sad

Alright, I’m done crying (well, almost). And I’ve polished off more than one batch of chocolate chip cookies- don’t judge me. I’m through the denial, past the depression, not bothering with bargaining.....yet. So I am now into acceptance. I accept that the Democrats have lost another damn election! And we are doing what we do best- argue and blame. I accept that we have shot ourselves in the foot and are going to be hobbling through the next 4 years. Oh, some are already talking about stand and fight, and sure, we should. May I make a suggestion? We change our $%^ing strategy! Come on Dems, we keep doing the same thingand expecting different results. You know? The definition of stupid? Of course we don’t think of ourselves as stupid- quite the contrary, we think we are pretty darned smart. Heck, we’ve have the books, home libraries, degrees, careers, the IQ’s, and the paychecks to prove it. And don’t we love to flash them about? Before you get offended and accuse me of judging you, let me tell you first; I’m including myself. I also, liked reading those articles that showed scientific proof of the less education of the typical GOP voter. It made me feel right. Turns out I was really wrong. Turns out the polls were wrong. While we were pouring over our “History of the American Presidential Races”, the charts, the statistics, the pundits, the graphs and comparing notes on which candidate was where at every point of the campaign we weren’t listening. As you can tell, I’m in the anger stage. I’m angry with myself and with the rest of my fellow liberals and Democrats and Independents. We thought we were so fricking smart. And we lost. Bigly.

We don’t listen. Instead of making fun of the “Muricans” yelling at his rallies we should have invited them over for lunch, offered them a beer and asked them why they were screaming and chanting. But we didn’t. We mocked them and called them ignorant, deplorable and we wrote them off as bigots. No doubt about it, there are many of his supporters who said and did some awful things, some of them got ugly and violent. In our rush to judgement we didn’t stop to think about, WHY. Why were they behaving that way? A few journalists attempted to explain to us why they were angry, some took the time to sit and ask them and they tried to share that with us. Most of us blew it off. Instead, we looked up evidence and data to prove that our choice was the best. We also delighted in dangling it in front of those on the right. Yes, they came back at us with their own evidence to which we quickly dismissed as not valid or from an unreliable source. But what did our ‘rightness’ get us? Nothing. We do a lot of talking and discussing and not enough listening. What would listening have done for us? It would have shown us that we had more in common with them than we realized. They are angry, and so are we, and for many of the same reasons. Yet, we couldn’t reach across the fence and shake hands with our neighbors and collectively ‘throw the bums out’ because you know in your heart you want to wipe the slate of DC clean and start over again as much as they do. Let’s face it, we didn’t listen and instead we chose one the politicians of ‘business as usual’, the kind that we are all tired of even though we had a candidate who was speaking about our problems and actually had practical ideas. But we didn’t go with Bernie in the primaries so we had Hillary for our candidate. I like them both and have been saying that for 18 months. But we probably should have collectively chosen Bernie. Did you notice how they all got behind a horrible candidate while we couldn't even get behind one of two strong canddiates? Now some are probably feeling their blood pressure rise right now and getting mad at me for saying we should have picked Bernie. That brings me to my next point, the other reason we get campaigns so wrong.

We fight amongst ourselves. We are sometimes as nasty to each other as we are to our Republican friends and family. We called each other names, unfriended and blocked and mocked each other for our choice. Instead of, what’s that word again? Oh, yeah, listen. Instead of listening to each other we got into heated debates on social media and in public spaces about why our candidate was superior and theirs wasn’t. “Bernie or Bust” “Never Bernie” “Never Hillary”. We drew lines in the sand, our own Democrat sand, mind you. We had camps in our Dem party that would not allow alternative comments to our own firmly held beliefs on why our candidate was better. Some argue (there’s that word again- argue, as in fight) the 3rd party candidates skewed the election in his favor. Maybe. It depends on whose site and research you use. The choice of 3rd party should tell us one thing if nothing else- they were so disgusted in the status quo that they would rather give their vote to a candidate that they knew could not possibly win. That’s a big statement. While I share their sentiment, I’m not sure it was the right way to protest. That is 100% my opinion and even though we Dems like our science and math the bottom line is people vote based on their gut, their emotion, their heart and their opinions. And the GOP knows that so very, very well. If you haven’t yet, read George Lakoff’s ‘Don’t Think Of An Elephant” I strongly urge you to do so before the next election.

That leads me to my suggestion for 2018 and 2020; listen and dispel long held myths with simple, easy to remember catch phrases and comments. It’s what we like. How do we get a large group of people on the same team? Common ground and simple slogans. “Go Giants!” “Go Packers!” Make the rules easy to understand so we can all feel that we are being dealt a fair hand. We don’t understand what is in the TTP document. We don’t have the time to read that. We barely have time to get dinner done, kids homework, bath, put to bed before we pass out in our own beds. When we talk to each other we need to keep our language on the same level and pay attention to how we FEEL about it. In our technologically advanced culture we think science has all the answers (and it usually does) but our brains are at the same evolutionary level as the ones our ancestors had about 195,000 years ago. When we neglect to include the impact emotions have on our decisions we do a disservice to ourselves. We are a combination of instinct, intellect and sensation. We may not know why we do something but if it makes us feel good we don’t care. He made them feel good. So many of us just want to feel good again. We want to have a life that we imagine our parents or our grandparents or even we had at some time in the past. Is our memory faulty? Of course, but it’s what we have to work with. We embellish our past and desire a return to a time when we felt safe and secure.

homo

We know our finances and our opportunities aren’t what they used to be or what we want them to be and when we see someone offering us what we want it’s very tempting not to grab it. Really, none of the candidates were great, let’s be honest. None of them were our dream date. We were fighting over scraps. What do too many hungry dogs in a yard do? They fight over scraps. And while we were fighting about emails we had the rug pulled out from under us and here we are, licking our wounds. I’d rather be licking a Baskin and Robbins cone with sprinkles instead my wounds.

Starting today let’s put down our weapons and make a solid plan for the future, with action items, let’s do what Bernie, Jill and Hillary tried to do and that is, unite ourselves. Let’s start fighting the negative stereo-types and language of the right, let’s not perpetuate the moocher myth or any other catch phrase the politicians and media throw at us. Let’s KISS.

kiss

Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron

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