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November 5, 2008

From 52 to 48 with love

i would love to have a place for obama supporters, mccain supporters and supporters of third parties (over 1%) to reach out in a gesture of reconciliation...

simple messages from individuals.

perhaps it is naive. the differences are real, i know. but we have to repair the damage done from this election cycle somehow...

the fringes (all of them) have been allowed to dominate our conversations for too long. to create a cycle of hate, ill-will and revenge.

to contribute: please start here

maybe it works, maybe not - i know it won't speak to many : but i think we should try, and decide for ourselves.

from52to48withlove



UPDATE: very nice to get a shout from the National Review on this project - was worried that only lefties were looking. Am being inundated by quite a bit of hate mail at the moment, but also have gotten quite a number of constructive and heartfelt comments. i didn't say it would be easy...

UPDATE : the project expanded on during a sermon in Michigan

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Comments (103)

Best. Idea. Ever.

Has to be crafted very carefully to avoid any misread.

Thinking, thinking....

Posted by: zoomsoon at November 5, 2008 3:54 PM

As a McCain supporter, one who realizes the importance of Obama's election to so many, I wish with all my heart that we can leave behind the vindictive distrust and hatred that characterized the past eight years.

I don't support Obama, and I'm wary of the future. But please God, what I do believe in are his words of moving forward together. Together.

This project would help a lot. Democrats, show some love.

Posted by: Ben at November 5, 2008 3:57 PM

Let's do it! We can actually use rhetoric from Obama's speech last night. He said something like, "I will listen to you. I want to know what you think, especially if you disagree with me" (not verbatim)

My fear though, is that some McCain supporters think Obama is a Muslim socialist devil sent to destroy us... I've had people compare him to Hitler. How do we reach out to them?

Posted by: megan at November 5, 2008 4:01 PM

Shouldn't that be 'From 52 to 48 with love'? Or do we not love the Nader, Barr, Baldwin and McKinney folk?

Posted by: Kevin Fox at November 5, 2008 4:02 PM

What a tough and amazing thing to ask of people.

Posted by: Simon at November 5, 2008 4:03 PM

Let's do it! We can actually use rhetoric from Obama's speech last night. He said something like, "I will listen to you. I want to know what you think, especially if you disagree with me" (not verbatim)

My fear though, is that some McCain supporters think Obama is a Muslim socialist devil sent to destroy us... I've had people compare him to Hitler. How do we reach out to them?

Posted by: megan at November 5, 2008 4:04 PM

Please, let's do this. Maybe a simple message board? It would need to be monitored to keep out the mean spirited crazies.

I read a few comments over on foxnews.com today, and while I had to overlook a lot of zany, borderline racist comments, I was also genuinely moved by how many sounded disbelieving and sorrowful. Basically exactly how I felt in 2004. I love to be a part of trying to create a more respectful discourse.

Posted by: Kate at November 5, 2008 4:09 PM

John McCain has always been an honorable and intelligent man. I voted for Obama, but when I used to watch McCain the senator on the Sunday morning news shows he was always articulate and had well reasoned arguments.

It's too bad campaigns often make candidates appear one-dimensional. Instead of enlightening us with debate, rhetoric and argument, they wear us down with mindless repetition.

Posted by: John P. at November 5, 2008 4:15 PM

How about a "mentally hug the republicans" (or whoever) day? At an appointed time, everyone sends feelings of love and appreciation toward those they disagree with. Not to try to direct their actions or achieve a particular result, just to send out the highest possible amount of positive emotion. If nothing else, we make ourselves feel good, and really that's where everything begins. Deep breath, hoping for strength to post what probably seems like new age bullshit.

(From Ze: Ha! yes - I worry about the "seems like new age bullshit" factor too. But life is too short to allow those things to stop us, yes?)

Posted by: sarah at November 5, 2008 4:15 PM

Too soon. It'll come off like a swaggering "Sorry I had to kick your ass there, but you're really a not a bad kid" right now.

Give it a few months, and let it be an honest effort on its own merits, not a reaction fuelled by an endorphin high.

(From Ze: I disagree that it is fueled by some high. It is fueled on empathy. Waiting a few months get's us nothing. And not having any idea what it would look like I am not willing give up just because it *might* come off in a certain way. )

Posted by: casey at November 5, 2008 4:24 PM

I voted McCain and I don't think Obama was a "Muslim socialist devil sent to destroy us" (my Mom does though)

I hope we can be a united country. I'm definitely willing to give Obama a big fat chance.

This will certainly be a good test of the democratic party. Let's see what they do with all the power they've mustered. I hope they don't blow it, but if they do... we're americans and we can overcome, right?

Posted by: Dan at November 5, 2008 4:31 PM

What if we started some kind of left/right penpal thing? A stranger from the opposite side of the political spectrum who we check in with when the going gets tough politically. A one-on-one commitment to civility. I dunno.

Posted by: Kate at November 5, 2008 4:32 PM

Simply wonderful.

Count me in as a participant, and an evangelist:

@sfslim "@ZeFrank has a wonderful, challenging suggestion for a collaborative art project of national reconciliation: http://tr.im/52to46"

Posted by: Aaron Muszalski at November 5, 2008 4:36 PM

Yes. Please! Let's reach out to those with differing opinions! I have one of Obama's quotes stuck in my head, "We are not as divided as our politics suggest."

Could we do something like this http://is.gd/6jlt
so that people could choose a word or write in their own? It would be a lovely, powerful visual too.

Posted by: Robin at November 5, 2008 4:38 PM

I agree with 52 to 48, it's catchy and already starts to leave some of the bipartisan stuff behind.

Are short videos alright? Or just pics?

Posted by: Lolli at November 5, 2008 4:49 PM

Let's support each other as American's through the teaching of the Constitution and BILL OF RIGHTS. Community art projects inviting all to come out and to contribute to this. Unification through knowledge, letting it be known it is ok to disagree but that we have the same fundamental desire for freedom. Who can argue with a mural of the Bill of Rights? We teach or organize art that has an impact and maybe, we may actually receive our civil liberties back when those who do not know that they were taken away...

Posted by: kaotika at November 5, 2008 4:51 PM

This is brilliant.

We're seeing a potential reshaping of the American political landscape. Not just red states going blue, but the possible dissolution of old power blocks and the creation of new ones.

There are the evangelical youth who care more about global warming than gay marriage and ardent hunters who fear for the future of our wilderness. Neo-cons who are horrified by torture and unnecessary war, incompetence and spying and the attitude that the government is above the law. Churches and religious organizations whose priorities have been poverty and health care and injustice for decades, but who haven't had any effective voice in public discourse.

We may have broken the back of the "values vote" rhetoric, but it can rebuild itself if we don't take the opportunity to find common values and show respect for the nuances and complexity of what has previously been called "red America." We can find things to forge alliances over.

There will be unavoidable disagreements, some of them passionate, but there will be time to deal with them later (and hopefully will be approached with civility and decorum, and not "you're with us or you're with the terrorists).

And I hope I never hear the damn stupid phrase "United States of Flyover" again.

Posted by: Mike at November 5, 2008 5:17 PM

Awesome. At lunch today I bought an O-shaped coffee cake for my (mostly conservative) co-workers, and resisted the urge to paint it red and blue. They ate it. It was gooood.

