That Donald Trump’s surprise victory on Election day elicited shock, disbelief, anger, tearful sadness and hyperbolic proclamations of the demise of the republic is no surprise. That the follow-up to these initial reactions is saturated with rage and equally hyperbolic proclamations of adamance isn’t either. All the usual suspects are exhibiting exactly the behavior we should expect from petulant people who have for too long been absolutely convinced of the logical and moral superiority of their beliefs. The vows to “continue the fight,” to “obstruct and resist the Republicans exactly as they did Obama,” and to refuse to budge from their worldview are loud and defiant.

They’re also foolish and self-destructive. The Democratic Party had its minority status on Capitol Hill extended until at least 2018. This has been noticed by everyone who’s been watching. The Senate electoral map virtually assures that, barring a truly godawful performance from Trump, the Democrats will not recapture Congress in time for the second half of Trump’s term. This may not have been noticed by many, but it’s been talked about for a while. What may not have filtered into the progressive zeitgeist is the Democratic Party’s continued decline at the state level.

The GOP picked up four governor seats on Election Day, bringing their total to 35 (up from 21 in 2008), and expanded its dominance at the state level. Democrats now have total control (governorship plus both houses of state legislature) of just 5 states.

Like it or not, the country has been steadily rejecting the current incarnation of the Democratic Party since Obama took office in 2008, when it held 29 of 50 governorships. Since then, the party has lost more than 900 state legislature seats.

Face it, Democrats, your message of the last few years is not selling. Certainly, your echo chambers, which include much of the mainstream press, insist otherwise. Certainly, your self-selected groups of friends (how many of you have blocked or unfriended people whose politics differ from yours, even on a single issue?), tells you otherwise as well. The election results, with the sole exception of President Obama’s second victory, cannot, however, be denied.

Political parties typically don’t change their ways when they’re in power. It’s only in defeat that courses can be re-charted, priorities altered, and policy proposals adjusted. This is your defeat, this is your chance to recalibrate to what the American public actually wants.

Here is where some of you will chime in with your declaration that Clinton won the popular vote (and some bleating about eliminating the Electoral College). Yes, she did, by two tenths of a percentage point. By 1 voter in 500. Despite having the vast majority of the press on her side. Despite an opponent who had enormous weaknesses, numerous gaffes, no political experience, and tremendous unfavorability. Not being able to beat such a beatable foe should open your eyes to a broader truth.

The answer does not lie in eliminating the Electoral College, as some are demanding. The system is there for a reason. It, like the tricameral system of the federal government, enumerated powers, the Bill of Rights, the power invested in the States, etc, exists to prevent too much power from aggregating in one person or one party, and to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Changing the rules of the game simply because you lost is ignorant and childish. You should be happy it’s there for when you need it. Indeed, many of your brethren are suddenly discovering Constitutional limits on the power of the presidency after years of complaining that Obama’s agenda is being thwarted by intransigent Republicans (and ignoring that the latter were elected just as Obama was).

The Democratic Party can decide to be a monkey wrench in the works from Day 1 (and before you assert a tit-for-tat or a tu quoque argument, let me remind you that 8 years ago Obama started his term with a Congressional supermajority that made the Republicans powerless and irrelevant). Or, it can take Trump at his word, and look to be involved in policy. Realize, though, that Trump won, and the Republicans control Congress, so they get to set the agenda. The Dems can look to participate and influence, seek compromises and chase that which they consider most important.

As to that last bit, it’s time you open your eyes to the excesses of your social justice blitzkrieg. You’ve turned off millions of voters, people who are not sexist, racist or homophobic, with the absurd levels to which you’ve taken political correctness. Americans are overwhelmingly good people, who are kind and giving and respectful of each other. But, people are also proud, and where they will happily be and do “the right thing” of their own volition, are quite likely to resist and push back if they feel they’re being forced. Learn that lesson, Democrats. You’ve overdone it, you need to dial it back. And, before you look to accuse me of condoning bigotry, I’m a libertarian. We hold paramount the rights of the individual. Those rights see no color, no gender, no ethnicity, no orientation. We’ve been ahead of you on the big issues of liberty ever since we became a thing. You could take a page from our playbook, and you’d be far the better for it.

This is your chance, Democrats. Trump said he wants to work together. Take him up on it, hold him to it. Temper the potential excesses that he might pursue with your involvement. But, remember that you’re not in charge, that the agenda is no longer yours to set, and stop thinking that you can ram your ideas, your morals, your political correctness and your progressivism down everyone else’s throat. Realize you overdid it, and in overdoing it you cost yourselves Congress, the White House and the majority of the states. Recalibrate, dial it back, pick what’s truly important and (vitally) what fits in with the nation, and stop acting as if everyone else simply needs to do as you say.

Lick your wounds, get your rage out of your systems, and adjust your expectations. You can be part of the process going forward, and do both your side and the nation some good, or you can continue to be the noise that the rest of the country is tired of. If you choose the latter, you’ll continue your march into the wilderness.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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