Marilyn's Musings

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Reflections on the Day After the Election, 2012

I am not a political animal. At least not outwardly. I am not a coward, however, and I want to make that clear from the outset. But, like discussing religious differences, politics does not usually mix well with friendships and in everyday conversation. I tend to discretely disengage myself from  most people over political discussions and from revealing my own personal thoughts about politics, candidates, and all that supporting one candidate over another entails. At most I will generally say that I am one who votes for the candidate and the issues, not the party. I tend to split my ticket. I also consider myself to be what some political types may look down at with disgust as being one of the namby-pamby, wishy-washy,  fence-sitting middle-of-the-road crowd.

However, I do know that roughly 50% of the country woke up ready to wear sackcloth and ashes while the other 50% of the country woke up in a celebratory mood. It is what it is with elections: There is only one winner. It can’t be any other way, and that is the process and it has always been this way, except this year it seems.

I am concerned about the deep divide in this country.

After reading the comments here and there online and after assessing the reactions of both the winning and the losing sides in this election, I am troubled that we have hit an impasse that will take years if ever to overcome.

When did we become such absolutists about our positions? When did Bipartisanship and compromise take on such a negative connotation?

We have who we have as our elected officials, like it or not. We have a House of Representatives dominated by the Republican Party, a Senate dominated by the Democrats, and a sitting second-term Democrat President.

What we need now, more than ever, is a coming together and hard work on both sides to address the issues facing this country, and there are plenty.

If anything is going to get accomplished, absolutism is going to have to go by the wayside. Both parties in Congress and the President and his advisers are going to have to meet in the middle. Both are going to have to modify their positions on key issues and find a common ground for the good of this country and its people.

They will need to lead by example. We cannot have one set of rules for the citizens, another set of rules for those making the laws and regulations. Both parties need to get back in touch with their constituents.

We are at a crucial, critical point in the history of our country. However the next four years play out is going to affect the future long after those currently in office are gone.

We need to start the process of working together again. Otherwise, I fear for the future of America.