I will think up something even better soon.

Thanks again, Ze for being awesome. (Though I can see now that you can't help it.)

Posted by: steph at November 5, 2008 5:51 PM

trouble trouble posting to this blog...

I think that the best way to bridge any gap is to find what it is we all have in common, in this case our nation.

Please, look carefully at the presidential voting numbers in Indiana, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida. John McCain lost by a small, yet healthy margin and those dissatisfied voters, with the freedom afforded to all people living in a democratic republic sent a strong message to Sen. McCain and the GOP. They expressed their dissatisfaction with their feet and their vote, “You, Sirs and Madams, are traveling the wrong path.”

In this case many of these conscientious Americans voted for Bob Barr.

So the question that must be asked to bridge any gap is what is the one thing we all have in common with Republican leaning Libertarians, Constitutionals, and Independent Parties?

The answer is the restoration of the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law.

So to reach out in a genuine nonpartisan way, dedicate yourself openly to spending time finding ways to do just that. Whether it is education, actively calling your representatives, writing letters to the media, discussing the issues with friends and family, making them aware of what is at stake when it comes to the foundation of this country.

Sentimentality is not what is beckoning, it is a commitment to a dedicated action, a common action that benefits all the people. It is what every American wants affirmed and what every American wants to hear in this country is, 'it's NOT just a goddamned piece of paper!’

Posted by: nader at November 5, 2008 5:51 PM

Have I told you lately that I love you Ze?

Posted by: tyson crosbie at November 5, 2008 6:05 PM

I helped build http://www.wedidit.us with a few friends last night. It's "Sorry everybody" re-worked as a grassroots victory celebration. The site is certainly not intended as a sneer, but I love the idea of something explicitly reconciliation-oriented. That's really cool.

I'd be more than happy to re-deploy the code on a new domain and push the site in that direction - in fact, it's already built.

Drop me an e-mail if you like, Ze. My afternoon is pretty free. I'd love to help you make this happen.

Scott

Posted by: Scott Andreas at November 5, 2008 6:25 PM

I love this idea. In fact, I started reaching out to a dear friend of mine who was sick over McCain losing. (hard to believe he is a dear friend! LOL) In any case, he was so angry I found it difficult in knowing what to say. Your idea is terrific. Let's bridge the gap and become united again.

Posted by: Share Ross at November 5, 2008 6:27 PM

I also love this idea. I volunteered throughout the campaign, and I've been uncomfortable with how mean some Obama supporters could be about first Clinton and her supporters and then McCain and his supporters. It was confusing and sad because it was the kind of adversarial politics that Obama was asking us to transcend.

Now that we've transcended it, I would LOVE to see something like this. Thanks for suggesting it. I DON'T think it's too soon. Both McCain's and Obama's speeches last night asked us to come together in this way. If you watched the Al Smith dinner speeches (some of my favorite political comedy this year... check Youtube) by both men, then you know that they are peers who have been having a contest, just like runners, or boxers, or members of a debate team. OF COURSE both hold passionate beliefs but each can find ways to work with the other! We need to relax too!

I was at first thinking about everybody reading the same thing... in Seattle they did a "What if everybody read the same book?" campaign that was pretty awesome because it gave everybody a shared point of cultural reference. The Constitution would be a great one here, except that not everyone will find it accessible reading.

What if we had house parties watching a movie like "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" (Which if you haven't seen it lately, you really should watch again anyway.) We could have giant meet-ups to watch the movie... instead of house parties we could get local movie houses, community centers and coffee shops to watch. Kind of like a book club... only no book.

Or we could do anonymous reconciliations, where we show up and get matched up with someone and just tell our stories. Again, not great in terms of "the crazies" but I think there's something special about the potential of actually meeting a person face to face.

I'm certainly not as Web2.0 savvy as some others here, so I tend to find analog solutions....

Posted by: Kendra PJ at November 5, 2008 6:29 PM

That's a wonderful idea. I voted for McCain and am simply appalled by the vitriol and hate being spewed by my democrat friends. I'm glad to see there are those out there who still believe in reaching across the aisle in a respectful discourse. After a deeply divisive campaign season, our country needs a gesture of goodwill to help heal the wounds created by the political attacks. This country was founded on principles promoting dissent and the right to express one's views freely.

Posted by: Emily at November 5, 2008 6:36 PM

This is a fantastic idea, but I know no matter what, there will always be the mccain supporters who will sit in their homes and remain disgusted with the country. I just hope that once things start changing (and I can only be optimistic that they do) that they will say 'okay. he's alright in my book. this maybe was a good decision after all'.

Posted by: Ambrosia at November 5, 2008 6:38 PM

"Sorry 48% of the country. But you can breath our clean air, too."


That wasn't really in the spirit of things. Damn.

~BS

Posted by: Brendan at November 5, 2008 6:39 PM

I definitely want to do this, and I definitely agree with those who are saying "too soon." Let's think on it. But not for too long, because I don't think it will take very long for it to be "too late."

Whatever the little mini-messages are, the general format could be something like the website that my friend Dave put together so people could weigh in on being a "real American". It's a project that's right up your alley, Ze, although it's definitely more partisan than we're aiming for here.

Posted by: Kristina B at November 5, 2008 6:42 PM

IMHO, the phrase "52 to 48" sounds like you just want to rub it in their face. "Hooray! We WON. You LOST." I'm sure all McCain supporters are aware of that.

My parents are well off, and my father is an economist. They voted for McCain, and weren't surprised when the dow fell almost 500 points today. While I tried to make my Mom feel better this morning, it all came out sounding like "Well, even if your life is devolving into chaos, at least we democrats feel your pain. Hey, if you loose your jobs and retirement, Obama might get you free health care!" It just doesn't seem like an acceptable consolation prize in their minds.

Posted by: Kate C at November 5, 2008 6:44 PM

Today my boss, a very well known Republican in Denver, and publisher of one of the most biases conservative newspapers in the nation received a bouquet of flowers and a dozen donuts from a local democrat.

The card with the flowers read: A little something to lift your spirits.

Posted by: Sara Downey at November 5, 2008 6:50 PM

From 52 to 48 with love,

I want what's best for this country, the world, and people in general. I'm sure you do, too. Let's figure out what the best answers to our problems are, regardless of which color state it comes from. I may not share your Dogma, so break your answers down for me. Explain your reasoning. I'm coming at the issue from a different place than you are, so help me understand by building a case for your position with logical steps and reasons. Show your work, and then we can work together to help America earn the respect of the world.

~BS

Posted by: Brendan at November 5, 2008 6:50 PM

I think my head is still spinning from all the lies that have been flying around, or were they promises everyone was making...

I just hope that someone will make the liars, cheats, swindlers, condecending anti-bigots, and law twisters accountable for their actions....

I'm all for any leader who can accomplish that.

This is probably more truth than satire.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/black_man_given_nations

Good luck to everyone that was elected..

Please don't make us sorry!!

