Elections offer much to talk about

Feather Publishing
M. Kate West
Chester Editor

Now that the dust has pretty much settled across the nation, the election results are providing nonstop fodder for the talking heads of television.

Taking in their questions and positions station by station is a monumental task that can leave you with brain drain!

However, if you stick to interviews with the newly elected officials or those in the party power seats, you have the potential to gain a degree of insight as to how party agendas might move forward.

While weighing the commentary mix, there is always the need to factor in the old sayings: “power corrupts” and “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

The latter of which comes about after the candidate, who has sincerely talked a good game, hits a wall in Washington, D.C. How incredibly frustrating it must be to members of the freshman class to learn they can’t walk their talk because they have either been too naïve or lack the parliamentary skills to play in the big leagues.

This must also be an incredibly frustrating time for President Obama. While it is no secret that I am not a fan of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Boxer clan, I did find myself taking offense at the manner in which he was being questioned by reporters.

I don’t care who claims the right of free speech, there is such a thing as manners and respect for the position of our president and our country on the world stage.

I would beg to ask how dare they “publicly” demand that the president of the United States of America admit he was wrong. They could have taken a different tack and asked him if he thought any part of his agenda could use a second look; a tack that would have shown respect, left his dignity in place and given him options on speaking to contested issues in the future.

I truly believe the type of questions thrown at the president came from this false sense of entitlement that seems to pervade America today … like the woman who ordered a hot cup of coffee and then sued when she was burned by a spill. What part of hot coffee did she not anticipate? Better yet, what part of hot coffee did the ruling judge not understand?

Locally, an example arose from my turn in the voting booth. It was so loud in all parts of our memorial hall I could barely hear myself think. In my opinion, I was there to make some critical choices in a process that is denied to many other persons around the world.

When I turned to the election volunteers and commented about the noise level, one said something to the effect that there is no law about the noise level. While that was likely a very true statement, I could have argued, once again, that not everything trumps manners or respect.

In my opinion, being gracious is also part of good manners or just being a good sport. In monitoring the election results, I also heard a variety of examples from the party power bases.

Future Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor offered a much different tone and message than that of their party peer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

While Boehner and Cantor spoke to the Republican party having a “second chance” to prove they can get things right while being accountable to the American people, McConnell seemed to focus only on the negative of undoing everything the current administration has done and having President Obama join the short list of one-term presidents.

While I agree that government today has grown too large, too intrusive and certainly too indifferent to the voice of the electorate I don’t think McConnell’s message hit the spot with anyone but those with a radical bent.

I’d like to have a little faith that if approached correctly, and in small increments, every piece of legislation, except for the Constitution of the United States, can be tweaked to provide sane, effective, affordable law or policy.

And while there seemed to be a reported survey for everything Nov. 2, I would like to believe most Americans went to the polls because they realized for America to survive, everyone needed to be involved to affect that recovery.

Unfortunately, I find myself agreeing with the comment that the people who went to the polls were more afraid then angry; that it wasn’t just a matter of sending the incumbents home.

Continuing to listen to the commentary coming out of midterms and going into the 2012 election cycle, the message I hope rang most clearly across the land is this is the time to come to the table, to remember we are all Americans, to work together seriously and honestly and to leave partisanship on the doorstep where it belongs!

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