Dear Grand Old (Tea) Party and conservatives of all stripes; Akin, Palin, Rush, Bachmann, Chik Fil-A dude and other weirdo CEOs, Ryan, Boehner, Hannity, Coulter, McConnell, Rove, all of you... please keep speaking up.
Keep speaking up about race and immigration. This country — this world — is getting less white and more wonderfully multi-hued every day. The more you keep calling human beings 'illegals', the more you use would-be code words to demean all shades of brown people, the more you debase and disrespect unfamiliar religions and traditions... the easier it will be for people of all colors to see your bigotry and ignorance and vote accordingly.
Keep speaking up about women. The more you attempt to minimize rape, the more you try to legislate what a woman can do with her body, the more you try to outlaw abortion rather than taking a holistic approach to reproductive health and sexuality, the more your fear and hatred of the feminine becomes clear... the easier it makes it for all of us to witness your gross misogyny and vote accordingly.
Keep speaking up about gender and sexuality. The wide, wonderful spectrum of the LGBTQ community is getting more out, proud and awesome every day. The more you try to demonize and shame people for being in loving relationships, the more you try to tell people that they can't get married, the more you hang on to outdated gender roles and rules... the more you isolate yourselves, while the rest of us have fun watching our communities bloom and blend—and yes, we will all vote accordingly.
Keep speaking up and insulting people in need. Keep saying that social programs and universal health care are useless, wasteful, government dinosaurs made for lazy losers. Keep belittling the millions of us working so hard to support ourselves and our families. Keep making fun of the idea of climate change. Keep trying to kill public education. Keep talking about how free the market is. Keep talking about how great deregulation is. Keep trying to sneak weird stuff into our food. Keep trying to suppress the vote. Keep trying to scare us into thinking we can bomb our way to peace. Keep pretending that abstinence and prohibition work. Keep trying to keep secrets and tell crazy stories, as we keep exposing them more and more quickly and methodically. It all helps us to see each other as allies, even though you've tried so hard to have us see each other as adversaries. It helps us to wake up and wonder what we've been so afraid of. It helps us to band together and find common ground. Speaking of which, thanks for all the help this election cycle. You never stopped reminding us that President Obama and the rest of the Democratic candidates, while less than ideal, were such a clearly better choice. By the way, if you bother to look back at some of the awful things you've said and done that have led to this place, you might catch a glimpse of yourselves careening towards the worst side of history. If you want to take a step back from that cliff, you're always invited to a place of rational thought and debate, where science is respected, where religion and spirituality aspire to foster love and trust rather than hate and fear, where we prefer community and togetherness to selfish, cold individuality. Until then, just keep right on speaking up. As for the rest of us...
Dear Democrats and Progressives of all stripes: we need to keep working to find consensus on the environment, civil rights, education, taxation, the military, privacy, food, drugs... everything, really. We need to push for our shared dreams and ideals while being rational and responsible about the world we’ve created. We need to watch for our own extremist tendencies. We need to start at the local level and work outward, patiently. We need to hold our elected officials accountable as we honor them and appreciate their hard work on our behalf; and if we really don’t like them, we need to be elected officials we do like. Let’s move forward. Together.
(a middle-class guy raising his daughter in the big, weird, wonderful US of A)