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Musings on an Election...

November 7, 2002

I hope you'll pardon me for writing about politics. With an election just behind us, we've all heard entirely too much about politics. I, personally, have been utterly apolitical almost all of my life, and I heartily sympathize with those folks who neither have a political opinion nor the desire to hear someone else's political opinion.

But I'm not going to give you my political opinion at the moment, so bear with me, won't you?

It's just that I keep reading, from a broad spectrum of sources, various theories as to why the Democratic party sustained such wide losses in this most recent election. "President Bush's campaigning helped the Republicans," say some. A Democratic Senator complained that the popular President's focus on Iraq and al-Qaeda distracted the American voters from the domestic issues on which his party would've liked to campaign. As if, I suppose, we voters can't decide for ourselves what we think is important. Then, naturally, are those who would like to believe that mere dollars made the difference: in other words, our votes were  bought and paid for by the highest bidder. That's rather insulting, too, isn't it? And the list of reasons - and of excuses - goes on ad infinitum, whether they're from conservatives or liberals, Republicans or Dems.

I just have one question, and not being an astute political analyst, I haven't been able to determine if any  of the intellectual  big shots have either posed the question or answered it.

Could it be that the party that lost so many seats, thereby losing control of the House and the Senate, lost the privilege of representing their constituencies because they weren't representing their constituencies?

Isn't that what our elected leaders are supposed to do? To represent the voters who sent 'em to Washington?

Well, simple-minded though I may be, it looks to me as if a more than a few politicians lost races because they forgot that basic job description: to represent the people who elected them. The mood of this country changed on 9-11-2001, and as much as that might sound like a cliché to the more sophisticated of this world, it's the truth. 

The people have spoken.

I hope that our newly elected (and re-elected) leaders in Washington and in state houses across this nation will genuinely represent those of us who sent them to Washington, or Austin, or Albany... 

I hope they won't spend too much time wallowing in tears for the newly departed of their number and planning political revenge. I hope they won't waste too much time celebrating their party's stunning sweep if they're from the other side of the aisle.  I hope that they're humble enough to believe in God and humble enough to pray for guidance as they make decisions that affect us all.

And I hope that they will settle down and get some ^#%$* work done for a change, or we'll toss this crop out, too!

Barbara

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