Logically, it might be that I should save this blog until after the election. After all (and to be sure “all” has been . . . a LOT), it’s just a week to go. November 8, 2016. The date history will record, sooner or later, that our Republic, as we know it, ended, if not forever, well for at least a good (spelled B A D) quarter of a century.
So, I’ve been thinking. I do do that, you know. On occasion. And then it came to me. And, for good reason. I don’t want to wait until the election results to share what’s on my mind. Need for instant gratification? Validation that I figured this out before others did? Nope. I’m past that.
Watching the 2016 presidential campaign, I’ve been mourning . . . the inescapable death of our nation as we know it. I’ve been grieving, literally. Feeling worse by the day. To be sure, this has nothing to do with who wins the election. Aside from the fact that anyone who can see the handwriting on the wall, read the tea leaves, knows who’s gonna win. The death of our nation has nothing to do with who wins, and my reason for sharing my observations now has nothing to do with who wins. It doesn’t matter.
When this finally occurred to me, I started feeling a little better. If that’s true for me, then it may be true for you too. And it can’t happen too soon. So . . .
The strongest bias in American politics is neither a liberal nor a conservative bias; it’s a confirmation bias, the urge to believe only in things that confirm what we already believe to be true. Not only do we tend to seek out and remember information that reaffirms what we already believe, but there is also a ‘backfire effect,’ which sees people doubling down on their beliefs even after being presented with evidence that contradicts them. That’s sometimes referred to as being . . . stubborn.
So, then, where do we go from here? From November 8? The only way people burdened by confirmation bias will start rejecting falsehoods being heaped upon them is by confronting some uncomfortable truths. Now. Right now. Right here in River City. (Just watch Robert Preston in Music Man, no ever said it any better.)
In electing Hillary, we will be electing the most corrupt, deceitful, dishonest, distrusted President in the history of our country. It is saying a LOT that Hillary is electable. My golfing buddies understand this. When they find their golf ball lying buried in the rough, they used to call it a “bad lie.” Now, they just call it a “Hillary.” By any name, the athletes who rise to the top know you have to take your lumps on the way. And move on. If Hillary gains a foothold in Congress, she’s going to destroy our Supreme Court, and our country, as we know it, for at least a quarter of a century. Like a good golfer, we can’t dwell on it. We have to get past it. Even if it takes longer than a single round of golf, or even a single tournament.
This election was the Republican Party’s to lose. And lose it they have. Even if, somehow, Donald defeats Hillary. The Republicans learned nothing from their mistakes four years ago. People are entitled to their mistakes. Once. Every dog gets his first bite. But that’s it. Not twice. The GOP learned nothing from its mistakes four years ago. They doubled down. They did it all over again. Worse! If left to their own devices, they will do it again. The Trump legions won’t let go. The conventional Republican leaders, the likes of McConnell and Ryan, just don’t have the wherewithal to take their party back. It’s just confirmation bias. They are losers, but we are the ones who will be left to pay the price. And pick up the pieces. And put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
So, we need to accept all this. And move on. The sooner the better. It’s too late for us, but we owe it to our kids. And our grandkids. Hopefully, it’s not too late for them.
So, what exactly are we to do? We need a new party. A centrist party. Don’t expect the Republican fringe to wake up. They won’t. Don’t expect the Democratic fringe who can’t see Hillary for what she is to wake up. They won’t. It’s confirmation bias. These fringes are lost forever. So, we need to leave them behind. Move on. We need to recruit the solid core thinkers in the Republican and Democratic parties to leave their parties and join and build a new centrist party. Not the Libertarians. Not Green. Not Peace and Freedom. A strong, vibrant centrist party with centered thinkers who will overtake and replace our dysfunctional Republican and Democratic parties with a fresh, solid new one, centrist and thoughtful. Fringers need not apply.
It might take 25 years. But so what? Better late than never. Once we recognize, accept and embrace where we are, that we’ve hit rock bottom, that this isn’t for us, for whom it’s too late, we have time to get this done. For our kids and grandkids.
And then I started feeling better. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
Because, hey, what choice do we have? Time to quit making apathetic excuses. Turning the other cheek. And to get on with it. Just do it! No reason to wait for November 8 to get started.
Editor’s Note: Think I’m delusional about all this? Watch for November 8, Part Two, coming to a theater near you soon, as in tomorrow. November 8. An important date for more reasons than one.
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