Election reflection

You know, I had all these wonderful thoughts about the election last night as I was trying desperately to come down off the wave of pride I was riding after President Obama was declared the winner of the yesterday’s election.  I even had some pretty good ones this morning, despite the fact that I was ridiculously tired and felt like I’d been hit by a campaign bus.

But now?  Now that I have the time to sit down and compose said thoughts into a coherent blog post?

Yeah, not so much.

Seymour and I had planned to spend last night watching The American President instead of election coverage, but by the time he got home, Tomcat already had the news on.  He was very interested in the election process and wanted to watch the results come in.  I wish I could have taken him with me when I went to vote last night after work, but he was with his dad after school.  Cricket and Thumper came with me, but they’re a little bit young to appreciate the significance of what it means to vote for the leader of your country freely and without fear of reprisal.

Each election cycle seems to be more vicious than the one before and, frankly, I’m tired of the backbiting and negativity that has come to dominate politics over the course of the last decade.  All of the Tea Party politics in particular really frighten me.

I remember growing up that my parents were staunch Republicans.  When Bill Clinton won the election *shudder* twenty years ago, I remember my sister and I giving our television raspberries for ten minutes because we were so disgusted that a Democrat had won the race.  Cut us some slack; I was eight and she was six at the time.  We weren’t exactly savvy political scientists.  All we knew was that our parents’ candidate had lost, so the other guy must be the devil.  And yeah, it kinda hurt to look at the screen after that, until we dried it off.

I live in a strongly Republican area and have always identified with the Republican party.  Yet, as I get older, I find my political identity moving further and further to the left side of the political spectrum.  This is not to say that I’m becoming an extremist, but that I seem to find myself stuck in the middle of the road, stuck without a party that I can support 100%.

Both candidates in yesterday’s election had some good ideas about how to run our country, but for me, the choice was a simple one.  I cast my vote for President Obama because four years ago, I thought he could do a good job.  I was ecstatic when he was elected, and incredibly disheartened by the attitudes of those Congressional representatives who declared it their mission to ensure he was a one-term president.

I had serious reservations about a Republican president’s willingness to put politics aside and work across the aisle to do what needs to be done for the good of the country and not just for the good of the GOP.  I feared for my husband’s job, I dislike the spirit of warmongering that the Republican Party seems to have adopted over the last ten years, and I disagreed with many of their social aims as well.

However, I don’t agree with all of the Democrats’ ideas.  Both parties, both candidates, have good ideas about how to fix the mess this country is in and I think if they could work together, lead by example, perhaps something could be done.  I was inspired by President Obama’s message of hope and change four years ago; I hope it will carry through his second term and that we will not have four years of more of the same.

But all the negativity that has surrounded the campaign has not been limited to politicians.  Regular folks, the constituents, on both sides, have been getting in on the act over the last 24 hours.  Our whole country has so much healing to do.  Let’s not let this election, a historic one in so many ways, divide us.

I read a quote from John Adams a while back on Goodreads.  I was looking up something else he’d said when I came across this gem about his relationship with Thomas Jefferson.  Evidently, theirs was one of the most vicious election battles in U.S. history in terms of negativity.  Here’s what he had to say about President Jefferson:

I do not believe that Mr. Jefferson ever hated me. On the contrary, I believe he always like me: but he detested Hamilton and by whole administration. Then he wished to be President of the United States, and I stood in his way. So he did everything that he could to pull me down. But if I should quarrel with him for that, I might quarrel with every man I have had anything to do with in life. This is human nature….I forgive all my enemies and hope they may find mercy in Heaven. Mr. Jefferson and I have grown old and retired from public life. So we are upon our ancient terms of goodwill.  -John Adams

Let us hope that we all may be upon terms of goodwill with our enemies one day.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Election reflection

  1. tricia says:

    Nicely said. Regardless of which party you voted for, now is the time to support those candidates who were re-elected or newly elected. To wish for an elected official to fail is wishing for our country to fail. I can’t imagine anything more unpatriotic and selfish than that.


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      Thank you, but I think your post was much better written than mine. I was fighting the Sandman and he won. Actually, I’m still fighting him.

      To wish for an elected official to fail is wishing for our country to fail. I can’t imagine anything more unpatriotic and selfish than that.
      Exactly! Amen!

      Anyway, I really hope that things will be different this time around and that everyone in the government will be able to work together to put this country back on the right track. I find myself wishing, though, that we had term limits on Congressmen the same way we do for the President because some of them have been there so long that I think they’re more concerned about taking care of themselves and their friends than taking care of the country and those who live in it. But that’s another post for another day.


      • tricia says:

        Your post was wonderful. You’re right about Congress. They vowed from the beginning to work against Obama. I feel like many voters weren’t voting FOR Romney as much as they were voting AGAINST Obama. Personally, I think Obama has done a good job under difficult conditions. I was happy to vote for him for a second term.


        • Kay Kauffman says:

          I agree with you about the job Obama has done. I saw something online somewhere that said something about how the Republicans left him a mess too big to clean up, then complained about the job he did cleaning up after them, so hey, let’s put them back in power! I found it very interesting and I think there was some truth to it. When you put it like that, it’s very hard for the Republicans to come out looking anything but awful.

          I, too, was happy to give Obama a second chance. I hope this time the Republicans – and the Democrats who dug their heels in, because there’s plenty of blame to go around for the state of things over the last four years – will put aside their differences and work together.


  2. *tara says:

    Interesting post. I don’t think you’re alone in your thoughts that anymore, it’s hard to find a party you can support 100%. And the last few years of so much partisanship so that nothing can get accomplished is just sad. When did people start forgetting what we learned in kindergarten? We have to work together!


    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I don’t know, but maybe everyone on Capitol Hill needs to go back to kindergarten? Clearly they’ve forgotten how to play nicely. All the partisan bickering over the last few years has really gotten to me and left me feeling really disheartened and cynical about the whole political process, but I still feel like if I don’t vote then I have no right to complain.

      Part of me wonders if maybe we should have a third party for moderates or something, you know, something official, but then I wonder if it would really be any better or if it would just be more of the same.


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