As in 2008, one side won big in yesterday's elections. This year, though, the winning side was the side that did not win in 2008. So what happens next? Well, as in 2008, I have a few thoughts, some of which are recycled from back then:
1. Now is the time to congratulate the Republicans who just retook the House. Pray that God blesses them, and all our country's, and our world's, leaders with much-needed wisdom.
2. That doesn't mean that there is not room to oppose the policies and programs desired by the Republicans. Of course there's room for that. But there's a way to oppose a policy without tearing down a person. Both sides are sadly experts on tearing people down. Enough is enough.
3. It is time to decide if the current policies of the Democrats--specifically, the vast expansion of the federal government and trillion-dollar deficits, which can only lead to much, much higher taxes--are reasonable and proper for this country to follow. The voters seemingly have said that they are not.
4. And that leads to the next action item: do not let the MSM and quasi-conservative pundits tell you that the problem was that your side did not get its message out. Trust me, you did. It was rejected.
5. Like it or not, the other side holds a better hand at this time. There will be opportunities to work with them on items that are important to both sides. For example, you may have noticed that you're running out of time to avoid having a nasty tax increase (about which I wrote here) hit the American people.
6. Absolutely, positively, don't be jerks about it. Yes, the voters resoundingly disagreed with you. That doesn't mean they're any less intelligent or more evil, or that they hate people. (And, as I've said before, they're overwhelmingly not racists.) Do not sink to the level to which some on your side descended six years ago. Remember the disparaging cries of "Jesusland"? The contempt directed toward middle America? Jim Treacher will remind you, if you really want to revisit that era. (Some of his examples of that behavior are NSFW/language.)
1. Yes, by all means celebrate this win. Realize, though, that in most instances, you did not earn it, in all seriousness. This was a repudiation of the Democrats' policies and their absolute overreach with regard to the size and job of the federal government.
2. Remember that it is possible for people to oppose your policies, too, without being evil, stupid, or whatever.
3. There will be opportunities to work with the Dems on policies, but remember, you were elected because the majority of voters want government to change course from the direction in which it was headed, not just during the Obama Administration, but during most of the Bush Administration as well. Don't compromise the principles the voters affirmed.
4. Can we stop the infighting, please? I see people all over Twitter saying the Tea Party cost the Republicans the Senate (no, they didn't), and of course, the quasi-conservative pundits have taken shots at Sarah Palin since the day her VP candidacy was announced. Stop already.
5. Again, do not be jerks about it. And don't go around telling the other side its viewpoint is invalid because our side lost this one. I may disagree with your opinion, but that doesn't invalid it.
And for everyone: be thankful it's over, and enjoy the Christmas ads!