COLUMN: A post-election guide to losing

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 02:36 PM.

1. Shared sacrifice. I think everyone agrees that our deficit must be reduced. That means sacrifice from everybody. Young and old. Rich and poor. Union and non. Don’t try to blow smoke in my direction that the “job creators” need to keep a little extra cash to trickle down to others. Ain’t gonna happen. Bankers don’t need extra. Neither do lawyers, union leaders, or baseball stars. Everyone pays.

And for you Tea Partiers, that may mean raising taxes. I totally agree with you that we need to pull the plug on spend, spend, spend. But occasionally you have to pay the bill for two unfunded wars, disaster relief, veterans’ care, fire and police, and a decent road on which to get to work. Everyone pays.

2. Stop telling people what to do. How can a party that so perfectly understands the importance of a limited government role in business, so misunderstand the same importance when it comes to social issues? Nobody wants to be told what to do. Stop having old guys telling women what they should feel when they are raped. Chill the abortion rhetoric. Abortions have dropped dramatically for reasons that have very little to do with the policies of the government. Stop shoving Christianity down our throats and leave gay people the hell alone! Every one of you conservatives has the perfect right to lead a moral upstanding Norman Rockwell lifestyle. Live one. Be an excellent, loving role model. We need that! You will get more converts that way than by passing an amendment telling others what they can and cannot do.

3. Steal a few ideas to appeal to young non-white voters. The electorate is changing. If you keep on the current path, the Democrats are going to win even if they run a slate of lunkheads out there. We need you. Bill Clinton made a lot of hay by co-opting (i.e., stealing) the Republican model of welfare reform. Obama seems to get this with his focus on military families and deadly drones. Have something that appeals to the new voters – they are looking for it. Maybe sensible immigration reform. How about some type of student loan enhancement or forgiveness? We all would like some sort of safety net around Social Security and Medicare. Grab some old doddering Democrat and take the lead on this issue. You will trounce Hillary in 2016.

Again, don’t give up. We need you. I know you love your country. So do we. We have got to find a way to work together. And for God’s sake, don’t kill Big Bird!

Brett L. Beck is a professor of Psychology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. For the past 30 years he has taught students at the high school, college, and graduate school levels. He is co-author of the book, “Surviving College: A Real World Experience.” He lives in Santa Rosa Beach.  

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