Posted by: Greg at November 5, 2008 6:51 PM

As a republican who believes Obama is a very bad man, I would have a really hard time believing any "outpouring of reconciliation" or whatever from a huge group of people who have spent months berating us, our intelligence, our candidate. All of my liberal blogging friends have posted entry after entry filled with propaganda and hate. So all of a sudden, now that you've "won" you want to say, its okay we forgive you? I cannot believe how many hateful things have been said about republicans, that we are bigoted, close-minded, intolerant, etc. Yet, it feels to me that we are the ones who are on the receiving end of all the judgment and intolerance. I don't know, I don't know if I can express what I have been feeling today without sounding horrible. The thing is, for me to turn aside from my "values" which you all seem to feel are so wrong for me to have, would require me to abandon my faith. Yes, I believe in absolute truth, creation, and that there is only one way to salvation through Jesus. There was a time when a huge majority of our nation would have agreed with those statements. Now, I am a minority, and just by expressing those values, people will label me and thing negatively of me. And I think that is what scares and saddens me the most.

I have no idea if this is going to make any sense to anyone, but I felt compelled to share with you where I am coming from. I can't separate my faith and my values from politics, and I can't believe people would expect me to.

I don't want to see the "promise of change" become something that fundamentally changes our nation.

(From Ze: understood. but i will not judge all republicans based on the vitriol i see in the comments of foxnews.com, and i hope you will not judge democrats based on those who shout the loudest. this is not about forgiveness, and it is not about asking anyone to sacrifice their values. It is simply a recognition that we live side by side, and without some spirit of unity...based on whatever we can scrap together...we are screwed - not in a political sense - but in a human sense)

Posted by: Gretchen at November 5, 2008 6:59 PM

I'd say give us some time to celebrate first. Sure, this can be a part of it, but it's ok for us to feel good for a while and slap one another on the back for a job well-done.

Albert Kaufman
Portland, Oregon
where we're still awaiting the results in our senate race!
http://albertideation.wordpress.com/merkleyrace

Posted by: Albert Kaufman at November 5, 2008 7:05 PM

Dammit Frank, you're a genius! If you ever get the urge to ditch it all and go into academia give me a holla. You would be a great educator for the young minds. Seriously. Just wear pants to class, k?

Posted by: EBB at November 5, 2008 7:13 PM

That really is an amazing idea; way to reach out and be positive, we need more of that!

Posted by: Katrina/Shadokat at November 5, 2008 7:16 PM

i like the idea of a general movement for binding the nation together. i feel like thats the only way that we can bring the united states up from the current state of the nation. emotionally, economically, mentally and physically we are very divided right now, and we need something to bring us together.

get it going on the web. make a message board of stories and worries and a way for people to connect with someone whom they may never have spoken to.

we need to move it into the cities like the "free hugs" movement. its one of the most powerful things ive seen when taken seriously... people just need human contact. something like that needs to happen to get the word out to people who dont peruse the internet.

communication is always the problem, and if we can get out and show people whats really going on and how much we care... well, maybe we can help a few people feel better about whats happening in our country.

i hope that doesnt sound absurd. i havent slept in a very long time. i love seeing everyones ideas here. itll be interesting to look at submissions.

Posted by: Rachel at November 5, 2008 7:19 PM

We are afterall, the UNITED States of America- Now, more than ever is a time we should unite as a nation and work together to right the wrong. REGARDLESS of race, religion,political party, or any of the such, WE the people of this great country need to come together as role models for our children so that when we pass this country down to them and their children after that- history ,if we all do it right, will teach our children how to run a successful, honest,country.

Posted by: Maureen Dailey at November 5, 2008 7:58 PM

Today, I've trying to forge conversations with people in my sphere that are Republicans (I didn't know they were)... I've been a little attacked by a couple of people for my support of Obama, but I feel the need to keep the dialogue open with them and let them know that there's a feeling person behind the words on the screen. I know you want to hear about ways to reach out to the other side, but I also find that it's a big job, reaching out as one person, to talk about our differences and feel ok about sharing a nation still. Sometimes I wish I would just shut my trap and not get involved in these debates, but I can't stop myself. I want to be heard, and I want to get through.

Here's one conversation in progress between me and a Republican which started off a little wrong, but I hope it will evolve. It's all in the comments (I hope it's still in progress... I wrote way too much, not eloquent enough. I don't know this guy, really, he's a friend of an old friend who has been following my blog) http://lowcoolant.blogspot.com/2008/11/no-surrender_04.html

The conversation is also happening on my FB wall. An old friend from long ago, who clearly doesn't know me anymore, expressed surprise that I'm essentially "one of them". I don't want to alienate, nor do I want to be alienated by the few friends I happen to have that are across the aisle. It just seems that some are willing to hear without attacking, and others just think they're right and we're wrong. I feel a little right now like I need backup, because I doubt my own ability to speak from an informed and unemotional base to people who want to pick fights with me.

Man, I just wish they knew how America looks from the outside. They wouldn't be so quick to throw me in a box.

Posted by: Molly at November 5, 2008 8:14 PM

"From 52 to 48 with love".
Really?
From "winner" to "loser" with love.
We love you little losers.

(Tongue-in-cheek, by the way)

Keep in mind when the tornado winds have died down, the damage left behind must be cleaned up before rebuilding can happen.

Let me explain my personal take on "damage":
after many months of reading as much as I could, researching both candidates and considering the future of this country and what matters to me and my family - I voted for McCain. I didn't vote for him because he was not the "great white hope my blinded republican mind" was "compelled to vote for" (yep that's what I have been told). I didn't "not vote" for President Elect Obama because he was black. I voted simply because the mess in Iraq I deemed too volatile too dangerous and thought one with more experience would better serve re: foreign policy.

I also don't view President Elect Obama as the "anti-christ", nor am I a "name-calling, ignorant Pres. Bush-ite" (yes - I've heard that too) I am me who loves this country, has raised 2 children, loves people, loves God, loves life - and tries, oh so hard, to respect each individual.

Listening to McCain's concession speech last night, I was so incredibly proud that I HAD voted for such grace. I wish we had heard his true voice earlier - my decision would have come sooner.

Listening to President Elect Obama's acceptance speech last night, I also was so incredibly proud that, in my 52 years, we have come to a place where the color underneath our clothes finally matters less than the measure of the man.

I was so proud to hear words of healing...of bridging the gap...

I'm grateful - because healing must come - so many/ both sides feel "beaten up". Personally I feel "beaten up". Why, with freedoms so many have died to preserve, should I have been attacked for thinking differently than 52%? Why? because for the first time, in my voting lifetime - our country cared. Complacency has risen off it's rear end and has given way to Passion. Passionate people can all too easily lose sight of empathy... (been there, done that!)

Nonetheless...

I have hope.
In a brighter tomorrow.
Not hope hinging upon a mere "man"... but in an awakening in our oh-so-complacent culture -

Now THAT's something that instills hope in my heart.

I am grateful that you, zefrank, have made this effort at healing. Don't take it personally if those whom have been maimed in these last 22 months proceed with caution - from BOTH sides of the "great divide"...

Best...

Posted by: Judy at November 5, 2008 8:36 PM

I love this idea. Posted to digg and hope more people find it.
http://digg.com/2008_us_elections/Lets_heal_the_nation_52_to_48_with_Love

Posted by: Andres at November 5, 2008 8:49 PM

I sent you a picture. "WE'RE ALL FAMILY! LET'S WORK TOGETHER AS AMERICANS!"

