Bargell: Now what?
After weeks of being the most popular kid on the block, there seems to be a small void in my mailbox (OK, a rather large void). I’ll admit I felt pretty darned important while everyone was courting my vote. Now that we’ve finished the courting and the counting, what comes next?
Midterm election postmortems tell us what has happened. We’ve learned the national House of Representatives has changed color, and it looks like the State House is changing too. The SDN points out, however, that Summit County remains primarily blue (does this have any relationship to the weather?) Or, my favorite: Jerry Brown is the new-old governor of California. It’s proof-positive the ’70s will never go out of style.
For some, the end of election season marks the start of sniping season, although I do think once we’ve sniped our quota, any additional stabs should be outlawed. By the way, snipes really are birds that live near marshes and feed by poking their long bills into the mud, and as a result have a pretty lowly reputation. Generally, griping and gridlock rarely accomplish much more than making our own noses muddy, too. Also, to be fair – no gloating either. Just ask my kids, there is nothing more annoying than an ill-placed “I told you so.” We have a good idea of the playing field for a few years to come, and there is an additional burden on the victors’ shoulders to invite everyone to continue to participate.
For grins, I think we all should take advantage of turning our election signs into remote-control airplanes. There’s a guy in Dillon who can make this happen. Wouldn’t it be great to see our lofty ideas take flight – literally? And don’t be surprised if you see a few of the leftover postcards from the issue I worked on transformed into Christmas cards – after all, they’re already green. I also plan to take a hard look around and locate my sense of humor. They are called political parties for goodness sake – seems like it’s time to have a bit of fun. And finally, let’s re-engage our creative thinking. It’s supposed to be political science, complete with some out-of-the box thinking, not political stew.
For the more serious out there, you don’t have to be Einstein to recognize that the more carefully and honestly we listen to criticism, the more likely it is we’ll diligently search for solutions. Einstein was the one who cautioned us that “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” When we do stop and think about it just a bit (and erase some of the more painful ads from our brains), we’ll see we likely know more now about the current issues then we did when this whole hullabaloo started. It stands to reason, therefore, that the end of election season marks the start of a new season to participate, perhaps in new ways. If you really don’t want more of the same old thing, then stop doing the same old things.
This interim destination (and the midterm tallies), are only a small part of our larger journey together. The trip will continue, regardless of the attitude we take with us along our way. So, I guess I really don’t count the loss of a few (hundred) e-mails daily, or the void on my message machine as a sign that my popularity has waned. I really shouldn’t need these reminders to participate in life. Now that the wooing is over the work begins. As the journey continues, where and how do you want to weigh in?
Cindy Bargell lives outside of Silverthorne with her husband and two daughters. She is a card-carrying PTSA member, real estate and natural resources lawyer and part-time gymnastics coach. She welcomes your comments at email@example.com.
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