Dave Barry has an amusing column via the Miami Herald:
Barack Obama is our next president, which is very bad because he is a naive untested wealth-spreading terrorist-befriending ultraliberal socialist communist who will suddenly reveal his secret Muslim identity by riding to his inauguration on a camel shouting ”Death to Israel!” (I mean Obama will be shouting this, not the camel) after which he will wreck the economy by sending Joe the Plumber to Guantánamo and taxing away all the income of anybody who makes over $137.50 per year and giving it to bloated government agencies that will deliberately set it on fire.
But there is a sobering conclusion in his exaggerative style:
[B]asically my analysis is that, whatever happened, we are, as a nation, doomed. We are also bitterly divided, because whoever wins, roughly half of us will despise the other half, and vice versa.
You know what I miss? I miss 1960. Not the part about my face turning overnight into the world’s most productive zit farm. What I miss is the way the grown-ups acted about the Kennedy-Nixon race. Like the McCain-Obama race, that was a big historic deal that aroused strong feelings in the voters. This included my parents and their friends, who were fairly evenly divided, and very passionate. They’d have these major honking arguments at their cocktail parties. But unlike today, when people wear out their upper lips sneering at those who disagree with them, the 1960s grown-ups of my memory, whoever they voted for, continued to respect each other and remain good friends.
What was their secret? Gin. On any given Saturday night they consumed enough martinis to fuel an assault helicopter. But also they were capable of understanding a concept that we seem to have lost, which is that people who disagree with you politically are not necessarily evil or stupid. My parents and their friends took it for granted that most people were fundamentally decent and wanted the best for the country. So they argued by sincerely (if loudly) trying to persuade each other. They did not argue by calling each other names, which is pointless and childish, and which constitutes I would estimate 97 percent of what passes for political debate today.
What I’m saying is: we, as a nation, need to drink more martinis.
No, you know what I’m saying. I’m saying, now that this election is over, whatever the hell happened, can we please grow up and stop being so nasty to each other? Please?
We need to understand each other better. So much of the disagreement stems from religious convictions that are not really religious but rather political convictions bolstered by religious arguments that are not really religious. And that applies to liberals just as much as it does to conservatives.