Posted by: Matt at November 5, 2008 8:57 PM

I honestly knew of no one who voted McCain but I also did not vote Obama. I was so sick of all the hate that I could not with all my heart vote for either. Made me sad. Still am sad as the taste of this campaign on either side was so over the top. Turned me off as I have now turned off my tv except for ESPN and it even showed up there. I need a break from all politics and just want to shake it off so I don't feel so used.

Many blessings to all of you no matter what your stance. Going to hibernate for a while with a book and my cats. See ya in the new year.

Posted by: JanScholl at November 5, 2008 9:05 PM

Of all those posted thus far (2008-11-05 20:57EST), only the "McCain will also lead us well" one seems in the spirit Ze is promoting (full disclosure: I voted Bob Barr). While the thought is appreciated, the attitude that still comes across in most of these is "You have no choice but to get on board." I'm all in favor of postpartisanism, but it really sounds disengenuous after, as Ze put it, "the damage done from this election cycle."

Don't let my thoughts discourage anyone; I'm simply saying that "we're all in this together" is much easier said when your side's on top, as everyone left of center certainly realizes from the not-so-distant past, and the task Ze has called to our attention is monumental.

To wrap this up, I honestly don't believe McCain is/will be a good leader in any capacity, but whoever snapped that picture has the only post that made me think, "This guy gets it."

All the best, from<1to52withlove

Posted by: Will at November 5, 2008 9:05 PM

I didn't vote for Obama, neither did my husband. The night before the election we set up a website with the same goals in mind. We also have a facebook group - respect our president - please join us here as well. I'm so happy to see others interested in bridging the gap!

Posted by: camilla at November 5, 2008 9:19 PM

I agree with Will, to a point. Are there others on the 48% side, or the <1% side, who are willing to reach out at the same time? It can't be a one-sided affair or it comes off as patronizing and insincere.

If we're all in this together, it has to be *together*.

Posted by: KayJay at November 5, 2008 9:27 PM

Commenting from Australia; once the result was clear the leaders of both parties displayed a dignity and recognition of each others merits that showed the best of what we, from the outside, think America can be.
If you are going to overcome the challenges you now face then surely you need to accept the choice of the democratic process and get on with it, and show us how great you can be.
Hurt feelings, whilst painful to bear, are not going to move the country forward. Neither is gloating.

Posted by: Paul at November 5, 2008 9:46 PM

I like this contest. I'm sad about McCain not winning.

Posted by: Kristine at November 5, 2008 10:42 PM

I love this idea. The first time I teared up last night was during McCain's concession speech. Total class act. If he'd campaigned like that instead of with fear and negativity the final race might have been closer. Maybe transcripts and video of those parts of his speech need to be a part of what brings red and blue closer. No, the Republicans may not want to listen to the magnanimous winners, but how can they not listen to the man they were willing to send to the White House when he says both sides have to find a way to work together? Not sure that those booing at McCain’s concession speech are ready for reconciliation though.

Posted by: HB at November 5, 2008 10:59 PM

I agree it is way too early [today, this week] to make any moves that would not just incite more weirdness in the red states.
once he appoints a clearly saner new crew then maybe any blurring of that line could start.
It honestly absolutely scares me when I realize that there are even people out there who are not able to differentiate their religious beliefs from politics, and feel it is their mandate to impose their beliefs on all others around them. These people cannot comprehend that anyone ever wanted or deserves freedom 'from' religion [much less see it as an American right] and they are angry at any idea of equality for a whole slew of people they consider inferior and unsaved.
I think any political divides are a result of individual personal religious and economic experiences. and short of changing those, any public schoolteacher will tell you that the first thing to get across is the idea of BOUNDARIES.
Where you end and I begin.....personal rights and manners in communication.....very very elementary stuff that needs to be re-iterated now like never before, to ALL of us.

......there was a psych study last month that found that clear impartial evidence against the faith-based beliefs of 'true believers' will actually be denied and RENEW their passion in their faith!!!
Sometimes talking to people whose POV has been to loathe the foundation of your very existence [or autonomy or power] can be kinda sorta futile and at worst incendiary.
However, agreeing 'to disagree' and meet in the middle at definitions of 'work' and 'fix' and 'help' may be tedious and may require tongue-biting, and tact, and lots of going home and venting in private, but it is the most rewarding thing that can be done by anyone anywhere, and the only option in going forward as Americans.

yeah we all have that modern freedom to be completely [ and sometimes instantly] snarky smart and mean[and damn is it fun and funny sometimes!] , but it creates resentment and then.....life being life....... we have to share SOMEthing SOMEwhere with someone who doesn;t agree with us, and possibly never will. and then it is prickly and sucks and maybe intensifies due to hardened attitudes.
America [geographically and digitally] is still a really big place, and the net is infinite right? and our capacity for bs.....but at the places where our lives invariably rub up against other people's, there must be respectful concessions made and new ways to just define how we interact despite our politicalANDreligious stances. We are all hoping things get a liitle better for alot of people, not a few, and that will take SO much work out of our various comfort zones.
I honestly don't think it'll be the worst thing to have to define healthy Boundaries and model Tolerance for the bazillions of young kids who are watching all this go down too.....

Posted by: ef at November 5, 2008 11:42 PM

I will have to meditate on this one - at the moment any attempt to reach over the net and shake hands would be condescending. BUT, I love the spirit of the idea and would like to get myself to a place where I can be sincere about bridging the divide. Om. Om. I'll get back to you. Thanks for another opportunity to do something better than the day before! This 'un's a doozy!

Posted by: jeano at November 6, 2008 12:58 AM

working about it. Prop 8's win in CA and the way it was promoted - along with the bad turn the McCain campaign turned in the final months of the election makes it hard to Not think about those things; not hold a grudge.

But I will work on something that speaks to the heart of all of us: we are all members of families we wish only the best for them and, for their sake, I'll speak to the desire I know the other side has for America to function again, not feel ashamed anymore (or willfully proud against all logic) and to better this place for all of us.

ah man, it'll be tough though... so many more bans on same-sex marriage and that Arkansas vote... I'll work on something though.

Posted by: ~A at November 6, 2008 2:30 AM

Blue State
Red State
United States

Posted by: Cherrie at November 6, 2008 4:36 AM

Dear 48,

Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I don't like you. I don't like talking to people who always agree with me, I like to have discussions, to hear other viewpoints. You are still and will always be my friend and my neighbor.
Let's go have a beer together and watch the football game, or come on over - I have some new kits that might be fun to work on, or lets go fishing - it would be fun.

-52

Posted by: Madrigorne at November 6, 2008 5:50 AM

Spare me the smarm.
I set my teeth and took your abuse for eight years.
I don't want your love any more.

(From Ze: You know what is strange - when i first read your comment I thought you were a democrat - that's why i think this is worth doing - and i realize that this is a long shot)

Posted by: Andrew Anderson at November 6, 2008 7:43 AM

Ze--Your voice of reason rings true yet again.

