Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Conservatives, It's Time To Come Out of the Bubble. No Seriously.

If you've been listening to our radio show anytime after the election then you've heard me express time and time again just how thankful I am that the election finally provided a reality check to all of the misleading and , frankly, dishonest spin that had taken the media by storm.  Things were so bad this time around that you couldn't even have a civil conversation with a regular person (as in not a politician or self-proclaimed "political strategist" on TV) without them repeating some nonsense that they had heard on the news which had no basis in reality.  So let me offer a quote from Politico's Jonathan Martin that I feel pretty much sums up my sentiments on this issue:
Increasingly, the Republican Party has created a world unto itself.  What began as an alternative to what they perceived as a "biased" media has become ultimately self-defeating and really corrosive.  And again, [these are] folks who are in the party who are both operatives and thinkers who are Republicans who believe this [and] because they only talk to themselves nowadays [then] they're not talking to the broader electorate.  So when election day does come -- and not only does Romney not win, but President Obama wins convincingly to the tune of 332 electoral votes -- there is widespread denial and shock among a lot of folks in the conservative world.  What happened was that election day finally prompted a lot of younger conservatives to go public and say what Joe [Scarborough] has been saying for some time which is "we've got to get out of the bubble."

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Bill Maher regularly held a segment on his show called "Dispatches From the Bubble" where he would play a clip of a prominent conservative/Republican (typically somebody who had been elected to office) who would say something demonstrative of bubble-think.  This made for good comedy, but after a while it became a bit disconcerting that in 2012 people (i) still believe Obama is a Muslim when he's not only confirmed his Christian faith on numerous occasions but has also suffered a political hit at the hands of his Christian pastor, Jeremiah Wright; (ii) still believe that Obama is not a citizen of the United States when he has produced both his short and long-form birth certificates from the American state of Hawaii; (iii) still believe that the only reason Obama won is because he gave away "free stuff" to lazy Blacks and Latino's and the rest of the "47% of Americans" who voted to keep the welfare state going, and (iv) still believe that if they'd have just "reached out more" then Asians would have voted Republican.  Listening to this conservative echo chamber (typically on Fox News), these same people also believed that Romney was going to win by 300+ electoral votes on election day.  They really thought that was going to happen.  No really.  I'm not joking.

The bottom line is this - America NEEDS a responsible conservative voice at the table.  Notice the key word "responsible."  Conservative ideas and Progressive ideas are both needed to move the country forward in a productive manner, but this latest version of the conservative echo chamber that we're witnessing is not helpful to anybody, least of all to conservatives.  It's not enough to disagree with the President like a responsible adult.  No, you guys have allowed people (Fox?  Limbaugh?  The Tea Party?) to convince you that in order to be a real conservative/Republican you have to hate the President.  And much like a 16 year-old girl who has recently broken up with her high school boyfriend, you immediately disrespect and dismiss as stupid anybody who dares to not also join you in your quest to hate the President.

This is not helpful.

Moreover, this is why you lost the Presidency.  Repeating these destructive and hateful themes among yourselves is like telling your 5 year-old kid that he can walk through walls; sooner or later he's going to act on this belief and when he does reality is going to set it.  Painfully.  Kind of like how it did on election night.  How's that Romney landslide working out for ya?  (Too soon? My bad.)

Look, the purpose of this piece is not to say "we told ya so" (although we certainly would have grounds) but instead is to bring you back off of the ledge and back into the fold.  Liberals and Conservatives are like yin and yang - both are needed for balance.  And we can't have balance if you feel that you have to hate the President at all costs.  You can disagree with him on policy, but the irrational hatred really needs to go.  It's not sexy and if you keep it up you guarantee one thing:  Republicans will continue to lose the Presidency.

Obama is our President.  He is a Christian.  He is a U.S. Citizen.  He got re-elected.  So you have 2 options: (1) Deal with it and let's all move on together or (2) Don't deal with it and get left behind.  Either way, the rest of the world is not stopping.  The choice is yours.

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