This morning as I headed to work, I was listening to Bob Lonsberry, our morning radio host on KNRS. Bob is conservative through and through, but he was mentioning that he liked a lot of what Barack Obama had to say at his victory speech last night. Lonsberry also said that, though he was a McCain man, Obama is now the President and it will be good for all Americans if he is a successful one.
Contrast that attitude to Sean Hannity, who was stating today that Obama only got elected through deception and would never have been voted in if he told people what he really thought. Mr. Hannity made prediction after prediction of an Obama presidency bringing gloom and doom.
This contrast was also apparent at McCain's gracious concession speech. As he talked about wishing Obama well and declaring his support, there were boos from the audience. Patiently, McCain tried to redirect some of his supporters to the bigger picture.
This contrast, I believe, is why the Republicans are losing and will continue to lose in the near future. There is a large faction of the Republican party that puts everything in black or white, us vs. them, with us or against us rhetoric. They are not interested in dialoging with their opponents because the opponent, by definition, brings nothing worthwhile to the table. Opponents are the enemy.
I have talked to a number of lifelong Republicans who cast their first vote for a Democrat yesterday. They feel their party has been shanghaied by the ignorant and the abrasive. I agree with them. I believe there are many intelligent, reasonable people in the Republican party, but they are not the ones being heard. The face of the Republican party is becoming the loudmouthed, education dismissive, media paranoid, rumor perpetuating simpleton who shouts down whomever does not capitulate to his or her view. This camp includes the end-time focused religious fanatics, who are trying to work out biblically why Obama may be the anti-Christ.
Reasonable Republicans are losing the ability to anchor anywhere ... and therefore find themselves just looking at who is the most genuine and able candidate, rather than being loyal to a party.
Hmmmm ... actually.... I think that is where we all should be.