Dear Political Opponent

Medic. MEDIC!

Dear Political Opponent,

Our parties are at war.  It’s undeclared, of course; more of a military action, but no less real for that.

The distance between us stretches as a vast, barren wasteland which few dare to cross.

Sometimes I take my life in my hands and venture out into no-mans-land.  I try to avoid the internet landmines and the exploding rockets tossed by TV’s talking heads, ducking low and weaving from side to side. Just when I think I’ve successfully navigated the demilitarized zone…BANG!  A sniper hiding in the weeds lobs a particularly nasty verbal grenade that goes off right in my ear.  I’m left curled up in a fetal position on the battlefield, whimpering for my momma.

We aren’t even through the primaries, for goodness sake! It’s only going to get worse. 

My nerves are shot.  I’m shell-shocked. I can’t take it any more.

Here is my proposal:  Let’s have an Interwebz Geneva Convention and adopt the Marquis of Pegsbury rules.

You won’t say I hate the earth and just want to trash it and…
I will do all I can to preserve it for our children and our children’s children.

I’ll stop painting your political leaders as stupid, greedy fat-cats and…
You’ll stop saying that the heads of my party are elitist, immoral communists.

You’ll assume my politicians want to work together for our country’s good and…
I’ll assume your politicians aren’t just interested in personal power and lining their own pockets through back-office deals.
We’ll both keep our eyes open, though, just in case we’re wrong.

I won’t say that you don’t care if women and small children are driven out to starve in the streets, and…
You won’t say that I want to tax away all your money until you end up in the poorhouse.

You won’t dismiss a person or their ideas because of their race, and…
I won’t assume every time you disagree with me it’s because you’re a racist.

I’ll stop saying you are trying to destroy our individual liberties and…
You’ll do your best to preserve those liberties.

You’ll stop making people out to be villains just because they have money and…
I’ll reach a hand back to my struggling brother to help him join me on the path to prosperity.

I’ll filter all that you say through the assumption that you really do love your country and want what’s best for her, and…
You’ll assume that I care deeply for my fellow man and want to do the right thing for him.

This doesn’t mean we agree on the best course for our country. No, we still disagree. In fact we are pretty far apart on most issues. But let’s agree that reasonable people can disagree. We’ll make the tone of our disagreement a little less disagreeable.  Agreed?

If we stop screaming insults about one another’s parentage (except for “yo momma” jokes, and then only if they’re really funny) maybe, in the silence, each will be able to hear what the other has to say.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll learn something new and come to appreciate the other’s point of view.  Maybe not.  But we can at least try to reduce the number of casualties.

At least until y’all come to your senses and surrender.

                                                                 Sincerely,

                                                                 Peg-o-Leg

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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81 Responses to Dear Political Opponent

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    A little compassion for everyone (whether or not you share their views) would go a long way. Sadly, politics and reasonableness seem to be mutually exclusive.

    Like

  2. Lenore Diane says:

    Nicely written, Peg. I’m doing my best to listen more – talk less – and keep my mouth shut if I do not have anything nice to say. I believe the world could live that way – we just have to be a little more vocal and not play to the negative. I think social networks feed off the negative.

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  3. Especially bizarre given that on the bulk of issues, the actual difference between the two major parties is “Orange jam vs. orange marmalade.”

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  4. Politicians used to yell at each other, but at the end of the day they would do what was best for the country. Then they would play golf. Now they just yell.

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    • pegoleg says:

      That’s my concern – after the yelling, they don’t seem to be able to work together at all anymore. Hell, I’d be willing to buy each senator a sleeve of golf balls if it would get things going again! The cheap brand, though.

      Like

  5. Sandy Sue says:

    Ah, Peg, isn’t fantasy wonderful? What we really need to do is put all the radio talk show hosts and political pundits in the DMZ and off the air. Then, maybe, the public’s taste for blood would fade.

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  6. Politicians are all insane.

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  7. I think we’re in for a rough several months. I hope you have a lot of [insert favorite alcoholic beverage] on hand. Any deal you make with a politician is as good as one you make with a four-year-old. So, nice try, but don’t expect miracles. Of course, life is full of surprises and tickets to Canada… 😉

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  8. You’re a dreamer. Which makes you better than me, the cynic. Hope your dream trumps my cynicism. HF

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  9. Elyse says:

    Oh dear. Now what will I make fun of?

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  10. Dana says:

    Canada has lots of arctic spaces available! Our politics are mostly boring in comparison, but I’d rather have a yawn-fest than a vicious smack-fest when it comes to the leaders of our countries…

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  11. Your ideas are lovely, Peg-O. And I think the politicians would embrace them. If not for the fact that they’re trying to win an election by painting the starkest, clearest, most evocative differences between them so “the people” will have an “easy” choice in November. It’s hard to explain nuance to the apathetic. Then again, the apathetic are such because they’re tired of the nonsense. Do-si-do…

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    • pegoleg says:

      You’re so right; it’s a vicious circle. If you get really involved in the process you become disillusioned and bitter, which makes you want to abandon the process.

      Like

  12. Grace says:

    I’d like to send most members of Congress back to kindergarten where they can learn lessons about sharing, compromise, and respect. Pundits too. I moved to DC originally intending to study politics, but the got sick of the general lack of maturity that it involves…

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    • pegoleg says:

      I’m with you. Our congressmen and women seem afraid to do ANYthing, lest they annoy their base of followers. They’re probably right, but the business of running this government has to go forward and that means they have to DO things that some people will not like.

      Like

  13. lexiemom says:

    You seem to have more faith in our politicians than I do. A peace accord will never happen because they will never lay down their “guns”.

