis-gender white male who hates the environment if it means he cannot provide food for his family (in reference to Clinton’s declaration of war against coal). Shifts along the political spectrum are mostly stagnant and if they do occur, are likely small. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take nothing away from Bernie Sanders and the movement of young, passionate progressives, however; but don’t splinter the party.

Grow thicker-skin. I am not advocating for an anarchic, wild-west sling fest of offensive and derogatory verbiage, only a proponent of not getting so worked up about things that do not matter. When people as a whole keep getting chastised for saying something not up to par for your feelings, that will translate come election. Simply put, people will have differences of opinions regardless if you want them to or not; free speech is the bee’s knees, even if you dislike what is being said. Diversity [of thought] is the spice of life.

Look, I’m a fairly self-aware person — I understand that I am a political gadfly when it comes to anything revolving, you guessed it, politics. I know this. I know which side of the aisle I stand on. Even so, I truly want a stronger, more united Democratic party. The better the Democratic party becomes the more it will challenge the views of the Republicans, which, naturally, will bolster our party’s strength and acumen. Rivals play at the level of their competition.

We’re all under one flag anyway, best to get along.

American flags waved at a Hillary Clinton election night watch party in New York City. Photo by Pooja Pasupula

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Category:Opinion, Politics

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