OPINION – I would like to think that had the election gone the other way, I would be in a place where I would have been accepting of the results.
The truth is, I know that after all the acrimony, the war of words, the harsh campaigning, and the brutality of what was one of the most vile political campaigns of my lifetime, I would be just as angry and disappointed as, well, most of our Southern Utah readership is today.
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, there is bitterness still rising to the surface.
I don’t want the Republican Party to fold up its tent and fade into silence. That would serve no purpose. Their voices need to be heard. There is much to be done and good ideas can come from all points along the political spectrum.
Let’s just keep it civil.
It’s time for discourse, a real conversation in this nation to solve what ails it. It is not, however, a time for compromise simply to heal old wounds. Compromise at this point would just exacerbate the situation. Clarity and firmness of resolve are required. Watering it all down just to appease others will not work.
The debate should continue regarding the best way to fix the economy and improve the job picture. Stonewalling and political survival will not do the job, as we have, hopefully, learned. That cuts both ways, you know. I point the finger at a Democratic Congress the first half of President Obama’s term as being self-serving. I point the finger at a Republican-dominated House the second half of that term as being obstructive.
It is difficult to predict what the Congressional agenda will be now that the President has won a second term.
The election also signaled a new direction for this country.
We saw some interesting things.
Colorado and Washington legalized all use of marijuana and Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize medicinal pot. Perhaps this will persuade the administration to end the senseless prohibition.
Voters in Maine and Maryland further set the tone of social change as they approved marriage equality measures, allowing gay couples to wed. It’s about time.
Voters in Missouri kicked Rep. Todd Akin to the curb in his effort to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill. His anti-woman, anti-choice stance clearly wore thin on Show-Me-State voters who otherwise gave their votes to Mitt Romney.
These were important issues and the impact of such sweeping cultural change is encouraging. Let’s not debate the so-called morality attached to these decisions, instead let’s look at them as being representative of a diverse voter population.
The Senate remained the realm of Democrats, the House remains under the control of Republicans. Under ideal principles, that is supposed to provide us with good balance along The Beltway. How productive it will be remains to be seen.
In Utah the picture is rather grim.
Voters here did the same old thing, hitting the lever for the predicted Republican mandate.
It is difficult at times to realize that our elected representatives here do not govern with thought to all of their constituents, that the opinions of those from the opposition party are seldom given serious consideration, that progressive legislation is non-existent. But, there is also a case to be made for stating the obvious: The Democrats have not had a strong contender for elected office since Scott Matheson challenged Jon Huntsman for the governor’s chair. It makes it difficult to argue the point that those of us in the minority party are under-represented. Still, the feeling lingers.
It is impossible to predict where we will be four years from now. We cannot predict which way the world will spin, what crises lay ahead, what new challenges we will face.
In fact, all I know today is that half of my friends were extremely disappointed with the election results Tuesday.
The other half?
They want to move to Colorado.
No bad days!
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not necessarily representative of St. George News.
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