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Friday, November 09, 2012

The New Breed

I have been a political writer for over 40 years and that will always be one of my favored types of writing. In my fiction, I've been called any number of epithets based on Rafe Vincennes, my admittedly amoral hero, and my willingness to take on taboo subjects without the requisite disapproval. If any of my reviewers believe their negative statements have hurt me, they are wrong. I developed my elephant hide talking about politics and no critics are as vicious as political critics.

As a political columnist, I've been threatened with any number of dire consequences including death threats. I have been labeled a communist, a traitor, retarded, brainwashed, godless.....blah, blah, blah. I have written columns and essays for newspapers and magazines. I have written blog posts on my political blog ( ) In this election cycle, Facebook added an entirely new element to the political debate, giving a voice to people who normally wouldn't have had a base from which to express themselves. Some people entered the discussion tentatively, then quickly backed off when they realized just how bloodthirsty it was going to get. Facebookers who normally post about adorable dogs and cute kitties were crushed when people they'd thought their friends turned on them.

But all is fair in love, war and politics. In the end, it was mostly those of us who could take the heat who stayed in the kitchen.

One thing amateur Facebook politicians have yet to learn is how to lose gracefully. In my years of spouting off about politics, I've been on the wrong end of many political battles. Unlike the current crop of newbies, I did not declare half the American electorate ignorant, believing that they had their own reasons for voting as they did even if those reasons did not line up with mine. I did not question the winner's patriotism, religion or intelligence. I did not deny his legitimacy (even when the Supreme Court intervened to declare the winner of the popular vote the loser, in Bush v Gore).

Yes, I continued to write about what I thought was the wrongness of Bush's decisions. I ranted and raved about tax cuts and wars and deficits. I emoted about letting a crown jewel American city die. I stressed about the kind of Supreme Court justices Bush was nominating. I worked as hard as I could to defeat him in the next election but when I lost again, I accepted the voters' decision as the last word. It's the American system, after all, and you don't always get your own way no matter how right you feel you may be.

This is where this new breed of political writers seem to have gone off the track. The election is over, folks, and you lost. Accept it and live to fight another day.

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