(SEEING THE UNSEEN is directly below this post)
The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. — Teddy Roosevelt
As I write this, the Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives and look likely to eke out control of the Senate.
My friends, this is time to make a choice. We have suffered a very large defeat tonight, and there is nothing now that we can do about that except decide on how we wish to face it. We have been given an opportunity to show what losing with honor should look like. Do not wail and cry. Do not shout CHEATERS! or whine about media coverage. And most especially do not blame the American people. They are not idiots and they are not sheep. Iraq is not lost, the War on Terror goes on and despite what you may be feeling right now, there will not be any US helicopters evacuating stragglers off the roof of the US embassy in Baghdad… not tomorrow or any other day. That war was won on a November night two years ago. Trust me on this one, if you can, and if you cannot then at least do not despair. Maybe now we will realize that selling this war is as important as fighting it. In that regard I’ve been AWOL and I am ashamed.
We have to accept the fact that the conservatives we sent to Congress in 1994 became the bloated, earmarking, tone-deaf toads of 2006. They thought they could do whatever they wanted, regardless of what their constituents think, and now they have been reminded of just who is working for whom. Remedying that sense of isolation and disconnect and unchecked power is why we have elections in the first place, and as to the consequences of it, we have no one to blame but ourselves. That imperial attitude is not unique to Republicans or Democrats. That is human nature, and correcting the excesses of human nature only becomes more costly and painful the longer it is allowed to go on. Democracy is error-correcting. Ask John Kerry.
I voted straight down the Republican ticket tonight. I am not happy about this, but I’m determined to take it like a man and use this occasion to let the opposition see what it looks like to lose with honor and grace. That they have needed a lesson in this goes without saying, and a lot of us mean to see that they will need additional instruction along these very lines in the near future. But right now that is bluster; a check folded and stuffed in a shirt pocket for cashing at our leisure. This is their night.
The Congress that the Republicans lost they lost because they abandoned the ideals that elected them in the first place. We must learn from our mistakes. We will have two years to do so.
Remember one thing before you go. The most important election we are ever likely to see in our lives was not this evening’s election. Bush’s re-election in 2004 was the one we HAD to have, and we got it. Be grateful for that, acknowledge that this loss is no one’s fault but our own, congratulate the Democrats on their impressive wins and start figuring out how we can make sure this never EVER happens again. =)
I wish to tell my friends to be cheerful and especially to be of good will. Disappointments come and go, but moments of courage and integrity in dark hours will be there when the stars grow cold. We have lost the election, so let us maintain our determination, our dignity and our sense of humor, and let us take this moment to reflect upon how our actions have fallen short of our ideals. And then, finally, let’s act like the Americans we are, roll up our sleeves and start rebuilding. We who have survived Civil War, the Nazis and the Communists can probably manage to find a way to preserve the Republic in the face of Speaker Pelosi.
America is not only much, much stronger than you imagine; it is stronger than you CAN imagine.
To those who have written me in anger over the years, I say sincere congratulations to you on a big win, and I genuinely hope it will remove some of the bitterness in your hearts and restore some belief in a system that was never broken.
As for me, I pledge to re-enter the fight with more energy, not less, and to continue to try to make the case I think needs to be made. I’ll start on that tomorrow.
“Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.” — Winston Churchill
Welcome to the process of exhausting all other possibilities. This is where we separate the men from the boys. Pick a line and stand in it.