First thoughts on the day after election

The massive mid-term of 2010 is now over. My won’t ring 25 times today with some computer imploring me to vote for one candidate over another. The signs that are all along the streets in my town can come down (hopefully the candidates come out and clean up their mess). Life can now go back to some sort of normal.

The evidently picked up approximately 60 seats in the House of Representatives. They also made major increases in the Senate and that house appears to be split nearly 50/50 (the exact count probably won’t be known for a couple days as Alaska will probably take a while to count due to the write-in candidate).

What does this election mean? Does it mean that the 2-year era of liberalism is over? Does it mean that conservatism is the rule of the day? Does it mean that will lose in 2 years? Does it mean that the Republicans have a mandate to go ultra-conservative? Does it mean that the poor and down-trodden will need to look for their medicine in the trash cans of the homes of the wealthy? Does it mean that I have to give up drinking coffee and now drink tea?

What I am 100% confident in is that it doesn’t mean any of the above! It doesn’t mean that is done. It doesn’t mean that all of healthcare should just go to the wealthiest. It doesn’t mean that we should now savage the environment.

I don’t think that the newly elected Republicans have a mandate at all except for the mandate to do a good job and figure out the best way to solve each individual problem regardless of party direction.

I think it means that Americans want a government that works. We want it to work rather slowly and deliberately. We want politicians that don’t act like politicians but rather act like leaders. We want compromise to be the rule of the day. We want our leaders to read, understand, and thoughtfully debate the bills that are before them. We don’t want to find out about what is in the bill after it is turned into law – we want our leaders to know what is in the bill before they make it a law.

We don’t want stagnation. If Boehner drives the government to a stall the way that Gingrich did, that would be a mistake.

Most of all, I think Americans don’t want to deal with the federal government. We don’t want our lives to be tied up with governing. Life is hard enough with births, jobs, bills, lousy bosses, teenagers, sickness, and death – we don’t want to worry about the feds as well. I think most Americans would be perfectly happy if government would just get out of our lives with the exception of keeping us safe, making sure the infrastructure works, and helping out with the truly disadvantaged. We will pay a reasonable tax for that as long as we think it is well managed.

I raise my coffee cup in a salute to the Tea Party activists for energizing America in making their point. That point, I believe, is that we want our legislators to pay attention to us, don’t tax us to death, and spend what you need but make sure what you buy is needed. 2 years ago, pundits were saying that the party was dead, now the pundits need to say, “Listen to your constituents if you want to keep your job.” 

There is no such thing as a mandate to do radical things. Extremism is a bad position no matter which side of the scale you are on.

If the grown men and women in the federal government can’t get along better than a bunch of nursery school kids, then we will take away their ball and send a new bunch of children to Washington in 2 years.

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