I know that you are unhappy with us right now. You suspect that we must naturally feel a sense of smug superiority, perhaps even a surge of sanctimonious glee at having been right about literally everything. I want to assure you that nothing could be farther from the truth. It gives us no pleasure at all to have been proven right about all the many things we have been trying to tell you over and over for all this time.
Naturally, you might suspect, now that more than half a million Americans have died preventable deaths as a result of your wrongness about the importance of masking and social distancing, and then your subsequent wrongness about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, that we would be inclined to really rub it in your faces. “Ha, ha,” you might think we would say. “We told you all those people would die tragically and unnecessarily!” But that is not what is in our hearts. Our decision to trust medical professionals and public health experts turned out to be right, whereas your decision to just do whatever you wanted did not pan out. We’re not going to play the “blame game.”
Similarly, it brings us no satisfaction to see the incontestable evidence that we were right about climate change: the wildfires raging, the deepening drought, the flooding, the heat waves, the Cat 5 hurricanes. Our decision to heed the warnings of every climate scientist in the world for the last forty years turned out to be the correct one. Had it instead been the case that the entire scientific community was wrong and whatever you read on the internet was right, we would have admitted our mistake – graciously and with relief. We’re not going to get all self-righteous about the rapidly-unfolding catastrophe.
True, Back in 2016, we were able to predict that a megalomaniacal, xenophobic, misogynistic, nepotistic con-man might not be a great choice for President — and you were not. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say, and it was entirely possible that this man who had never demonstrated any ability to grow or change might have grown and changed. Sadly, that did not occur. Then in 2020, we were able to correctly ascertain that this irredeemable dumpster fire lost a free, fair, and accurately counted election to a well-qualified and moderate opponent — whereas you wrongly concluded that the results must have been tainted by fraud or conspiracy since, as you incorrectly knew, Biden is a big old Commie.
Your wrong suspicions in turn led you to also be wrong about the need for new election security laws to restore the “confidence” that had been undermined by your previous wrongness; whereas we again turned out to be right that our elections are actually very secure and the real issue is ensuring access to the polls for eligible voters. But we totally get where you were coming from! Had even some of the stuff you saw on Facebook been true instead of all of it being false, all those laws you passed restricting ballot access in a manner disproportionately impacting minorities and empowering partisan officials to overturn the will of the voters would have made sense to us, too! And just because every court and independent observer has definitively proven us right and you wrong, we’re not going to hold it against you.
No, we Democrats don’t consider ourselves special or better or “holier than thou” just because we happen to have been incontestably right and you hopelessly wrong about literally every issue over which we have ever disagreed: About more guns not being the answer to gun violence; about tax cuts for the wealthy not reducing the federal debt or creating plentiful new jobs; about the Affordable Care Act helping people to find affordable care; about immigrants contributing positively to America’s economy; about torture not being an effective method of interrogation; about the disproportionate use of force by police against minorities; about a higher minimum wage not killing jobs or wrecking the economy; about higher fuel efficiency standards not killing the auto industry; about unchecked wealth accumulation being unfair and dangerous to democracy; about giving money to poor people reducing poverty rather than creating a class of lazy freeloaders; about the advisability of appointing corporate lobbyists to oversee their industries; about the corrosive effects of money on politics; about systemic racism being a thing; about student debt needlessly dragging down a generation; about Benghazi not being a scandal and Ukrainegate being an impeachable one; about the Capitol insurrection being an insurrection at the Capitol; about the fact that we are not Marxists or secret Satanist pedophiles. And so on.
We aren’t out there high-fiving each other just because our method of relying on the best available evidence and expertise to understand our situation and achieve desirable outcomes proved superior to your method of living in a bubble and believing propaganda. Nor do we feel superior just because we were able to correctly distinguish between issues that should be a matter of personal conscience – such as whether gay people should marry or whether abortion is “murder” — and issues that should be a matter of public policy – such as vaccination or the teaching of evolution. We know how tough it must be for you, constantly being wrong all the time, about everything. Well, we don’t actually know, but we can imagine.
Most of all, we know that you were only doing what you thought was best for yourself, your family, and your country when you so epically, tragically, consistently and comprehensively screwed the pooch. And the last thing we want is to make you feel that we are in some way “making you wrong” for having been wrong. To err is human – so to err about everything makes you the most human of all! On the other hand, being right is also fun, and can be helpful for things like saving the planet or stopping a deadly pandemic. So we invite you – humbly – to give it a try! We know it won’t be easy – trying new things never is — but you might find you like it better than dying of COVID or having your town burn down. And if you do, we promise to welcome you back to reality with open arms, and above all, not to feel even a scintilla of smug satisfaction or condescending pride or self-righteous pleasure at your expense. After all – that would be…wrong.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.