Related: Political Issues, Politics

Election Reflections

 
 

A few photos of Trinity students on Election Day earlier this week:

At the White House:

With Mayor Gray:

Canvassing for candidates:

Do you have other photos or reflections on your Election Day experience?  Send them to me and I’ll include them in a future blog!

The commentariat is overflowing with post-election rhetoric.  Some of it is gloating (ok, Democrats, the victory was not that large, the margins were very close — and really, HuffPo, chill with those massive victory headlines in red), some of it impossibly bitter (Karl Rove, how can you possibly say that Obama suppressed votes?) and some of it just utterly idiotic (somebody, please, shut down Donald Trump’s Twitter account!).  We all can have many reflections on this week’s results in the days to come, but let’s remember two very important statements from the two protagonists of the national drama:

Mitt Romney said, in his gracious concession speech:  “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”

And President Obama, in his passionate acceptance speech, remarked, “And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. . . . I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead. . . . I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

Now is the time for We the People to insist — INSIST — that the nasty, silly, ugly, irresponsible forces of gridlock and meanness in governance come to an end.  IMMEDIATELY.  The idea that we’re all sitting around worrying about something called the “fiscal cliff” — with potential huge ramifications for individual income taxes, social services for people in need, our national defense and likely impact on the national and global economy — this idea is just outrageous.  We elected people to Congress to make laws — not thwart lawmaking.  We elected Congress to carry out the will of ALL of the people, not just the narrow-minded small interests of a few wealthy partisans whose money and interests threaten to bankrupt everyone else.  The big money was actually the biggest loser in this election — as were the fringe elements who want to shut the government down entirely.

The people have spoken.  We have a government for a purpose:  to help us reach a more perfect union, to ensure justice and peace here at home, to provide for our common defense, to promote the welfare of all in our the society, and to ensure the blessings of liberty on the current and future inhabitants of this great land, those we call our “posterity.”  I didn’t make that sentence up all by myself — it’s a paraphrase of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution (apologies to Gouverneur Morris, James Madison and the authors of the Constitution who used more eloquent 18th Century language).  We elect presidents and public officials to enact the laws and policies necessary to ensure that these Constitutional principles can thrive.  Any political actions that thwart that purpose are a disgrace to our democracy and a betrayal of the trust that We the People put in the hands of those officials.

Let’s stop parsing the polls and picking at the scabs of the ugly campaign.  Let’s get on with the work of building this nation for the future we are responsible to ensure together.

Read:  Harvard Professor Lawrence Bobo’s Essay in The Root on why Obama’s 2012 election is even more important than his 2008 election

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu