Victory 2012. It is very sweet. I keep reading that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are declaring mandates. The only body that can declare a mandate is the American people and I believe that declaration was made in this election. But we must not let party politics (which by the way, is defined as politics based on strict adherence to the policies and principles of a political party regardless of the public interest; partisan loyalism) define the people’s mandate. We cannot move forward on any of the issues we care about until some new rules are demands are met. It is easy to vilify the other side, the other political party. There was ugliness from all sides to be seen in this election. But the Republicans I know are my family, my friends, and my neighbors. We are all good people. We all raise our families; we go to work and pay taxes; we attend our places of worship; we help one another; and we love one another. There is a difference of views, but rarely does that difference translate into actions of how we treat one another. There is, at times, passionate debate. And I engage in this debate. - After all, there is only so much that this atheistic, social liberal, can take here in the Bible belt. - Our differing views do not define as people. Our own character and our own actions define us. We evolve in our own thinking and we need to keep talking. All of us need to demand more of the people we elect to lead our Country.
We have seen that money cannot buy an election. It is time to get big money out of political races. We must demand that Citizens United be reversed. The American people are demeaned by the declaration that corporations are people. But only we as citizens, united, can make this demand.
We must demand that there be truth in politics. Political ads, if we must have ads, and campaign rhetoric must stand up to a standard of truth - a standard of truth that the American people can recognize.
As a people, we need to respect the right for each of us to practice our own faith. Religious freedom is the keystone of the rights that make our Country great. But we must demand religious dogma stay out of our legislative language. It is the only way religious freedom, and our other freedoms can exist.
We must demand bipartisanship. We must demand that our elected leaders WORK TOGETHER for the better of the American people. We expect our different views to be expressed and fought for in the political debate. But we must demand those views are made known to the American people.
Before we get to the social issues, before we get to the tax code, before we do anything else, we need to do one thing. We must demand that COMPROMISE be the working verb of Congress. After all, it is true - all we really need to know we learned in kindergarten – how to share and how to get along.