This election season confirms need to be involved, to do better

Carter Crane editor of The Voice
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Another election season has passed. With the hyperbole and nastiness given a break following the November 6 elections we can rest with the knowledge that the twin functions of candidates will return. We would like to think not too soon.

It is disconcerting that negative advertising works for candidates. Sanity and serenity nearly always are in short supply during the election season.

It can be difficult to discern the truth.

Candidates end their campaigns for the most part with pleas for unity and togetherness. The sausage has been made and now we can apply a prettier face on the final product.

Ultimately we are in dire need of more statesmanship than salesmanship; more plurality than partisanship; more country/state/district first than party first. Those qualities are an ebb and tide. They come and go. Our country, lives, and sense of pulling together, rather than separation into segments proves best in the long run. Less negativity and more positivity would be welcome. We need strong citizen legislative individuals and more term limits with more participation and less divisiveness.

This election cycle, for a variety of reasons, has produced more citizen participation, more interest, more passion, and more reasons to become involved. Apathy has been reduced. It will be interesting to see the turnout numbers in the next few days. We should have more tolerance for opposing views and more understanding that an opinion in the political arena is sacred and should not be open to scorn.

We always can do better in the political process and it should be a continuing aim. The citizen/political operatives do more poorly when power groups and partisanship prevail. It is easy to be optimistic and hopeful without working in the nitty gritty campaigns, to be distant and academic when not involved in the daily process. However, healing the scars quickly and taking a stance to see the opposition in their shoes is important. An eye to the future always must be a political stance. There is always another opportunity, another election to reflect a will of the voters. Little is permanent and it should be understood.

Some day it will be beneficial when the independents exercise greater strength, whether as true independents or in forming a strong third party to challenge the grip of the two major parties. They conspire to oppose any new political force which may form and the established parties agree to join forces to keep any other coalition from rising to strength. Freshness is important. Politics is the necessary process that keeps democracy moving in a positive direction. We function best as a society when many voices are heard.

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