Posted by: Gwen at November 6, 2008 8:34 AM

Ze, this is a great idea. While I'm actually from the ~1% of 3rd party voters, all the talk of unity means nothing without the voters reaching "across the aisle" as well.

Posted by: Brandon Ferguson at November 6, 2008 8:56 AM

I'm neither Republican nor Democrat, but a Conservative-leaning Independent. (Full Disclosure: I voted McCain as a 'lesser-of-two-evils') I don't believe Obama is evil. I don't believe McCain is infallible. I only feel that McCain shared similar beliefs to my own. As anyone who's seen my FB page can attest, I'm melancholy at the moment. I have no fear that Obama can step up and be the leader that we need in these troublesome times. The thing I DO fear are those of his supporters that view him as 'the second coming'.

He's a man. no more, no less. He's going to be facing the toughest challenges of his life. As Americans, we do need to be supportive, but not blind (as we should with ANY leader). Respect authority, but don't be afraid to question it.

I've not been getting that feeling from many of the comments I've been reading around the 'net from the Obama 'zealots'. (I know. They're not all wackjobs, but they seem to be rather plentiful right now.) This is what makes me truly fearful about the whole outcome of this cycle.

I agree with you, Ze. Let's get all of this behind us and focus on rebuilding. That's what is ultimately important. I see your campaign as a healthy start.

From 48 to 52 with love,
KP

Posted by: Ken at November 6, 2008 9:29 AM

Hi - I didn't vote for either of the big candidates, but I love this idea. I hear so much derisiveness, dismissiveness, and anger from one side about the other, and it hurts my heart.

Posted by: ellie at November 6, 2008 10:35 AM

KP - the non-wack jobs are probably not running to the computers and blogging their fingers off. Well, wait a minute, they entered their happy thoughts in Ze's Blog! Also, over at onegoodmove.org there have been good comments. As Ze and others have noted, the right wing-nuts have had their say on the internet as well.

So like you, I agree this is a great project - earth sandwich-esque.

For me it is a bit too soon though. I've been able to avoid the left wing nuts generally, but haven't been able to do the same with the neo-cons. A lot of my family are neo-cons, so that's always in the background. Also, wacko-s do shout quite loudly so they are hard to ignore. (Remember cries of "Terrorist!" "Kill him!" from a few weeks back?)

When I calm down from the in-your-face McCain/Palin/Rove emotions, I think I'll be able to make a good picture. There's one forming in my mind's eye, but I do want to make sure it doesn't have any gloating to it.

cheerio--

Posted by: gypsy sister at November 6, 2008 11:35 AM

this is beautiful.

it addresses the nastiness of zealotry by countering it with the spirit of a unified goal and heart.

there seems to be a point at which "taking a side" results in something ugly. you see this everywhere in life, from relationships, to politics, religion to eating habits. the saddest part is that the most vehement defenders sometimes lose the point along the way and concentrate their energies on smearing and condemning others with little effort to understand where the belief sets come from. over simplifying things to black and white and tending towards hatred or harshness.

peace as far as it is possible.

Posted by: ingrid at November 6, 2008 11:51 AM

beautiful.

-jay was here!

Posted by: jay at November 6, 2008 11:53 AM

The Dali Lama and Gandhi would endorse your reconciliation movement wholeheartedly, Ze.
McCain himself made the move toward reconciliation in his concession speech. He accepted his loss with grace and dignity.
If Obama supporters accept their victory with equal grace and dignity, the healing of the political rift that has divided this nation for too long will be a smooth process.
Regardless of who won the White House, the challenges that face this nation and the world are great, perhaps the greatest since the Great Depression, and it will take the efforts of every American citizen to see them through.
I, for one, will do my best to show my friends and family who were McCain supporters that we Obama supporters are not Blue Meanies.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 6, 2008 12:15 PM

Love it Ze. You are brilliant and sensitive. Did I mention handsome?

Posted by: hooper at November 6, 2008 12:23 PM

Its a fine line between "lets work together" and "you suckers lost and i'm just trying to be nice about it"... This is a nice gesture if respondents truly mean what they write.

(Personally: hey red states, you had the country for 8 years. its our turn now. seat back and enjoy.)

Posted by: hydeNY at November 6, 2008 2:00 PM

love the idea, generally I do respect the other side.
I have to admit I am working through some difficult emotions related to the campaign and the ugliness that had come out.
I think we will come together soon.

Posted by: bridge at November 6, 2008 2:09 PM

"I've had people compare him to Hitler. How do we reach out to them?" -megan

The same way I reached out to people who called Bush "Chimpy McBush!tler". With grace.

Posted by: pol at November 6, 2008 5:04 PM

This is an EXTREMELY gracious sentiment. Thank you very much for making a difficult week a little better.

Posted by: Christian at November 6, 2008 5:09 PM

I'm a 32-year-old conservative McCain supporter and I would like to know where you all have been for the last 8 years. How many of you had Bush = Hitler stickers on your car or told people that Bush isn't your president or said you were ashamed to be an American? How many of you called people like me small-minded selfish bigots? And I thought you on the "blue" side of the fence have been telling us "red" people for the last 8 years that all dissent is patriotic, no matter how insane or violent it is? And now you are asking me to unify with you? I will gladly have a beer with you or see the new Bond movie with you, but I cannot unify with you on anything more substantive than that. I love my country and my freedom (including my economic freedom) too much to stand by you while Mr. Obama takes more and more of my money to waste on failed government programs and exerts more and more control over my life. I will be more civil to you in our political discussions than you have been to me for the last 8 years, but I will fight you every step of the way.

(From Ze: i'm not asking you to agree with me politically. personally i would like to start getting past the "people like you" and "people like me" talk. i'll be honest - i don't know what to do besides this gesture right now. but a beer would be a start...)

Posted by: Julia at November 6, 2008 5:19 PM

As is said on every hack talk radio show: First time reader, first time commenter. (Snappy radio drop to follow)

Interesting idea you have there, Ze - I think this will have some merit with the vast majority of non-hyperpartisans out there. Even though I tend to lean Libertarian, I did vote for McCain this year based on the "lesser of 2 evils" philosophy (No way I could vote for a slimeball like Bob Barr for office).

Actually, that "lesser of 2 evils" phrase is a bit overblown - neither Obama nor McCain are "evil
men, despite what some on the far-right or far-left would have you believe. Sadly, there are just some people that believe that "politics makes the man", which isn't how it should be.

I just hope, for our country's sake, that an Obama presidency will be a successful one not for Democrats or Republicans, but for the country as a whole.

Posted by: Brian at November 6, 2008 5:19 PM

You can't be serious!

Where the heck were all of you over the past eight years? The deranged garbage spewing forth, and the utter lack of support for our country, mission, and leadership, was unconscionable.

Unlike the vast majority of you hypocrites, I will support the POTUS, even though I do not agree with who will be occupying it. I will fight for what I believe in, but I will do it with respect.

I ask again. Where the heck where you people the past eight years.

Posted by: Alan at November 6, 2008 5:20 PM

I'm a Canadian and thus didn't vote in your recent election. Your photo essay is a very nice idea but will those in the "52" group REALLY follow through?

