Lincoln County Journal

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Election over, many challenges remain

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

After working late Tuesday night due to the election, I still woke up early Wednesday morning. I turned my favorite news channel on and watched the latest political news. I didn’t feel any twinge when no political campaign ads flared across the screen. I actually paid more attention to the ads that were airing than I usually do. The attack ads just turned my stomach  because they seemed to have been airing for such a long time and I believe they are unnecessary. Just tell me what you plan to do if elected.

I stopped by to pick up a copy of the daily newspaper. (yes, even in the day of modern tech, emails, websites and other media outlets, I still feel more comfortable with newsprint in hand.) Yes, I am a dinosaur.

Still feeling pretty good but still more tired than usual for a morning, my relief soon evaporated when I turned my computer on. The organizations which have sent me political emails for months promoting their own propaganda had not yet toned down their venomous rhetoric. While some of my votes virtually ‘went down the drain’ (my candidates lost), I felt good that we still have the opportunity to decide our leadership by the ballot (not the bullet). The final popular vote for President was nearly even which analysts say cemented the notion that we definitely are a divided country with half of the country approving different sets of values. American liberals scored huge victories on Election Day in ballot initiatives across the country. Voters in Maine and Maryland made history by affirming marriage equality by popular vote. Although six states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislatures or courts, Tuesday was the first time that marriage equality had ever won at the ballot box. Marriage equality also scored a victory in Minnesota, where voters rejected an amendment to the state Constitution which would have defined marriage as being strictly between a man and a woman. Voters in Colorado and Washington voted to approve state initiatives legalizing marijuana, another issue which is supported by most progressives. The actual impact of the initiatives is unclear, however; although marijuana is now legal in these two states, it is still illegal in the United States of America.

The President, along with Congress, have many challenges to bridge the gap and do ‘the peoples’ work. The first of course is the budget issue. Initial approaches immediately after the election were some Congressional leaders and the President extending communications that possibly some middle ground could be found.  Personally, the players have not changed…Democratic President and Senate with a GOP majority in the House.  I am anxious to see if there are any changes within Congress concerning leadership positions.

We must remember that we, first, are Americans. Americans have worked together in the past and I’m hopeful that compromise with legitimate thought on all positions will replace what we have seen lately coming out of Washington.

By Bob Simmons