I was planning on blogging about the day after the election, with all its elation and hope, but I won’t. There are no words or spin to those words that I could write that have not been spoken or blogged already (it seems Green Girl and I are more like-minded than I initially thought). Anything that I can say would simply be old news.
So in lieu of describing the spring in my step, my smiles for strangers and my eagerness to share in the euphoria of our election results, I will tell you something that may surprise you. Not all my friends and acquaintances (even in the blogosphere) are Democrats. While you are gasping out loud, let me explain, because I was surprised too.
I was catching up on some reading today while I was thinking about how to blog about something other than politics. I came across a post written on Monday by a blogger I regularly read and who often comments here. It was a concession confession of sorts. It seems that she’s a closet Republican and she was posting about how she’s doesn’t fit the media-induced stereotype and won’t be happy with a Democrat in office. And I left what I thought was a respectful comment at the time about how brave she is for stating her thoughts even though there are people (like me) who disagree and isn’t it great that we can all get along despite our differences? Or something like that.
But once I hit the “post comment” button, I couldn’t help but feel like she had just pissed in my half-caf mocha latte. My elation was deflated. Of course she can write what she wants on her own blog – isn’t that the point of blogging? I really respect the fact that she did write that post because Lord knows; writing about politics can alienate your readership. I’d like to think that I am a better person and in riding the whole “We are United” feeling that both McCain and Obama infused in their speeches, I’d like to say that I’m OK with her having her own opinion. But I was surprised nonetheless.
My father’s racist jokes didn’t bring me down – I was prepared to hear them. There were a few Facebook comments from my more conservative acquaintances but these are people I know to lean more to the right. And I’m mildly curious as to why all the McCain yard signs have disappeared on my street, some before Tuesday even, because I couldn’t help but wonder, where is their loyalty? Even as we lectured our sons before school to be respectful to the people we know to be McCain supporters and not be all “Yes We Can” in their faces, I didn’t really consider that anyone out there might be feeling the same way I felt four years ago and four years before that. Because really, doesn’t everyone agree that this election ended in a rather exciting and awe-inspiring way? Are we not all enjoying the renewal of the American spirit?
So, yeah, I was surprised by the blogger’s post because I wasn’t prepared for her outing her party affiliation. And no, I don’t really think she was trying to ruin my fun. Judging by the other comments, I was the only reader who didn’t flat out agree with her. I don’t. It’s just a jolt to my self-absorbed psyche to find out that not everyone I like and have things in common with, admire even – have the same views as me. This was clear in the way that she wrote, “I hope they (the Democrats) don’t wreck the economy…” Um, because the economy is in such awesome shape now under the Republican watch? I may not be able to look at her quite the same way again. But will I go back to read her blog again? I hate myself for even asking.
She is simply exercising her First Amendment rights in stating one obvious difference in political views. In the simplest terms, Democrats think Republicans wreck everything and Democrats put it all back together and vice versa. Which is why Democrats are doing a happy dance right now (along with the rest of the free world) and Republicans are sneaking their yard signs into the trash under the cover of darkness.
So, I think my disappointment really stems from someone (and it just happened to be her) reminding me that not everyone is as happy about the returns as I am. I was forced to realize that it is pompous of me to assume otherwise. And maybe it’s just easier for a Democrat to feel this way, but right now, it shouldn’t matter whom you wanted to win. Right now, there is much work to be done and in the words of John McCain who said it so graciously and eloquently, disappointment is natural but our job now is to support our new president. Party lines are of little importance, really. No matter who has been voted into office, the work ahead affects us all. I said as much in my comment. I also said that my hope is that at least for now, the days of “it’s-us-against-them” politics are over.
And I hope they are.