There is absolutely nothing wrong with Thanksgiving. In fact, I'd say it is a much more enjoyable holiday to celebrate with friends and family because it doesn't involve horrible sweaters, nasty egg nog, and disappointed children as old as 40 who didn't get the latest Call of Duty. I've personally never once met someone who didn't enjoy a good meal with great people. More importantly, I never saw someone unappreciate of the fact they were sharing that meal with someone they cared about. I've been among some pretty good spreads in my day, and I've been to a Thanksgiving feast that wasn't much to write home about. In both cases, however, the spirit was the same; people felt genuinely appreciative of what they had in front of them.
It might be hard to believe, but Republicans have some things to be thankful for, too. The world is not going to end.
Here are five things Republicans can look at and smile about:
1. We kept hold of the House of Representatives.
Republicans lost eight seats cumulatively. Given that four were in Illinois, a state that is ridiculously gerrymandered by the hack House Speaker Michael Madigan, Republicans shouldn't worry about too much going into the future. Of the 111 seats for which there wasn't a clear winner from the beginning, Republicans won 58 and Democrats 53. This all against the backdrop of a party that has been severely outgunned in terms of campaign operations as bigger races showed.
What this essentially means in more gridlock in Congress. While we may moan and complain about that, it's actually pretty good for America. Radical policies on either side won't get through, which means we don't get monstrosities like Obamacare or anything remotely close. While Obama will spend the next four years regulating us to death, a Republican president that is likely to come in the next election will mean that those administrative rules can be rolled back.
2. We got trounced for the Senate and White House.
I'll say it before all you commenters have to. Republicans got our butts handed to us in big races across the country. Our eternal optimism that a horrible president could not hope his way to re-election only proved that we couldn't hope our way to taking him out. Republicans simply got their butts whooped. We lost out to better organized opponents (Obama) who didn't frighten people (McCaskill, Donnelly). But here's the upside: Realizing you kinda suck is a great way to figure out how to get better.
I've seen some Republicans lamenting a "stolen" election. They're simply hiding their heads in the sand. Sensible, smart Republicans will take this as a much needed opportunity to step back and evaluate what works and what doesn't, both from 2012 and 2010. Keep in mind that Republicans will have a perfect run at testing new systems in 2014, when midterm elections prove a lot better for the opposition party.
3. Our future still looks pretty bright.
Republicans have 30 of the 57 ... er, 50 ... governor's mansions. If Romney had won states with Republican governors, he would have won in a landslide. Clearly, there is a gulf in class between the candidate we offered for President and the candidates that became governors. Furthermore, while we may have some bright faces in the federal legislative bodies, governors actually have a much better handle on day-to-day governance because of their management over sprawling bureaucracies in their own right.
Most importantly, governors will lead the fight over the next two years surely, and probably the next four until the next presidential election. Republican governors are showing reluctance to establish the exchanges Obamacare demands and leave it to the feds. Additionally, they're not required to expand the Medicare roles. In other words, a large chunk of costs the federal government didn't want or expect to handle will now require a review of the horrific law. Governors will lead that fight, and the emerging party leaders will be sounding the battle cry.
4. We are not a party built around collectivist ideologies.
Republicans take pride in showing some reverence for America's philosophical roots. America, from the very start, demonstrated that private property rights would lead to great things. The Jametown colony struggled until Sir Thomas Dale established private property rights for the settlers in 1611. This nearly immediately turned around relations with local Indian tribes, who found little interest in peacefully trading with the settlers when they couldn't even grow corn. The surpluses that resulted from increased productivity on farm lands helped colonists trade for fur and pelts.
Our convention was still a positive, upbeat endeavor that stressed one thing: We Built This! Democrats still don't seem to understand that. Democrats seem to believe that "being in this all together" means you enslave people to an ideology which reduces individuals to nothing more than an insignificant part of a greater whole. Republicans celebrating the individuals in society recognize that together we can succeed, but that we are more than capable ourselves at deciding which partnerships to build on. We are not collectivists, and we don't dehumanize the human spirit by telling people they are nothing more than a number.
5. There is football, family, and all the little things that make America great.
Tottenham is playing, so football will be far more tolerable to watch since it won't involve the Cowboys or Lions. However, I'm still waiting for the NFL to start a new thanksgiving tradition by having the Redskins and Patriots play, but that might not be PC enough to get past everyone.
More importantly, though, I get to enjoy Thanksgiving with a wonderful girlfriend and two adoreable little dogs that aren't thankful for anything. We'll eat an abundance of food, undo the button on our pants, and all four of us will take a nice long nap...
... Republican or Democrat, there really isn't anything better than that.