In the past 8 years it was this group that espoused most of the hate. Don't believe me? Take a look back at the archives of http://thedailykos.com

How many of the "52" group loudly spoke out when Sarah Palin was hung in effigy in Hollywood? How many spoke out against President Bush being belittled by Stewart and Maher & others for 7 years? How many spoke out against those who condemned Pro-Life advocates as morons?

Have you noticed that the election of President Obama has not generated a whole of hatred from the "48". In 2012, if Obama loses, will the current "52" follow the same lead? History makes me doubtful.

Beyond these simple pictures, will you turn your positive gestures today into actual practice tomorrow? If free speech in any aspect of society is stifled, will you stand up and tell President Obama not to mess with it? This includes both talk radio and union certification.

I, and many others, will sit back and watch, hopeful that today's love will not turn into tomorrow's hypocrisy.

Posted by: Robert W. at November 6, 2008 5:22 PM

It's pretty easy to feel magnanimous when your candidate is the winner, isn't it? I appreciate this gesture, which I think is obviously genuine and heartfelt, but I implore you to remember that similar gestures were made after the past two elections, with nothing but eight years of disgraceful vitriol hurled at our President and the people who supported him as a reward. Perhaps some of the "52" represented here are not guilty of this, and so do not deserve my anger, but there it is. I hope you'll understand if I'm not quite ready for a big group hug. I may never be.

In lieu of that, I promise to treat Barack Obama better than George Bush was treated when his policies faltered, or when he made mistakes in what is clearly the most thankless job on the planet, or displayed human frailties some on the left seemingly have forgotten we all share. (In other words, I won't be lobbying to have a sewage treatment center named after him.)

Obama is a man, not a messiah, and you who have put him on a pedestal over the past two years will become all to painfully aware of this fact within the first few months of his office. I promise when that day of reckoning comes, I will not rub your faces in the choice you made to elect him, or call you "stupid" for doing so.

The rest of the world does not love us now, contrary to what you might think, nor do they have our best interests at heart just because we elected the "right" man into office. Make no mistake, Obama will be cruelly tested by nations who do not share the noble notions of equality and rule of law we take for granted here. He will make mistakes and will need all of our unqualified support to lead us through what we all face. I promise I will try to give him that, and if I can't, I will at least give him the benefit of the doubt. I love my country and have ALWAYS been proud of her. I will never, ever say, "he's not MY President."

Our system of government was designed to flourish under the tension that arises from the civil discourse of well-informed, passionate grown-up citizens. I will not fall lock-step in line with his policies, many of which I find appalling, in the interest of "unity" or "harmony". But I promise to respectfully and vigorously present my best case for what I think would be a viable alternative, and will listen to you in turn.

I hope that will suffice, because right now? It's all I can give. But thanks for the gesture anyway.

Posted by: julie at November 6, 2008 5:41 PM

I must have missed this site in 2004. You had it on after Bush had won as well, no?

(From Ze: No. This site didn't exist. Did you make one?)

Posted by: BushequalHitler at November 6, 2008 5:44 PM

Ze:

The problem here is that, from the viewpoint of the right, the left has engaged in deranged name-calling and insipid sanctimony for years -- calling us Rethuglikans, Christofacists, etc. etc. etc.

So now you want to take the narcissistic, whiny "Sorry Everybody" approach to apologize? The very thought screams out to the right that you're not sorry. It simply emphasizes the petulance of the left -- now that 52 has their way, they'll be nice. Two days ago, they were equating McCain and (moreso) Palin with Hitler and worse.

Want to reach across the aisle? Stop demonizing conservatives and stop assuming you know the motivations of conservatives. Conservatives "speak" liberal because we hear it and see it every day. Liberals don't generally "speak" conservative.

(From Ze: Pick a comments page on FoxNews. I could replace the word "conservative" with the word "liberal" in your post and it would hold. You probably don't agree that it is actually happening - but it remains a fact that it is perceived that way. I agree. The demonizing has to stop. I understand that many of us are so far apart that it might be impossible, but I would like to try)

Posted by: Mark at November 6, 2008 5:46 PM

Nice idea. But why is it that everyone wants to come the other side to come together now. The fact that many Obama supporters treated Bush and Republicans so disgracefully over the last 8 years leaves many Republicans quite doubtful of where the real intent of something like this lies. Do we only have to come together when a Democrat is in the White House? At least Republicans are not threatening to move to Canada en masse.

Posted by: Alex at November 6, 2008 5:53 PM

Very nice gesture, Ze. I believe what would do the most good is for Obama supporters to systematically denounce all the unhinged, totally inexcusable, over-the-top hatred and vitriol expressed toward Pres. Bush (Chimpy, Bushitler) and Republicans in general (repugs, wingnuts, etc). Yes, a long, long shot.

(From Ze: I denounce it)

Posted by: Danny at November 6, 2008 5:55 PM

From 48 to 52,

We will treat your President-Elect Obama with the same courtesy and civility you showed to President Bush. Though we'll probably refrain from the swastikas and burning effigies.

(From Ze: I'm tired of being lumped in with this "you". I don't like swastikas and burning effigies either...most people don't)

Posted by: RGrant at November 6, 2008 5:57 PM

After 8 years of bush == evil and calling all redstaters Rethuglicans?

You won, you got the government. Have at it.

I'll show as much grace in defeat as the left did in 2000 and 2004...


Posted by: Parisan at November 6, 2008 5:58 PM

How about, instead of talking about "reconciliation," you just try to act like adults when your team loses. Funny how the only people that rioted this year were democrats, even when they won a majority of races.

(From Ze: Adults try to reconcile. I did not riot. I did this.)

Posted by: Red Guy at November 6, 2008 6:00 PM

Have to second what Julia wrote above. Where where you the past eight years? Democrats only seem to want to talk about unity after *they* win an election. Some of the atrocious behavior from Democrats and the left in general during the Bush Administration really makes me want to have nothing to do with you sometimes. I'm really feeling inclined to give Obama the same benefit of the doubt that Democrats gave Bush, ie: none whatsoever.


Posted by: nope at November 6, 2008 6:06 PM

Show me a birth certificate.

Show me he did not renounce his citizenship

Show me where the money is coming from to buy all the election promises.

Show me that he will help vindicate the genocide by the left of 100 million in the last century.

Obama was a no show in the Senate and he will be similarly AFRAID to make the decisions in the White House. He will fold like the empty suit he is within 6 mos.

(From Ze: And I was just wondering if this message would actually reach non-Democrats. I'm pretty sure it did)

Posted by: Blackminorcapullets at November 6, 2008 6:11 PM

Oh, so *now* you want to unite and stop the demonizing. How interesting. Did you feel the same 4 years ago? Did you speak out against demonizing President Bush? Or sliming this, one of the most honorable Presidents we ever had?

Sorry. President Obama will get exactly as much support from us as President Bush got from you. We will fight his agenda tooth and nail every step of the way.

Then, after we prevail, you are welcome to unite with us.

(From Ze: ok. i hope you - you personally - attempt to unify us after you prevail)

Posted by: Al at November 6, 2008 6:16 PM

In response to Julia:

I consider myself somewhere to the left of center. I'm a Libertarian realist, which is to say that I know that pure libertarianism only works if every individual behaves responsibly, and I know that not all individuals are responsible. When that happens, it's up to some organization that is motivated purely out of interest in the welfare of the people to step in and keep the irresponsible folks in check. This is why we have the police.

