Anticipatory Grief

2012-10-26 – You can learn a lot about the difference between Republicans and Democrats by looking at how they process grief.

Grief has been famously divided into five stages known as the Kübler-Ross model: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

Republicans tend to get stuck at the denial stage or the anger stage. We’ve seen this throughout the Obama administration. Democrats protest that Republican thought is “fact-free,” but this is simply the denial stage of grief. Little needs to be said about Republican manifestations of anger. But it is clear that anger is as far as they get, as there are few, if any instances, of bargaining.

Democrats, on the other hand try to hop, skip, and jump through the stages of grief, heading straight for acceptance. There is little denial. Anger is fleeting. Bargaining is big, though brief. And it all culminates in depression and acceptance.

This rush through grief popped up in the Washington Post yesterday in an article that proclaimed that a Mitt Romney victory would be a defeat for the Tea Party. I had some problems with this article in a number of respects.

The grief event has not occurred and may not occur. Democrats have a nasty habit of getting discouraged and giving up. And then they tell themselves that it wasn’t really a loss but is really a win.

Here is some news for you: if Obama loses the election, the Democrats will not have won. The only way that the Democrats can win the election is to get their candidate elected. Wallowing in anticipatory grief isn’t going to do it. Wallowing in anticipatory grief simply makes Romney’s election more likely. If Romney’s election is going to give you grief, make sure it doesn’t happen.

Remember, you have two-and-a-half months between election day to rush through your grief, if that’s what you think you need to do. But if you get on the stick, you may have a two-and-a-half month party instead. Yes, you mopes. You could win.

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