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Election 2010 Aftermath

Well, election day is over, and most of the vote-counting is wrapping up. Some things went my way, some things didn’t.

To those who gained in this election: congratulations. You’re going to focus on your priorities – that’s understood, and appropriate. But please try to govern for all – there’s a huge part of America with different opinions and priorities and they cared enough to vote against you. They lost, but they’re still Americans, and they deserve some respect and some attention to their priorities as well. Please try to work with them.

To those who lost in this election: please try to accept that you lost. That doesn’t mean that you give up on your priorities, but it’s not very reasonable to complain about the other side simply being obstructionist when they are out of power, then turn around and do the same thing yourself when your party is out of power. There were more people on the other side who are actually willing to participate, and they deserve some respect and to be able to make some progress on their priorities. Please try to find out and understand why so many people have different priorities and opinions, to accept that there are valid opinions other than your own, and to be constructive in your opposition.

To those who didn’t vote: unless you had a really, really good excuse for not voting, please keep your complaints about government and politics to an absolute minimum. You may not have been happy with the choices available to you, but you do what you can with what’s available to you. Not making a choice is itself a choice, so you deserve some of the blame for anything that might have been bettered had you just voted. If you don’t care enough to prepare and run yourself, then you’re left with choices from those who do care enough. You get periodic opportunities to influence the direction of both your immediate area and the entire country. If you’re not taking advantage of those opportunities by spending a bit of time to do a bit of research to become reasonably informed on the issues and candidates and then actually voting to provide that bit of influence, it’s unclear to me why you should complain about the outcomes. Instead, please prepare yourself to participate next time.

To everyone: all too often “politician” and “activist” are seen as negative labels. They can be, sure, but fundamentally, how are we supposed to have a country if no-one makes it their priority to learn what has to be learned and spend time actually working to improve things? Please try not to think ill of someone just because they chose to be civically or politically active – the vast majority of the time, they are sacrificing in order to contribute to something that they feel is important. Even if they aren’t sacrificing, what’s wrong with them loving a job that allows them to spend their time standing up for the values they believe in? If they are doing a good job, then what’s wrong with being a “career politician”? Oppose someone because they are a bad politician, not simply because they are a politician.