Any organization that has free individuals has the potential for abuse of that freedom. It is therefore the responsibility of government to step in when private organizations with a lot of power are exercising that power in a harmful way. That said, it is also the responsibility of the government not to abuse its own power when doing so.

Getting to my point, I voted for Obama this time around. I consider myself more blue than red. I think the Bush administration is a very unfortunate period in our history, not because I think that all Republicans are wrong, but because I believe that Bush was a bad Republican, expanding government in the wrong places, and shrinking it in the wrong places. I also take issue with some of the ethical choices made by his staff. I don't believe he's similar in any way to Hitler, and I never engaged in violent or insane dissent. I think most "blue" folks you'll run into can say the same about themselves. I don't call people "small-minded selfish bigots" unless they behave in a small-minded and/or bigoted way. I believe that most people are just regular folks who have reasons for feeling the way they do about things. I would wager that most blue-leaning folks share that sentiment.

I voted for Obama, not the entire Democratic Party. I disagree with some Democrats. I agree with some Republicans. I disagree with Sen. McCain's portrayal of Obama as "socialist". Raising taxes is no more socialist than any other government program that both Republicans and Democrats have put into effect. Even California's Republican governor intends to raise state taxes in order to address its deficit.

Whether and how much a president raises taxes is not a sufficient metric of his leadership ability. The question here is, will Barack Obama spend our tax dollars wisely? I only have his campaign promises and debate performance to get an idea of his judgment and intelligence. Based on that, I can conclude that I think he would spend that money more wisely than John McCain. That is only my opinion, and yours may vary.

My point here is that I think you'll find most people are not violent or insane supporters of the causes to which they more closely lean. You'll find extremists on both sides. Most of us are just folks. I think that's what Ze is trying to get across. It's not to have the blue folks standing on one side waving a peace flag at the red side. It's a reminder that most of us are somewhere in the middle, and we're all pretty open to different ideas.

Posted by: Steve at November 6, 2008 6:22 PM

Folks, I appreciated all the genuine, kind reaching out by the 52s to me, part of the 48s. But I have a trust issue. Massive trust issue. From where I sit, it seems like your leader lied, cheated, broke his word and broke the law on campaign financing. What can you write to me to make me want to trust him? Or you? I want to trust people again. I want this country to succeed. But I can't figure out how to trust and follow a leader with so many red flags in his character. Help?

(From Ze: Thank you. Personally I don't need you to trust Obama. But I am with you - I want to trust people again. I think this is about us...as people with different views, trying to stop the fringe voices from dominating a conversation we should be having directly)

Posted by: Maewynia at November 6, 2008 6:23 PM

Clearly, (most of) you are very sweet and kind people and the idea of reconciliation is a very nice thought. However, from a practical standpoint, people like to believe that they have some control over their government and the laws under which they live. Reconciliation is never going to occur as long as a small clique of beltway insiders (both left and right) continue to impose the laws they think best on everyone's communities from coast to coast. People must be given the right to govern themselves, even if you disagree with the rules they choose. As a first step I would ask each of you to please please reconsider whether the inexorable centralization of power in the federal government is really the way to bring us together. And if not, then please stop asking the federal government to solve all of our problems.

But thanks again fr the thought ... (sincerely... not a snark).

Posted by: Bob at November 6, 2008 6:52 PM

I'm a conservative who voted for Obama after having voted twice for Bush. I sympathize a little with conservatives here who talk about the relentless demonizaton of Bush. But they're talking nonsense when they say that they'll change when the liberals/democrats change. Wake up, you guys! That's what the liberals/dems on this site are trying to do. Give them some credit and respond in a like spirit, instead of clinging bitterly to your anger. What'll that get you except ulcers? Show a little Christian charity. Come on...it'll be fun...:-)

Posted by: jesme at November 6, 2008 6:57 PM

You mean you don't think I'm a racist, homophobe, islamophobe, insensitive, intolerant, whitetrash, WalMart shoppin', truck drivin', Jew-hatin', pollutin', toothless, white privledged, gun & bible clingin' incest enthusiast anymore?

Yay!

I hope you're sincere, cause there are some hot liberal chicks (I'm clearly not counting Helen Thomas). But don't think I'm going to start reading the Village Voice instead of National Review or thinking that higher taxation for working harder isn't some kind of punishment.

I do like to bike though. I hear that's really popular with you Prius-driving tofu addicts. Wanna ride sometime?

Posted by: Larry at November 6, 2008 7:41 PM

What a nice idea, and some very lovely messages. Though I believe the sincerity of the reconciliation messages, I find them a bit hard to digest after the anger and vituperation directed at conservatives these past eight years. But a nice gesture, and certainly appreciated!

Posted by: CK at November 6, 2008 7:55 PM

Tell it to the guy at Obama's victory party waving the Soviet flag.

It wasn't just Bush that was called a chimpy nazi pig. It wasn't just congressmen that were called AmeriKKKan Rethuglicans. It was everyone who objected to airliners being flown into buildings. You hated Republicans more than you loved America.

Now that you're in charge you're going to change?

My car was burned and my house was spray painted because I dared to have a Palin bumper sticker. Now I should come get a big hug because the same thugs now promise they'll be nice to me?

No.

I've sold my business and taken a job offer, I'm moving to Australia. Get your big tax increase from someone else.

I suggest you take the body of the Golden Goose, rub with olive oil and spices, and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. It will feed you for a 2 days, 4 if you stretch the leftovers. After that, you're on your own.

Posted by: Bad Horse at November 6, 2008 8:23 PM

As yet another independent voter (leaning slightly right, voted write-in), I see a need for serious reconciliation from both sides. Our current two-party set up really brings out the worst in people.

Ultimately, most of us want the same main things: a safe environment to live in; opportunity to succeed; an efficient and effective government that doesn't get in the way too much. We should be working out the details together, not letting ourselves get caught up in a tug-of-war between the extremists.

Thanks for being part of this reconciliation. Now let's see if the politicians can get on board too...

Posted by: bret at November 6, 2008 8:37 PM

Hi, 52!

I'm glad you want to be me friend. We can argue about politics 'n stuff. Why don't we have coffee sometime? Or would you prefer ale?

Did I mention you look marvelous?

48

Posted by: Jim Ryan at November 6, 2008 9:02 PM

Dear Ze: how about an apology for the way you all on the blue side of things have acted towards Republicans (and George W. Bush in particular) for the last 8 years? It's not required, but it would be nice. And sure, I will join you in that beer, but afterward, I'm going to need to go to a protest rally against Democrats taking my 401k and making it part of the worthless Social Security system. As long as you are okay with that, we can get along just fine (sorry, but many of your pictures sure suggest that you are asking for political unity). And why are you assuming that Republicans are as angry about this election as blue staters obviously were about GWB and are in need of "reconciliation"? Republican policy positions are based on facts, history and logic, not emotion, and I may be a Christian, but I can defend just about any conservative viewpoint from a totally non-religious perspective just fine, including abortion. If my policy positions aren't based on emotion, why would I have an overly emotional response to this election? I am convinced we have chosen the wrong man for the White House, but I'm not angry about it, I'm just starting to plan what I need to do to oppose his ideas that will damage my freedom.

