I’m going to try and keep this short, but most folks know that I have a propensity to ramble on occasion.
President Obama won reelection last night, and the country hasn’t fallen into the ocean. Yet. Florida is still counting votes, and there are still some other races yet to be decided, but another election cycle has come to an end. Hopefully. While the cynic in me thinks that the Republican Party will lick their collective wounds for a few months before begin the campaign for 2016, the realist in me knows that this probably is not going to be the case. After all, we have the midterm election in 2014, and with the Democrats holding a slim majority in the Senate, I’m sure the Republican Machine will start identifying “weak” Democratic senators in short order.
But let’s put all that aside for now. Please. I have seen enough Jim Matheson and Mia Love ads in the past week to drive me crazy, and I don’t even live in that district. I don’t want to think about the barrage that will probably start sometime in late 2013 for the next election. I just want to stop thinking about what the next four years will hold and just live in the moment. don’t get me wrong; I am excited that my candidate, our president, will have another four years to show that he’s really not all that bad. I’m disheartened that the House of Representatives will remain in the hands of the same people that prevented a lot of things from happening over the past two years.
But I am also hopeful. I am hopeful that this divisive election, an election that appears to have drove record numbers of voters to the polls, is the start of something better in this country. That an involved electorate will force the two major parties to listen to those in the middle of the political spectrum and stop only speaking to the wings of their respective parties. That this election will be remembered for more than the $3 billion spent to garner our votes.
So I am going to stop hoping for folks to take care of what I want to happen. For the first time in my life, I plan on moving beyond my role as a voter and actually get involved in the political process. I love my home state, but I am distressed that “Republican” seems to equal automatic vote for 85% of the state and for nearly all our federal offices. I want to see my favored party actually try harder to find viable candidates to run against the Orrin Hatches of the world. I want my minority vote to count for more than a tick mark towards the popular vote. I don’t know if I will help, but I will try my hardest to make it happen.
In closing, I found a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I think matches how I currently feel. He said: “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Incremental change can be just as important as change on a grander scale. It has to start somewhere.
Until next time…