One thing that has become abundantly clear over the past year is that we as a nation have lost the ability to express ourselves politically without becoming overly emotional and even personally insulting to those who may not share our views. In Alabama the political contrast has become even sharper during the bruising U.S. Senate campaign between Roy Moore and Doug Jones.

As one who sits high upon a perch above the political fray, gazing condescendingly down upon the partisanship tearing the greatest country on Earth to pieces, I have become increasingly aware that a great many citizens view things from a standpoint of right and wrong. Mainly, I’m right and you’re wrong. The further one gets toward the edge of either political belief system, the more that person is convinced of the other side’s “wrongness” on any conceivable issue.

It saddens me to meet people no longer able to speak to family members or friends simply because they hold differing political beliefs. They might like the same kind of barbecue sauce, the same football team, the same NASCAR driver or even the same 19th century French impressionist painters, but politics have driven a wedge between them.

The truly sad part is both sides are right and both sides are wrong, often at the same time. And it’s nearly impossible for wingers on the left or right to imagine they’re both the same kind of crazy — but they are. The behavior is the same, just with slightly different wording.

Keeping this in mind, and with the holidays just days away, I thought it might be nice to put together a form letter of sorts that readers can use to wish loved ones peace and love while also expressing total disdain for their closely held viewpoints. This could serve to circumvent any political discussions around the bar or dinner table, and nobody takes form letters seriously, so no lasting damage should be done.

Simply circle the proper word choice inside the parentheses to create a letter your loved one will cherish forever:

Dear ___________________,

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you (Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays). It’s been a (heck, hell) of a year, but I’m glad we’ll be able to gather in front of the (fake, live) (Christmas, holiday) tree and exchange gifts.

Speaking of gifts, I saw a coffee mug that had (Libtard, Conservatard) written on it and almost bought it for you, but figured a (Basement Dweller, Snowflake) such as yourself probably already has one. I know it’s been a tough year for those of you on the (alt-right, alt-left), so I’d hoped to find a gift to cheer you up — maybe a (Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton) toilet brush. Hahaha!
I was at (Bass Pro Shop, Banana Republic) and thought about getting you some nice clothing. But since (Fascists, Communists) are generally fond of drab uniforms, I ruled that one out.

Knowing how much you like to (claim, pretend) you read, a subscription to the (Washington Post, Wall Street Journal) seemed appropriate, but I figured you’d just call it fake news and go back to watching (Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity) on (MSNBC, FOX). I wouldn’t want actual facts to get in the way of your (fanaticism, delusional thinking).

I saw a coupon the other day and came really close to getting you a(n) (abortion, gun), but figured since you’d like them outlawed you can just fend for yourself once the (commies, Nazis) take over.

Remember last year how you wouldn’t stop (crying, gloating) about how (Trump, Hillary) (won, lost), and I had to tell you to take the (popular vote, Electoral College) and (shove it, cram it) up your ______________ ? I just wanted to let you know (I’m over it, I haven’t gone a single day without thinking about it). I guess a year later you can see I was right when I said (Donald Trump was senile, Donald Trump was a genius) and would lead this country to financial (success, ruin) while also making us look (strong, stupid) in the eyes of the world. We’re clearly on the verge of (unprecedented financial growth, nuclear war), you have to admit that much!

Imagine how (amazing, horrible) it would have been if (Donald, Hillary) (hadn’t, had) won! We’d be talking about (The Wall, Free College) instead of focusing on (The Wall, Free College) and whether (Bill, Donald) sexually harassed women. Thank (God, goodness) we won’t need to have that conversation this year.

You may have been too preoccupied (combing, picking crumbs from) your (neck beard, purple hair) to pay much attention to what’s been happening in Alabama, but this state’s (still the same redneck hellhole I left after college, making serious progress). I know you think (The Koch Brothers, George Soros) is/are behind Alabama sending a (nationalist, globalist) (child molester, pinko commie) like (Roy Moore, Doug Jones) to the U.S. Senate, but he’s going to (make us proud, embarrass us more than George Wallace ever dreamed of). Hopefully people will give him a chance to (show he can work with the other side of the aisle, go inside shopping malls again).

If you’re (excited, crying) about your guy (winning, losing) the Senate race, just remember there’s another one in two years. One more chance for a (liberal bootlicker, child molester) to represent Alabama in Congress. That should make you (happy, sad).

On a more personal note, one of my (favorite, least favorite) things about (Christmas, the holidays), is your (husband’s, wife’s, partner’s) (squash casserole, pecan pie, stuffing, giblet gravy, homemade muffins). It/They should be (sold in grocery stores nationally, thrown in the trash upon your arrival). It’s/They’re that (delicious, inedible).

Let’s both put our (political differences, mutual hatred) behind us for at least a day to (enjoy, tolerate) sitting down to dinner with a (low-energy, birther) (Christian Sharia, safe-space-needing) (Black Lives Matter, Neo-Nazi) (Deplorable, Troll). (Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays)! See you next year!

With (Love, Respect, Disdain),

_____________