I am a Democrat (not a DINO, I have been working for Democratic campaigns since I was eight) but I honestly like the idea of having two rational parties. It behooves us all because we have real issues to tackle; the fiscal cliff, an increasingly unstable world, the Mets.
We need our leaders from both parties to start acting like adults and start working with each other. We all need to stop demogoguing people who have different views from us.
In that spirit, I have some suggestions for the Republican Party:
1. Stop proclaiming that compromise is horrible; it’s what made our country possible. And special note to people like Congressman Ron Paul, we cannot fix problems of the past but we can try to deal with what’s going on now (he said recently that we have “already gone over the cliff” and warned against compromise). Note to Speaker John Boehner: Thank you for showing some willingness to work with the White House. I think you are reasonable but you cannot expect to please every member of your caucus if you want to get enough Democrats on board.)
2. Vet your candidates better! Seriously, listen to Stephen Colbert — anytime any of them want to talk about rape (unless it’s about stopping it) they should follow the advice and stab themselves in the eye with a pencil. I say this not just because I know women can get pregnant from rape or that I don’t think a baby conceived this way is a “gift from God.” It’s because these comments shift the focus from things that matter to things that don’t.
3. Vet your surrogates better! The ridiculous caricature that is Donald Trump has no place in the public discourse. And concocting conspiracy theories to demonize the president makes reasonable people think you are anything but and then even if you have cogent points on other issues; we don’t notice because we’re too astounded by your claims that President Obama is a Kenyan born, Marxist, wanna-be-Hitler whose presidency has ushered in the end of days from the bible.
4. Remember that our Constitution was written to protect our rights from the government, not restrict them. When you continue to oppose same sex marriage and try to demonize the LGBT community you show just how on the wrong side of history you are on. A friend of mine calls this the civil rights issue of our time. It is. I cannot wait until everyone has the same rights and we can stop talking about this and get back to dealing with real issues.
5. Try to remember, this is 2012, not 1955.
The part of me that writes satire and comedy loved the circus that was Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann et al (if Jon Huntsman had been nominated, and he was more conservative that the rest of them, you would have had a better chance) but the part of me that cares about the country was deeply saddened by the missed opportunity to get people thinking about real solutions to our problems.
I don’t think the Democrats are blameless. I hate negative political ads and our side ran a ton. They make everyone jaded about a process that should excite and inspire people. Politics is also supposed to be “the art of the possible.”
Lest you think I only think Republicans field bad candidates remember, I refer you to– John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner. Neither side is perfect but that doesn’t mean they are evil either.