Playing the blame game after the election
The Kansas City Star
The post-election conversations remind me of the Monday morning quarterbacking. We are willing to discuss the flaws in the candidates who we supported in a losing effort. We loved the person on Monday, voted for him on Tuesday and pummeled him on Wednesday.
However, mostly we just want to blame. We offer few logical arguments, just blame, recriminations and tirades.
Bill O’Reilly was on the web saying that there is not a traditional America anymore. President Obama won because the people voting for him “want things; want stuff.” What O’Reilly is really saying is that his entitlements as a white American male are now in jeopardy. He may not be able to claim all his customary privileges due his position because his majority status is history. Sorry, Bill.
Bill O’Reilly really said that “the white establishment is now the minority.” Therein lies the problem. Think for a moment about being at a cocktail party. (I don’t usually frequent those, but the setting seems to fit Mr. O’Reilly’s persona.)
The room is full. Everyone is well-dressed and engaged in small group conversations. Soft piano jazz is providing an almost unnoticed background music. The guests move easily between conversations, never staying too long with any one group; never being fully engaged. What is being discussed is not important. Who is there is what matters. Who did you see in the room as the picture unfolded in your mind? I’m betting on something like a white establishment majority.
Now reframe the cocktail party.
The room is again full and the people are dressed for the occasion. The music is lively, not loud, but rhythmic and energetic. The conversations compete with the music and each other in volume and intensity. The guests enjoy each other more than their drinks. Long-necks and microbrews are as apparent as are martinis and Chablis. People don’t seem to be moving around as much, but small group conversations get larger as the conversations attract interested by-standers.
Who do you see at this party? Would Mr. O’Reilly be present here or at the former cocktail party?
The second party welcomed a variety of people. The setting was more inclusive – different music, different libations, different energy. The invited guests were comfortable. And, Mr. O’Reilly, that is the difference that matters. The guest list was different and all were comfortable. It is not a matter of bemoaning the lost white establishment majority; it is a matter of welcoming everyone.
Rush Limbaugh is not someone I respect. I don’t listen to him but I did see a clip of his rant on the day after the election. He actually said, “Don’t tell me the Republican Party does not have outreach. We do. We have Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain.”
Outreach? Only if you think in terms of being “the chosen.” I guess it is necessary to think about who you will reach out to and allow to join the party. There is a difference between reaching out and inviting.
In the first, the person is allowed to join because they fit the description in some way. They may not look like the established members, but they share a philosophy.
In the second, the person is seen as someone whose company you would enjoy. Being invited says, “I think I would enjoy getting to know you and your point of view interests me.” It is not a welcome because we agree on the basics. It is an invitation because we can grow together.
I really wish the Republican dinosaurs well as they wallow in the past. The rest of us just cannot allow them to pull us into their misery. If they continue to tell others there is no welcome until there is an understanding of common philosophy, then let them die slowly.
Mark Lewis is a retired school administrator and lives in Liberty.