52 Is Not Our Enemy

There’s been a series of very nice photos going on called 52 to 48 which began with some Obama supporters (52% of the nation) sending a message to the rest of us (48% of the nation.) It’s a somewhat simplistic collage, but with a good message of understanding and mutual love on what binds us together: our common Americanism. It’s a sweet sentiment.

But some of my colleagues in the conservative blogosphere aren’t feeling it. Bob Owens over at Confederate Yankee writes:

Yes, I saw your messages. Dozens and dozens of them. How wonderful that you want to reach out now, after the last eight years.You do remember the last eight years, right?You lost in Florida. Remember how you reacted? “Selected, not elected,” and “Not my President” were the order of the day. But that was just the beginning. You kept nursing your grudge, cultivating it, stocking it, and formed insular, community-based realities to echo and increase your hysteria…And so it is very obvious that you want us to buy into his Presidency not because you want us to share his great visions of hope and change and unicorns, but because you’ve suddenly realized what kind of disaster you put into the White House. You don’t want to share success; you want cover when it all comes apart.So enjoy your two years of unquestioned power, 52. We’ll see you at the midterms, and see if you’re still smiling and reaching out when it isn’t so self-serving.

Bob, I love you like a brother who I’ve never met and link to twice a year, but have you seen some of the kids in this montage? Some of them look like they were 11 in 2000, if that.

I have news. Not everybody who voted for Barack Obama was in the streets screaming bloody murder about Florida. Political activists are a small slice of the population. The Majority of this country takes a passing interest in politics, with time spent on the subject being measured in minutes or hours, not days like for your average political blogger.

You average “52” voter isn’t rabid about their politics. They aren’t enemies. Heck, they aren’t even our opponents. Many of these folks will go on to vote Republican. Many are open to persuasion. Our problem is that for too long we haven’t even bothered with an argument, and our current administration hasn’t helped.

While I’m not buying into this administration, I will buy into the concept of respectful debate and engagement. And I appreciate the thought behind the gesture.