Maybe I should hang out here for a while.

Maybe I should hang out here for a while.

How we do. GF buttermilk biscuits and maple sausage gravy.

How we do. GF buttermilk biscuits and maple sausage gravy.

All We Want For Christmas is Phil Jackson Back.

All We Want For Christmas is Phil Jackson Back.

Okay, so this Elf on the Shelf thing has officially gone too far:

Okay, so this Elf on the Shelf thing has officially gone too far:

First ever cut tree. It got in a few licks, but I won.

First ever cut tree. It got in a few licks, but I won.

Sophie and her new desk from Germany, once used by both her Grandmother and Great Grandfather.

Sophie and her new desk from Germany, once used by both her Grandmother and Great Grandfather.

To My Friends in the GOP:

I told a friend yesterday that I’d rather have Romney than McCain or Bush if I were forced to choose. I think he ran a good campaign. Beneath the multiple personalities on his Rubik’s cube façade of pandering and forced smiles, I think Romney is a smart, centrist conservative. He reminds me of candidate Al Gore: robotic, uptight and over-managed despite his own character strengths and intellect.

The popular vote margin was narrow, but the victory was resounding, especially if you include the Senate. If Republicans can’t win on the economy in an election about the economy, what can they claim? They are still thought of as having the interests of corporations and the rich above the common person, and this election (and the money the party raised and spent in it) did nothing to change that impression.

Social issues such as abortion and gay rights are now losers for them. The country is moving on and adopting equal rights for all, as is guaranteed by the Constitution. Is that transformation complete? No. But we are well on our way and we’re not stopping.

Religion is not a significant deciding factor in national politics. When a Mormon loses to a guy who many still believe is a secret Muslim; a man who is pro-choice and supports gay marriage and gays in the military, the fact becomes clear that church and state remain separated, as they should be.

Women, African-Americans and Hispanics do not vote for Republicans, and why should they? The party does all it can to alienate, insult and disenfranchise these people. Time and time again this happens, and the party never evolves.

I guess the nation wasn’t crippled with worry about Obamacare bankrupting them. And I suppose we know who most people trust to protect medicare and social security.

Issues regarding the military were once a Republican strength, but this party fails to recognize that wars have changed, technology has changed, and our advantage is no longer in millions of enlistees and thousands of ships. The “horses and bayonets” quip carried great truth. We can maintain the best military in the world by not growing it just for the sake of size. We have strong numbers, but numbers are no longer our greatest strength, nor do they represent how we truly fight.

Republicans cannot win on foreign policy, even in the wake of Benghazi. Projecting to the world that it must always fear and cow to America is not the answer.  The Cold War is over. President Obama (who catches tons of flack from liberals over his many drone strikes) has been strong in his defense of this nation and its interests. Like it or not GOP, he made the call, he got Bin Laden.

The path to a better American begins with developing our own clean power sources. We must be independent of other nations in fueling America, and we must do it as cleanly as possible. It seems the Republicans want to protect jobs and grow the economy in the present (which they expect to get them elected) without thinking of the future. When it comes to the national debt they are all about “protecting our children’s America,” but not so when it comes to the air those children will breathe and the water they will drink.  Make money now, worry about the earth later. If promoting the big fossil fuel business and its enormous profits remains the GOP platform, with no eye toward the future, they will continue to lose on this issue. There comes a time when we must sacrifice in the now to ensure a better later.

It is my hope that gun control and climate change take the stage in these next four years. Personally, I think the majority of Americans agree that it is time for both. The GOP, for the most part, wants everyone well armed and denies that the climate is changing, because the big money lobbyists tell them so. I don’t think those positions will hold for much longer.

Finally, I feel that in general, Republicans had the Washington gridlock pinned straight through their backs last night. Like it or not, their reputation is obstructionist, and I don’t think it will serve them well in coming elections. 

I sympathize with my Republican friends and family members as I remember well what it feels like to lose. The people from the right whom I choose to associate with are good people, all of them, and I stand with them in the belief that is important to hold to one’s principles even in the face of adversity. It just seems to me that the “Old” in Grand Old Party has finally caught up to it. America is moving on. It’s time stop shouting the kids off your lawn, and figure out how to embrace and work with them so that your message isn’t lost on them forever.

A new generation of Riddells is now cheering for a winner.  Go Bears! (Hand-me-down jersey from a friend causes change of allegiance.)

A new generation of Riddells is now cheering for a winner. Go Bears! (Hand-me-down jersey from a friend causes change of allegiance.)

Current weather: 48 and Firepit.  (Taken with Instagram)

Current weather: 48 and Firepit. (Taken with Instagram)

Fire pit s’mores.   (Taken with Instagram)

Fire pit s’mores. (Taken with Instagram)

One hickory-smoked beer butt chicken.  (Taken with Instagram)

One hickory-smoked beer butt chicken. (Taken with Instagram)

I’m never at home until I’ve tasted the local spirits! (Taken with Instagram)

I’m never at home until I’ve tasted the local spirits! (Taken with Instagram)