Hopefully by now everyone has had the chance to take a breath (or two) from the chaos that ensued Tuesday night. As I watched the events unfold on TV and monitored responses in social media, one thing is completely evident — this country is strongly divided. For being one democracy, “We the People” have some serious relationship problems we need to work through.
I cannot remember a time where there were so many venom and vile comments that spewed out prior to the elections (both national and local) and then continued, perhaps even more so, in the wake of the results.
The fact of the reality is this: voting is over. We can choose to ratchet up the anger level to 11 and continue on the road of hatred and disgust, or we can accept the results and move forward in a manner that accepts what is in front of us and do our best to fix the things that are broken — and there are many things that need fixing.
I get it. People are upset. I mean, really upset. But honestly, do you believe that continuing to group people together and tell them how ignorant and horrible they are for enacting their civil right to vote is going to smooth this over? We have to be above this, and we have to see that fixing this country begins with us. We need to be the difference. We have to be the difference. We can disagree, but listen to each other. There are good things that can come from healthy disagreements.
This is a wake up call. This is not a soft-toned sound that slowly wakes you up in the morning and gives you the option to push snooze. This is a 150-pound mastiff jumping directly on top of your body and licking your face because you need to get up and put food in his belly.
Locally, we must do the same. Two new city councilmembers were voted in earlier this week. Regardless of who you voted for, what’s done is done. The new city council will need to find their groove in working together, and we owe them some time to find it. They have a tough job ahead.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold them accountable — we absolutely should. But sometimes giving people a chance and listening to both sides gives the best possible outcome. I’m sure there will be things that will be upsetting to people moving forward, but if we work together to find the right solution, we may just see that a compromise is better than completely shutting down or arguing for the sake of argument.
I realize this is very kumbaya-ish, but we need to work together now more than ever. We need to come together and not drive a wedge in the community. We don’t know what will happen until we move forward. We may be in for the worst ride of our lives. We may not be. Assuming now that we are doomed before we even try is like my kids telling me they won’t eat something because it is green. Sometimes the green food is not as bad as we thought.
Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-542-8046.