I've written variations of this column after every major election; but, thought it wouldn't hurt to trot out the ideas for another turn in the sunlight. What, you may ask, is it to which I'm referring? Election results!
This morning, your candidates either won or lost. If they won, you are hungover from the euphoria of having seen your favorite be confirmed by the electorate. If they lost, you are obsessing on the many bad things that you're quite sure will happen. In both cases, you need to wake up to the realization that the election is now over, and the real world begins for those candidates.
Whether the race was for President, Senator, Judge, Sheriff or Street Sweeper, the winner is no longer a candidate. They are now the elected representative of the people, and whether you voted for them or not, that includes you.
I've given my mini civics lesson on more than one occasion; but, people seem to forget that we are not anointing a king. Quite the opposite. We are hiring a leader. In the case of the presidential race, the interviews have gone on for almost two years. We've looked at their resumes. We've talked to their coworkers and friends. Now, they've got the job.
Which makes them, our employees.
Any of you that have ever hired employees knows that the first thing you do is give them the tools to do their job. The second thing is to give them the room to do their job. They know what it requires, and they have lots of people supporting them to get it done. The thing you do not want to do is to start impeachment proceedings for the new employee on the day they begin work. It means that they won't be able to perform, and that only hurts the rest of the country.
There are plenty of ways to then rate their job performance.
Depending upon the office, you can let them know with phone calls, letters and emails. On the local level, direct one-on-one contact can get the job done. At upper levels, there are many other ways. You can, again, write, phone and email. You can also contact your Congressmen and Senators and tell them that you want them to convey your wishes. We the people have a tremendous amount of control that we most often fail to exercise. We have no problem with complaining about the job they are doing; but, if we only do that at the coffee shop, not a lot of folks will know that we're dissatisfied.
I've participated in numerous elections. In some, my candidates prevailed. In others, my candidates failed. In both cases, I accepted that a decision had been rendered and that for the term of office, I would have to live with the decisions that had been made. That did not, however, mean that I had to learn to like the folks who had won the election. I just had to learn to live with them.
There have been no elections where, immediately after the swearing in, the earth begin to rotate backwards, the stars disappeared from the heavens, or the social order fell apart on January 21st. Even with new elected officials taking office, there are still vast connections of elected officials and bureaucracies that have to be navigated just to get single pieces of legislation placed before the proper electorate.
So, take heart. None of us on this Tuesday really can predict how the elections will go. What we can predict is that the sun will still come up tomorrow. The oceans will still roar. And the people will still be here to make any changes that need to be made when the next elections roll around.
It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.