A couple days ago I made a peace offering to supporters of Senator Kerry — I gave them the chance to invest in the success of our country after the re-election of President Bush. No one has taken me up on my wager thus far (which is still open — please, go check it out), but one response outraged me.
Simon, over The Blogging Of The President, had previously taken my idea of inviting one’s opponents to explain just why they are supporting their guy, free of harassment and recriminations, and used it on their site. I thought he did a pretty good job of moderating the responses (better than I did), and his improvements on my initial idea were excellent.
But when I made my offering, Simon took every shred of goodwill he had earned with me and pissed it right down the toilet. He linked my offer with an “An Open Letter to Our New Government,” where he made threats of personal recriminations and embarassments to any and all Republican officials who don’t vote the way he wants them to vote. I went in and deleted his links and trackbacks because I didn’t like him poisoning my well, but if you’re interested, you can find that piece of his easily enough. I won’t help you.
Now, I’ve always believed that it is the duty of a winner in any contest to reach out a hand of friendship to the defeated, to put the contest behind them and move forward. I did that above. President Bush and Senator Kerry did that last Wednesday.
But the defeated has a duty, too. It’s to graciously accept defeat, accept the hand of the winner, and MOVE ON. Otherwise, you risk being perceived (and rightfully so) as a whiny, pathetic little loser.
Over at BOP, they’re not interested in moving on. This weekend seems devoted to re-interpreting and re-drawing maps, re-analyzing the results, re-casting the surveys until they find some pathetic stretch of imagination that denies the undeniable fact that THEY LOST. The keep demanding that President Bush disregard the 52% of Americans who voted for him and instead cater to the desires of the 47% who didn’t. And the ones most loudly proclaiming these demands are those who under no circumstances would give him any shred of credit or respect.
I’ve tried to be a gracious winner, and I’m keeping my offer open for anyone truly interested in getting past the bitterness of the campaign. But the Simons and all the other embittered losers of this world can kiss my ass. When I hold out my hand in friendship, nobody gets to shit in it more than once.