Post-election analysis reveals value in democratic process

Post-election analysis reveals value in democratic process

THE ISSUE: It is easy to become disillusioned, disheartened and apathetic during election season.

OUR VIEW: Take a breath and don’t be too quick to give up on the democratic process.

Another election season is now passed and many people are expressing relief. Thankful the campaign rhetoric has ceased, the constant slick mailers that spill out of one’s mailbox, another memory, and the yard signs that have littered every highway, soon to be removed. Sometimes the constant bickering back and forth even among people who share the same party persuasion is enough to make many people question, “is all of this worth it and does it really matter? Does my vote really matter? And couldn’t all of the money spent on campaigning be better used for another purpose?”

Oftentimes it is hard to see and remember what truly matters following such bitterness as we have seen expressed in our state and on a national level. It is clear that many voters wanted to send those who represent them a loud and clear message that they are indeed tired of inaction, divisive language, and an inability to put aside party lines in favor of benefitting the American people.

Yes, there is always negativity to be found in any democratic process, however, we believe the good that comes from an honest exchange of ideas, and the willingness of a candidate to commit to offering the voters a choice of candidates,  can be a springboard for other positive outcomes.

Looking back at history, former president Barack Obama’s campaign saw a tremendous amount of young people engaged in his campaign as he made a concerted effort to reach them with the media they were utilizing. Their giving also was impactful as he utilized similar tactics in that regard. Knowing how to reach people where they are at in their lives is important and key to any successful campaign.  Obama was successful at that regardless of how one might feel about the candidate.

Similarly, those politicians who make a point to visit schools and talk to youth are also providing an excellent real life learning tool as to why they decided to run for public office, how they reach a stand on certain issues, how they operate their campaign, and overall, the democratic process at work in real time. Area candidates seemed to do this effectively during our recent elections as submitted photos captured many of them visiting high school civics classes and grade school students, including one candidate who even brought his Mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies for the class! Nothing like food to make the democratic process lesson a little more interesting and tasty!   

We believe it is important at all times to reflect on the freedoms we have in our democracy. It is also timely as we approach Veteran’s Day in a few days. The right to vote is indeed a privilege and should be exercised with thoughtfulness after a thorough consideration of all the pertinent issues.

We commend all candidates for their willingness who seek to offer voters a true choice. Whether successful or not, they work hard and typically make great personal sacrifices to pursue their candidacy until election day arrives. To have the benefit of hearing and hopefully participating in their exchange of ideas is an important and integral element of what our great nation affords us.