A Nonpartisan Note on Grace

Hey everyone! I’m still (in theory) Nano-ing, but I felt the need to post something on the US presidential election–a few days late, of course, but at least I’m posting. I originally wrote what follows just after the election in 2008, but I feel like it’s just as relevant now as it was then–with a few details updated, of course, marked by strike-throughs and red ink. Please enjoy:

So, the election is over and our entire country is now either celebrating or mourning. As we do this, I thought I’d put out a few thoughts I’ve been having on the topic, for both camps, about grace. I mean grace in the non-theological sense, the grace that involves courtesy and sportsmanship; the grace I think both sides need to learn. How to win, and lose, gracefully.


To Democrats:
You won! And everyone knows you’re excited; you deserve to be excited, and anyone who tells you otherwise deserves whatever crap you give them. It was truly a historic election.It’s always exciting when your candidate wins a close race.
But.
In the midst of your excitement, please remember that, for all the disparity of the electoral votes, in the popular vote your candidate only won by 7% 2%. Which means, there are a fairly significant number of people in this country right now who are as dejected as you are elated. Our president-elect says he wants to unify the country, and that’s a noble goal–so please, support it by being empathetic to the losers of this race. If nothing else, think back to 2004, when the race went the other way, and imagine (or remember, if it happened) what it would be like to have people gloating to you all the time. Be graceful winners, and you’ll do more to bolster the country’s confidence in their choice–and therefore give him a greater chance of being reelected in 2012 your party a greater chance of electing their candidate in 2016— than gloating ever will.

To Republicans:
Yes, you lost. Again. And you have every right to be disappointed, and maybe even to be a little angry at the jubilant Democrats you see all around you.
But.
You now have to deal with the fact that we don’t have a new president, and he isn’t the one you wanted. Being bitter won’t change anything, and it certainly won’t help any hope you have of reversing the situation come 2012 2016. Not only did the president-elect win, he won by a landslide in the electoral college, and regardless of what you think of him he is the new president, elected democratically for our country and BY our country. It’s our duty as a nation to support him now–and if that’s hard to do, remember Bush-bashing, and how much it bothered you. Being down on the president accomplishes nothing–he’s there, and he’s not leaving for at least four more years. Maybe by then your graceful loss will have re ingratiated you with the nation enough to win in 2012 2016. If not, at least you’re on the right track. Be a graceful loser, and everyone will respect you for it.

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