?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

Thoughts on Election Eve

As people continue to vote, I’m worried. Of course, I’m worried that my candidate might not be the winner. But mostly I’m worried about the emotional pitch of this campaign and that, no matter who wins, a good percentage of the electorate will be mad. We’ve been through hanging chads and registration requirements and accusations of stolen victories. We’ve been through blaming the media, the other party, the President.

In the process, we’ve become emotionally over-the-top as an electorate. I find it unattractive. It doesn’t strike me as in the best interests of democracy, where everyone who is eligible has a vote but then accepts the winner, regardless of whether it is the person one voted for.

First of all, our country has weathered every President’s term of office, regardless of whether that person was a “great” President or not. Four to eight years cannot undo what has been accomplished in the close to 250 years since we gained our independence.

In fact, four to eight years is a stretch. Let’s assume Obama wins and Congress goes Democratic. He really has only two years to make a mark, because the Republicans will be intent on making gains. If Obama and the Democrats don’t do well, the mid-term elections have the possibility of changing the composition of Congress, just as they did two years ago. I hope this realization lowers peoples’ anger quotients.

If McCain wins, he will probably have to work with a Democratic Congress. One possible benefit of this is that it provides a greater sense of checks and balances than if Obama wins. It may also provide for greater stalemate. Two years from now McCain would still be President, but how he and Congress work together could affect the mid-term Congressional races and victories.

That’s the wonderful way with our system. We can’t get too out of whack. So if anyone is angry about tonight’s outcome, he or she only has to get involved and look to the next two years. There are no dynasties here.

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