A Request: Wait and See

I posted this earlier today on Facebook, because this is getting completely out of hand.

To my friends on the left, of which there are many:

I did not copy and paste this – these are my own words, chosen with great care. Please do me the courtesy of reading it – it took a lot of time to formulate and write, and will take far less time for you to read.

I understand your disappointment about the way this week has turned out. I need you to understand something, and it’s important, and I want you to consider it with an open mind.

This election has hit you so hard because you were completely unprepared for this eventuality. You were assured that it was impossible. You were bombarded repeatedly with every negative aspect of the Republican candidate (of which there were plenty), but completely insulated from any of the things that you might actually have liked or agreed with.

You were fed daily polling data that gave you no reason for concern, opinion pieces that convinced you that half the country is your enemy supporting a madman, and “straight” reporting that painted at best only half the story, and at worst, outright falsehood.

Those sources are demonstrably and verifiably biased. It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s not whining, or sour grapes. It’s real.

If you choose to ignore everything else that they’ve released, at a minimum, you need to recognize that what Wikileaks has revealed about the collusion between the major media and the Democratic party is not just alarming, it’s a real and tangible threat to our Republic.

Even a diligent person, trying to honestly gather enough information to formulate their own “informed opinion,” will have been manipulated into adopting positions that only fall within a pre-defined spectrum of outcomes, through outright distortion, or careful omission.

Because of your own sympathies and perspectives, you might be ok with all of that. It’d be easy – far too easy – to say that the ends justify the means, so long as you find the ends desirable or, by your account, noble. It’s difficult to get worked up about an uneven playing field when that field is tilted in your favor. The path of least resistance, et cetera. That’s understandable. It’s very human.

I don’t question your motives. I know, to some degree or another, each and every one of you. If you’re reading this, it’s because I genuinely like you. There are no “Facebook Only Friends” in my list. I don’t accept random “fly by” requests.

Those of you that orient toward the other end of the political spectrum, to reiterate, I’ve never questioned your motives. I firmly believe that you love America, and that you believe that the things you advocate for are in her best interests – in the best interests of all of us.

I am frequently at odds with the ends you seek, and more often, with the means you choose in reaching them; I disagree frequently, vocally, often forcefully, but it’s important that you understand that it’s never your motives. I question your methods, the outcomes, and the costs – the net results. I have questioned your knowledge about how the world works, and even your sanity at times, but never your intentions.

I need something from you right now, each of you, and I’m not a person that asks for things easily. Harder than the asking itself, it’s the way I’m going to ask – it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable with, but such is the importance that I’m going to do it anyway.

I am asking this from you, on Veterans Day, because at one point in my life, I put your well being, our well being, ahead of my own.

That’s a pretty heavy handed way to ask – I know. I’m not asking because I think you owe me anything – you don’t – I made my choices, and from my perspective I got much more out of the experience than I put in. I am asking on the off chance that you feel like you owe something – not to me specifically, but to this country, and to those who’ve made far more substantial sacrifices to it than I was ever asked to.

I need from each of you some intellectual honesty, some objectivity, and some introspection.

Eight years ago, a man I did not vote for took the helm of a political apparatus that is vastly more expansive and powerful than it ought to be, swollen so far in excess if its charter, our Constitution, as to be unrecognizable – a government that has far more direct sway over the lives and well being of everyday citizens than was ever intended. As a consequence of that bloat, you and I really do have much to “gain” or “lose” in the outcome of elections – far more so than we should have. It wasn’t meant to be that way.

On that day, to say the least, I was disappointed.

In spite of that, on inauguration day in 2009, I could not help but feel a sense of pride that a black man was being sworn in as the President of the United States. Despite my misgivings about his political views, priorities, and perception of the role of Government and how it would affect us all, I thought it was amazing, given our country’s specific history. I was proud for us, and for the most part, I adopted a “wait and see” position.

It’s true, two years later, I’d seen enough, but President Obama did not lose me until after I’d witnessed his governing.

I’m asking you to do the same today. Wait and see. That same media, the one you trusted and put your faith in, the same one that ultimately set you up for a completely unexpected and soul crushing disappointment – they’ve helped to instill within you a set of truly horrible expectations. There has been so much hyperbole, and so few measured tones.

You know now how much they got wrong leading into Tuesday. That’s not opinion; that’s a fact. You can wonder about the media’s motives, whether there was a degree of intentionality to it, or whether they’re simply not good at what they do… None of that is really important at the moment. What you cannot argue are their results, the accuracy of what they told you. They were so wrong.

For your own mental well being, and for all of our good, please consider the possibility that they’ve been wrong about a great many other things. That’s all I’m really asking. Consider that they’ve gotten more of it wrong – perhaps all of it.

Things are rarely as good or bad as they first appear. Breathe. Be measured. Wait and see.

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