Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wishing Success to All Newly Elected Officials

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all our newly elected officials up and down the ballot. In addition to that, how about a huge thank you to everyone who ran for office? I honestly don't know why anyone would volunteer for this! Political campaigns tend to make even the nicest people look like villains. In fact, the things we have seen in political advertisements this cycle are enough to ensure that my aspirations for elected office remain in check (not that I ever had any). I found myself changing the channel whenever my grandchildren were around, and not even watching campaign coverage a lot of the time. I spoke with one candidate who told me that if he were to believe the ads, he wouldn't even vote for himself! Thankfully the ads and the election are now over and we can begin putting the pieces back together-and that we must do!

I choose to believe that everyone who ran for office did so for love of country, community, or state. I choose to believe they have a pure heart and the best intentions. I choose to believe those who have been elected are going to do their best to improve the lives of all citizens. I also reserve the right as do you, to disagree with 'what constitutes improvement'. Truthfully, I disagree regularly with all sorts of policy positions and proposals supported by republicans and democrats alike. Luckily we live in a country where I can feel free to advocate a contrary and opposing position without fear of reprisal. And I do.

A lot of people are upset right now and there have been some protests around the country. That's okay I suppose, it is an exercise of free speech. But what is not okay is threats of violence or riots in the street. We had an election and must respect the outcome. Now, we have to give all our newly elected officials an opportunity to lead and serve. We have to root for their success, because their success is directly tied to our success. I heard a great comment on the radio this morning and it went a little like this, 'Hoping an elected official fails is a little like hoping the driver of your car has an accident.' Profound.

So then let's consider what happens next. One could focus on the negatives. Both a congress and a legislature controlled by one party could be cause for alarm. Especially when you consider the executive branch in both cases is controlled by that same party. After all, split party control of government is one way to put a check on keeping bad things from happening. Now, I am all for keeping bad things from happening, but guess what? Bad laws are sometimes enacted in spite of split party control. But yet also remember that split party control can also keep good things from happening! This leads to the gridlock that has become a mainstay of the American political system, and frankly what many of us find so frustrating. This election could be a direct result of continued gridlock.

Of one thing I am relatively certain. We are not going to experience the typical gridlock for at least the next two years. Laws are going to be passed. For sure we will disagree with some and will categorize them as 'bad things happening'. You can count on me to resist when bad policies are proposed, especially when they are in direct opposition to, harm either directly or indirectly, and are in direct conflict with the mission and vision of the Hudson Community School District.

At the same time, I am confident some 'good things are going to happen' that probably wouldn't with a split control government. When the next election comes up, we'll have an opportunity once again to measure whether or not the good has outweighed the bad.

As for me, at least when it comes to education issues I'll be sure to put them into their proper perspectives here so you will at least be able to understand how the varying policy proposals will impact the Hudson Community School District.

Oh, and that election that just happened? Of the 231,556,622 eligible voters in the United States 46.9% of them didn't even bother to vote.

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