Here we are on the cusp of the next era in governance. Local county leaders have been decided; Atascadero leaders will likely stay the course.
However, this political season has been as divided and passionate as ever. At the federal level, no matter who wins office it will be extremely difficult to bring forth meaningful solutions regardless of political party when as a country we are so divided.
Hopefully, there will be more sincere “reaching across the aisle” by both parties on legislation instead of politicians “owning positions” — regardless of whether they are in the best interests of the American people. We can do better than that.
Locally, the acrid tone displayed in editorials, on talk shows, and in debates pit neighbor against neighbor. Frankly, most people who vote Republican are not on the “rabid right,” nor are most Democrats “extreme liberals” — they’re somewhere in between (e.g. fiscally conservative/socially moderate). The difference is how we see economic and social policies, which are not — and should not be considered value-based (good or bad) positions. What is important is to separate issues and think independently, and remember we have a lot more in common, such as good intentions, than the importance of our positions on “trickle-down” theory or entitlement programs.
In the end we’re neighbors, family, friends, and coworkers. It is vital that when the dust settles we accept the outcome and do the best with what we have collectively decided by a majority vote in a democratic process.
No matter who takes office and what legislation is approved, the next era in politics and the impacts will be difficult to navigate and hard to live with. We will need to collectively breathe new life into collaborative decision-making processes.
We also have a “golden opportunity” to elegantly and peacefully show the rest of the world what America was built on and stands for, and that is tolerance — to accept that others are allowed to think differently and be grateful for it.
I challenge you to take this opportunity to “woman-up” or “man-up” as the case may be, and do what is right, do what is American, and practice what this country was founded on. We are also blessed with the privilege to vote – so enjoy this freedom, and get your vote out.
DeCarli has been a resident of San Luis Obispo County for over 30 years, and has worked in the private and public sectors. She is a Cal Poly alumni and is a land use and environmental professional.For the complete article see the 11-02-2012 issue.
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