Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Day After

Happy Post-Election Day!  As a Swing State resident... I CAN NOT WAIT to turn on my TV today!

Huge thank you to everyone who voted...  as the President said... 

"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference."

So now... a little side note on political divisiveness.   I have some very strong political opinions (and have done pretty well at keeping this blog mostly free of them I hope, because this just isn't the place).  But I have been pretty vocal about them in other forums.  I have engaged in meaningful but reasonable discussions with those who disagree with me (Ok, I do get worked up a little just because I care, but I try really really hard not to), and after approaching that with an open mind, I learned something new (as I hope they did as well).  I've been highly critical of BOTH candidates (although admittedly much harsher on one than the other).  BUT... I don't think I have EVER gone after those citizens who disagree with me... because that is your right, and if I have a right to my strong opinions you ABSOLUTELY have a right to yours.

Last night, in a flurry of election news and excitement, I got a message from a distant facebook friend calling me "stupid" and "brainwashed."  I am absolutely neither of those things.  I just happen to support a different political party than him.  But, I was pretty shocked.

So let me say this...  you don't know people's circumstances until you talk to them.  That Romney supporter may have lost his business because he was paying so much in taxes.  That Obama supporter may have lost their house to pay for their parent's cancer treatment...  you just don't know.  So now that the distraction of an election is over, let's start talking, but more importantly LET'S START LISTENING!  Polite discussions about the problems with our representatives, our country, and how to fix them are just what we need.  But this was a tight election... and if you dub all who voted in a different way than you "stupid" and "brainwashed"  you just lost half a country's worth of friends, business partners, and people you could have worked with to make this country BETTER.

So if you feel victory from last night - I congratulate you.  If you feel defeated - I'm sorry, I know how much this meant to you.  But I will leave you with some words from someone far more articulate than myself... 

"Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.  But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America's future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.  We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being."  (No matter your political party!)

Now let's all get back to stitching!

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