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    • pegoleg says:

      To be honest, I was talking about peace between us civilians of different parties. My title may have been misleading. I think politicians at least make some attempt to be civil to their opponents to their faces, because they have to work with them every day.

      Like

  14. Tar-Buns says:

    IT’s all so depressing the way our elected officials cannot or will not do what it takes to make this country better. Compromise appears to be a lost art but desperately needed!

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    • pegoleg says:

      I think we get the politicians we have earned. Take Medicare; pundits all agree the system is prohibitively expensive and just getting worse and something has to be done. But if anyone votes to cut it, in any way, their opponents hammer on that come reelection time. And we the people (at least we the people who are on Medicare) vote them out of office.

      If they do the hard stuff, then get vilified, then lose…of course they’re reluctant to do any hard stuff. Le sigh.

      Like

  15. notquiteold says:

    Thank you. Politics used be be like that. Opponents used to be “honorable opponents”. Compromise used to be an admirable policy. Elected officials tried to get something accomplished, not just get re-elected.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Your last line put in in an eloquent nutshell – thanks! Maybe the only way to get things done is to elect non-career politicians who serve for a term or two, do what has to be done, then go back to their lives. Then they won’t have 30 years of Washington power invested that they’re desperate to preserve.

      Like

  16. All great points, Peg. If only. I avoid discussing politics as much as possible. I have enough to deal with my mom and my in-laws fighting about it over Easter dinner. I am thinking of creating my own political party–wanna join me?

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    • pegoleg says:

      Nah- we’d start out all “our party line is to party” and pretty soon, one of us would institute a dress code, then someone would remark that we should have a 10 drink max at rallies so we can get something done and before you know it, we’re one of “them”.

      Let’s just create a party. I’ll bring the snacks, you provide the entertainment, ok?

      Like

  17. My name is SpilledInkGuy, and I approve this post.
    *message paid for by friends of Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings*
    🙂

    Like

  18. I try to be fair and make fun of representatives of both parties. It’s not always easy, as there’s generally only a few democrats (Obama and of course, Mr. Biden), while there have been scores of Republicans.

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  19. I love this post. One of the reasons I blog is to find common ground with folks from all walks of life. HOWEVER, ever since I started going to Weight Watcher meetings where the women cannot agree on the point value of a sweet potato, I have become less optimistic.

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    • pegoleg says:

      Ha ha ha! And really, in the grand scheme of things, the point value of a sweet potato is probably a LOT more relevant to daily life than some arms treaty, right?

      Like

    • k8edid says:

      I gave up Weight Watchers when an hour-long discussion took place about whether Greek Yogurt is a protein or a dairy. I left that meeting and headed to the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet and haven’t gone back since. Politics reminds me of those meetings – there are considerations for both sides, we aren’t all going to agree, statistics can be skewed to show any side of any argument (thank you Professor Thomas for showing me that in college), both sides are convinced they are 100% without fail right and anyone who disagrees is a weiner (which they did agree would be protein, but too high in points to be worthwhile).

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      • pegoleg says:

        Another ha ha ha on the weiner bit! What did you end up deciding about the Greek yogurt?

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        • k8edid says:

          I decided I’d rather be fat than listen to that drivel (which cost, I believe about $13 a meeting). So I don’t know and really don’t care about the Greek yogurt – I just could not see how “those people” could expend that much time and energy on such a stupid argument. I have never been a fan of WW meetings and that one sealed the deal for me. I’ll perform my own bariatric surgery before I subject myself to that nonsense…

          Like

  20. Ah Peg, and that last line ties it all together!

    Boy — after reading your taxes post and this politics post, if you don’t want some more chocolate, I sure do!

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  21. Angie Z. says:

    Very nicely done, Peg. I got your back on this.

    My state has just witnessed something that has given me hope for the future! Prenatal care for undocumented immigrants was a bill up for a veto override vote this week — and Planned Parenthood and the Right to Life were together (TOGETHER!) lobbying senators to pass the override. Planned Parenthood had no financial benefit from the issue as they don’t even offer prenatal care in this state. No matter where someone stands on an issue like that, I think we can all marvel that two groups so opposite one another can put their differences aside and find common ground.

    Either that or they just really, really hate our governor.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That IS encouraging. Thanks for sending me forth into the weekend with some positive vibes – it’s a welcome change from the usual political bitterness I hear.

      Like

  22. Shannon says:

    I too am so very tired of the carpet-bombing. I’m so smack-dab in the middle that my very conservative Republican roots AND my liberal-leaning friends are all barking at me. So much easier dealing with plants and animals who don’t care. (I’ve even turned off NPR..okay, so pledge week had a little to do with that).

    Thank you for writing for the rest of us who share the feeling but can’t find the words.

    Like

  23. PoL, you are at your best when creating one of your lists…

    Like

  24. speaker7 says:

    At first I thought maybe elected officials were doing some kind of performance art where they were trying to out-terrible each other, and then they would end the performance with some big interpretive dance/group hug and would actually start working on the serious problems facing our country. When that didn’t happen, I thought, okay maybe I’m on some reality television like Candid Camera or that new Betty White show, and someone was going to jump into my living room and say “It’s just a big joke.” When that didn’t happen, I plopped a pacifier in my mouth and began rocking on the floor.

    So this is a very long-winded way of saying I like your Marquis of Pegsbury rules.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Maybe we should all learn the great self-calming techniques you describe. We’ll want to be prepared by the time the presidential debates start. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  25. Al says:

    The solution is easy. Bring back dueling. My second will be in touch with your second.

    Like

  26. This pissed me off & cracked me up! 😆 Happy to discover your blog!

    Like

  27. Pingback: Tiptoe Through The Tulips | Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

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