OPINION: Respect Democracy, Respect Will of the People

Whether your candidates or ballot issues won or lost, now is the time for us to come together and celebrate our democracy and the freedom to choose.

After a tumultuous election year—both nationally and here in Maryland—we have at long last reached the end of a messy process. Some folks are pleased by the re-election of President Barack Obama, while others are bitterly disappointed. Similar emotions are certainly found in association with the results of some of our state's more controversial ballot initiatives, including expanded gambling, extending in-state tuition benefits to children of undocumented immigrants, and upholding the extension of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. 

Not surprisingly, soon after the results were tallied, some who were unhappy with the final result felt it necessary to let loose with their frustrations. Perhaps the worst example of this was a series of Tweets from contrarian tycoon Donald Trump. His rants against the re-election of President Obama included gems like "we should march on Washington and stop this travesty," and "let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice!"

Unfortunately for us, there have also been some naysayers closer to home.  In reading through the multitude of comments posted in response to Patch political stories, there are some (albeit much less incendiary) comments made in opposition to the election and referenda results. While I certainly respect the constitutional right that we all share to speak our minds as we choose, I believe that this is the time for healing our wounds as a nation.

Each of us, myself included, did not necessarily see each and every election race or ballot decision go our way.  I am not particularly pleased to see the expansion of gambling passed, as I firmly believe that the addition of a sixth casino site will impair the financial viability of nearby existing in-state gambling venues.  Nevertheless, I respect the fact that 52 percent of Marylanders felt differently and approved the measure. 

It would be foolish of me to think that just because those who supported the gambling measure didn't agree with my view that this somehow made them either —actual words used by some commenters right here on Patch. No matter how unhappy one may be with the results of this or any other election, there is never good cause for directly attacking others whose views were different. 

Moreover, it would also be an unproductive exercise for those on the "winning" side of partisan races to gloat over their victories. Rather, what our nation desperately needs are peacemakers who will help to heal the partisan breach that threatens America. Extreme words or deeds that will only further divide us are not what is called for at this time. 

President Gerald Ford faced a similarly fractious situation upon assuming office in August 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon. I believe that words spoken by Ford in his remarks in acceptance of the presidency perfectly capture the essence of what all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, must do now. President Ford said at that time, "Even though this is an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs. We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together." Let us all seek to follow these words of wisdom in the days and weeks ahead.

Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Sometimes compromise is nothing but an incremental victory for one side and an unrecoverable loss to another. This country has swung too far to the wrong direction as it is.
Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 01:13 AM
@John Doe Based on what you just said should the DNC change its mascot to Che Guevara? Maybe something else based on the fact that they want to remove God and Israel from the platform. Who or what would that be?
Balt Observer November 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Ah, Honeybucket rushes in to defend the honor of his loverdog, Fido. How heartwarming. But beware Honeybucket: bestiality is an abomination. ROTFLMAO
Tim November 14, 2012 at 02:51 AM
The thing is folks, it's fun talking to rational people on both sides. I'm more centrist-liberal, but the liberal stuff on my end is much more social then governmental. Just because I believe something like gays having the right to legally marry, doesn't automatically make me a lover of the DREAM act, or governmental free spending in general. Just because I believe taxes should be raised (specifically, but NOT solely, on the wealthy) doesn't mean I am against major cuts in government - both non-military and military to a lesser extent. This is obviously the problem with the folks in our government today. There's only two options, and they are both insane and irrational in their own respective ways. What's worse is that compromise is considered losing based on the 24 hour news cycle, and it's not just crippling our nation - it's crippling the world too. Ok, off the soap box I go.
John Doe November 14, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Bill Howard - lighten up, the Democrats are fine being the donkey.


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