Dear Republican Friends…


How ya doin’? I know this is a tough time and the last person you want to hear from is a Democrat, but many of you are friends of mine. Some of the kindest and most decent people I know are Republicans, and I care about you. Much of my family were and are Republicans, too. You have to know I write this from the bottom of my heart.

I’m really worried about you – as a party. I think that this nation works best when there are two engaged, committed, fearless, and honest parties mixin’ it up – but also gettin’ ‘er done. And …. well, rather than just get mad and blame you all for the very public way your party is ripping apart I thought I’d offer my support and encouragement for you to get better soon. Really, anything I can do to help. But let me tell you why this is so important to me.

You all have to know that what your party in Congress is doing is not only suicidal but dangerous. We Democrats have had our own blow-ups, most notably around 1980, but we never threatened to set Heaven and earth ablaze with our own funeral pyre. There really isn’t anything you can win with the stalemate – you can only destroy this fitful recovery and, without a debt limit increase, the whole financial world. And you won’t even delay Obamacare because you can’t.

You got kinda used to getting your way on things, so it’s somewhat understandable. But this is madness. The last election saw a majority of Americans voting Democrat for President, Senate, and yes, even the House. You’re in a minority here. What you can do is join in and make changes around the edges to prevent what you see is the worst in us, and that is a very important role.

See, we Democrats are always proposing things to help people out in some way. We’re not socialists, at least not most of us, but we like to have a smooth social order that is fair. So do most of you, I know that. But we Democrats often forget how powerful the free market is and how important incentives are to making things work well. Having you join in and say, “Yeah, but …” rather than “No!” makes everything we do not only more palatable but better in the long run.

So you don’t like Obamacare. Well, the voters and a fairly conservative Supreme Court weighed in on it and said it was OK. You may not like that, but we don’t like a lot of things that the Supreme Court says either (Money is speech? Really?). We might squawk a lot, but we never threaten to bring down everything if we don’t get our way. We lived through things like tax cuts for wealthy people and the Iraq War and you can live through Obamacare. If it’s a real turkey, you get a big fat “I told you so!” at the end.

If you really have faith in the fabulous system our Founding Fathers put together, now is the time to show it. Please.

There are a lot of changes in the world right now, and they are very unsettling to everyone. Yes, Democrats tend to be very worldly and embrace cultures that you might not like. It’s still good to have you remind us of the importance of a common culture and the rich heritage that we share as a people – that helps us get through this. We rarely care a lot about the deficit, although that addiction to free money poisoned your party, too. More importantly, we expect “conservatives” to be the ones who remind us of the importance of civility even when taking a strong stand. United, this nation is incredible – but divided it’s as hopeless as any place else.

A little respect for the duly elected President would go a long way. You may not like him, but you have to respect the office – as you reminded us to do during the Bush years.

Right now, we are careening along from one totally manufactured crisis to the next like a drunk teenager on a dirt road. That’s not good for people who are vulnerable, but I’ll just guess you don’t care as much about that as I do. It’s also not good for financial markets, interest rates, small businesses, or your own blood pressure.

These crises come up for two reasons that I can think of – it’s either a minority that doesn’t understand they have very little power anymore or it’s an attempt to keep the faithful on their toes and engaged at all times. I think it started as the former, but the adrenaline is addictive. You seem to be angry absolutely all the time. Do you really think that is productive at all for anyone, yourselves included? Can you really sustain this indefinitely?

I do think that this is a Democrat nation at heart that wants to constantly make things better for everyone. My joke is that people will always vote for a Democrat that can reliably add two and two to get four – but we seem to only win about half the time. That’s where you come in. To really help people is to have a stable, reliable system that lives within its means and respects the common values that got us to where we are today. When we forget that you have every right to chide us – but to call us “un American” or “Terrorists” or “Socialists” or … Hell, I’ve lost track of the names, but the point is it’s totally unproductive.

We all care about the future of this nation. We all live in uncertain times when that future is very hard to imagine. We all get upset when we realize the way things used to be is gone forever. We all live by the same rules and, when you get down to it, we all have similar hopes and dreams.

No one person, no one party, no one ideology has all the answers. We all have to work together to make something happen. We need you, the Republican Party, to be strong and engaged in the creation of the next great era of America. Tearing everything down isn’t going to get us down that road. It’s a lot more productive and easy to make friends and influence people.

Please, my Republican friends, tell the members of your party who are part of this show-down to stop it. There have to be ways you can work with us or at least point out where we are screwing up bad in a calm and rational way. If you do that well, you’ll win again – and deservedly so. But there is a ton work to be done fixing and reforming and preparing for a new future together well into the next generation. We’re probably going to have to try a lot of things that won’t work as well as planned. We can’t be screwing around as we are now and not expect to be left sorely behind.

Thank you for reading this far. And I’m serious – tell me what I can do to help. I’m happy to try to get my Democrat friends to understand how important this is, too.