Posted by: Julia at November 6, 2008 9:11 PM

Thanks for all the kind words. I will, of course, treat President Obama and his supporters with all the love and grace that has been shown to President Bush and his supporters. I have been called a racist, a warmonger, a Nazi, an idiot, a criminal, a misogynist, evil, closed-minded, cold-hearted and brainwashed. I have been shouted down by groups of strangers for wearing the American flag. I have been spat upon for daring to defend my president. I have had property stolen and vandalized. I have been disowned by friends and family for failing to follow their righteous path. Now, I could let the past be the past, move on, and accept your embrace. But I won't. I will also not try to make your life as intolerable as you have made mine. I will not forgive those that have treated me with disdain. I will not move towards reconciliation. I have offered goodwill to those that disagree with me for eight long years and have received nothing but vitriol and loathing in return. I have extended my hand in friendship and it has been bitten. Extend your hand to me. I will not bite it. I will not spit on it. But I will not shake it. I will just turn and walk away.

(From Ze: man, we got two sides feeling the same exact way...got to break this cycle.)

Posted by: Tazio at November 6, 2008 9:17 PM

To Steve: No, just raising taxes alone is not the measure of a socialist, that is true. The government does need money to carry out essential functions, so taxes need to be more than zero. However, when you raise taxes to "share the wealth" (Obama's words, not mine), or in other words, because you want to make society more economically "fair", you are a socialist. Period. But I don't think Ze wants us to get into an argument about socialism here. Another reason why I think these pictures are such a strange gesture is because Republicans have been living in peace with Democrats just fine every time they have lost an election. But Democrats came unhinged in 2000 after GWB was elected, and have been unhinged about him right up to and through the election. (No, not all, but a great many of them. I see Bush = Hitler signs constantly in the blue state I live in, on cars with very average, ordinary people inside.) How many people voted against McCain because they hated GWB so much, even though he wasn't on the ticket? A lot of people I have talked to voted for Obama for exactly that reason. So who really needs the soul-searching and the reconciliation here? Maybe it's the side that has spent the last 8 years pretending they weren't citizens of this country, instead of those who are always proud to be a part of this country, no matter who is in the White House.

Posted by: Julia at November 6, 2008 9:33 PM

Honesty from a McCain-Palin supporter:

My immediate emotional response is... well, this is pretty darn convenient. If only we could have seen some meager hint of that sentiment when the other side was " the 48," perhaps this would ring truer, and perhaps we would have gotten a lot more stuff done, and perhaps there wouldn't be so many issues confronting us now. (President Bush's attempt to clean up the FannieMae / FreddieMac business years ago springs immediately to mind.) So please, I ask you, please forgive my cynicism when I see stuff like this. It's not that I don't want to believe you... I do! It's just the effect of the antibodies from the venom the left's leaders have been injecting me with for the last 8 years.

Now, a more considered response... after I've had a moment to get my composure, is that the web site above is very nice and I'll bet these folks are probably sincere... well, today. (Will they fight for our right to say things they disagree with even when it comes to fighting the Unfairness Doctrine?)

But I understand and agree with the underlying sentiment of this site. I do believe our differences should be "in house" differences that do not matter once we reach the water's edge. Certainly I agree that we should not be overseas undermining, protesting or disrespecting our leaders, as we have seen from so many people in the last two terms.

I can get behind the underlying idea, though. Maybe I'll send in a pic.

Posted by: Joe M. Turner at November 6, 2008 9:51 PM

Dear 52,

I think we should ostracize and ignore those 48s and 52s who spew hatred on their undeserving counterparts.

This means you 52s need to ostracize 52s who spew vitriol on decent and mild 48s and you need to kick them out of your base. It means that BDS should no longer be considered socially acceptable amongst 52s. But you like "change" so that should be no problem.

And similarly for us 48s...

Shall I pick you up at 8 for ale?

48

Posted by: Jim Ryan at November 6, 2008 9:54 PM

I love this! Of course -we need to work together and of course, we need to hear from everyone!

Kudos!

I'll see if I can make one to contribute... if my aged digital camera cooperates.

Posted by: M.B. at November 6, 2008 10:05 PM

I notice an awful lot of 48'ers expressing the sentiment that they have been abused for the past eight years. Wow. Funny how very different things seem from my perspective as one who spoke out against the war on Iraq for all the right reasons (i.e., NOT antiwar; just anti stupid, unnecessary, unprovoked, and--therefore--illegitimate, immoral, and likely disastrous war), as one who was 100% right about that war, and as one who was routinely and vociferously attacked by the 48 as a literal traitor to the country I love.

So look, I may be willing to let bygones be bygones, but I will NEVER sit still for anyone who attempts to rewrite the history of the last eight years and cast those who got everything they wanted and came close to destroying the country in the process as "abused victims."

Sorry. Maybe it's just a little too early for me.

Posted by: John at November 6, 2008 10:08 PM

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

-- Matthew, V:9

Posted by: Tim at November 6, 2008 10:09 PM

Hey, Nice Gesture. Really. I find it touching but I have to ask, where was this kindness and desire to work together for the past 8 years?

(From Ze: Eight years ago, I felt left out, worried about our country and the direction it was taking. Same with four years ago. No one reached out to me. That is why I want to do this. Kindness and a desire to work together is everywhere, but it needs to be activated)

Posted by: Bill M at November 6, 2008 10:15 PM

If you shout a pleasant greeting to a friend too early in the morning, he will count it as a curse!

James Taylor Steamroller Blues,

"Aint no need to act like I shot your dog."

Well, that pretty well sums up the way I feel.

You were texting at the same time you were operating your steam roller and you ran over my foot and now you want me to to go dancing with you.

I need a little time to heal, thank you. This is your party. You go on and dance without me. I will take a rain check. I would not want to be a party pooper.

Give me a month or two. I will have recuperated sufficiently to do a little Texas two step with you for the sake of fellowship.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 6, 2008 10:34 PM

John,

You refer to the Iraq war as "stupid" and "immoral" and to conservatives as coming "close to destroying the country." That's over the top, John. You are brimming with unreasonable anger. No wonder you were treated as hateful of this country. You shouldn't have been treated that way, but there it is. Stop whining.

The fact that you seem to deny the existence of the BDS epidemic is telling.

The fact that you say you don't want to play nice at this time is more telling.

You should be shunned by other 52s until you drop the anger.

Posted by: Jim Ryan at November 6, 2008 10:51 PM

i know the point of this isn't to get into political/philosophical arguments, but I have to ask.. I see the sentiment that Bush "destroyed the country" alot from liberals.. How exactly has it been "destroyed"? I mean, I look out my window and it looks pretty much the same now as it did eight years ago. and I understand alot of people think iraq was a bad idea, but we're there now. so can't we all at least agree that a world without saddam hussein in it is a good thing? can't we agree that iraq's future is brighter now than it would have been? isn't it better for it to be an (imperfect) democracy than a brutal dictatorship? its ok to admit it, bush is on his way out and doing so won't "help" him now.

Posted by: Hmm at November 6, 2008 10:56 PM