OPINION: Respect Democracy, Respect Will of the People

Whether your candidates or ballot issues won or lost, now is the time for us to come together and celebrate our democracy and the freedom to choose.

After a tumultuous election year—both nationally and here in Maryland—we have at long last reached the end of a messy process. Some folks are pleased by the re-election of President Barack Obama, while others are bitterly disappointed. Similar emotions are certainly found in association with the results of some of our state's more controversial ballot initiatives, including expanded gambling, extending in-state tuition benefits to children of undocumented immigrants, and upholding the extension of civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. 

Not surprisingly, soon after the results were tallied, some who were unhappy with the final result felt it necessary to let loose with their frustrations. Perhaps the worst example of this was a series of Tweets from contrarian tycoon Donald Trump. His rants against the re-election of President Obama included gems like "we should march on Washington and stop this travesty," and "let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice!"

Unfortunately for us, there have also been some naysayers closer to home.  In reading through the multitude of comments posted in response to Patch political stories, there are some (albeit much less incendiary) comments made in opposition to the election and referenda results. While I certainly respect the constitutional right that we all share to speak our minds as we choose, I believe that this is the time for healing our wounds as a nation.

Each of us, myself included, did not necessarily see each and every election race or ballot decision go our way.  I am not particularly pleased to see the expansion of gambling passed, as I firmly believe that the addition of a sixth casino site will impair the financial viability of nearby existing in-state gambling venues.  Nevertheless, I respect the fact that 52 percent of Marylanders felt differently and approved the measure. 

It would be foolish of me to think that just because those who supported the gambling measure didn't agree with my view that this somehow made them either —actual words used by some commenters right here on Patch. No matter how unhappy one may be with the results of this or any other election, there is never good cause for directly attacking others whose views were different. 

Moreover, it would also be an unproductive exercise for those on the "winning" side of partisan races to gloat over their victories. Rather, what our nation desperately needs are peacemakers who will help to heal the partisan breach that threatens America. Extreme words or deeds that will only further divide us are not what is called for at this time. 

President Gerald Ford faced a similarly fractious situation upon assuming office in August 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon. I believe that words spoken by Ford in his remarks in acceptance of the presidency perfectly capture the essence of what all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, must do now. President Ford said at that time, "Even though this is an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs. We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together." Let us all seek to follow these words of wisdom in the days and weeks ahead.

Tim November 13, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Oh wow, documenting all of the people killed by governments WORLD WIDE all throughout history. What an entirely relevant piece of information there Bill. Or not.
Tim November 13, 2012 at 02:32 AM
The subtle difference is, this is not nationalized/single payer healthcare. The really liberal Democrats are angry it's not, but the right wing kooks would like you to think it is.
Tim November 13, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Mike: You aren't going to honestly tell me that Republican voters are suppressed more then inner city (90% Democrat) voters in poor cities nationwide...are you? 5.5 million Republican votes not counted? Riiiiight. It's more right wing sour grapes from joke sites like WND. Because seriously, you are smarter then that. There were also voting machines that only clicked Romney when you chose Obama. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM It's easy to see, and if you miss it the first time you double check your ballot before you leave the facility. If someone is too stupid to do that, then I don't know what to tell you. As far as the military and absentee voters, I'm just going to speculate that their votes (volume) don't affect the outcome, ergo, they don't need to be counted. Arizona's voters? Same deal. Romney won the state going away. The same thing happens every single election. It's not like anything different happened this time around procedurally. I don't doubt there's improprieties here and there. Power corrupts and it's not partisan.
Tim November 13, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Another thought - and this is NOT directed at you, Mike. Just the radical population on this forum in particular. Has it occurred to any of you who believe this right wing ridiculousness about widespread voter impropriety by the Democrats that maybe someone relevant in the Republican party would have brought this up at some point? You know, if it actually had legs? Moreover, has it occurred to any of you (either party) that voting overall was down, because millions more people are completely disgusted and indifferent with who wins because both options genuinely suck? Because this second point is reality. Not some brain porn off some libbie or neocon nut website. Everyone loves this country, and if everyone actually agreed on the same direction , then THAT would be scary.
Tim November 13, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Definitely agree with proof of identity laws.
JD1 November 13, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Mr Smith - I think you better give this one up. From the posts above, it is clear that partisan mudslinging by weak minded antagonists on both sides will continue. There is no desire to "come together" in this country. Our media is a joke - rather than providing any sense of check and balance, they selectively cover "news" that promotes their viewpoint. We have empowered Fox, MSNBC and believe that opinionated rants are statements of fact. Our electorate is increasingly swayed by high priced commercials, corporations and pop stars instead of facts gained by reading, detecting bias, and opening eyes to sad realities. It's seems like every election brings our country further apart and this one was no exception. It is clear that our country will remain sharply divided and unproductive. We will all suffer, regardless of our place in life, and when it's all said and done, it will be the "other sides's" fault.
Mike Fisher November 13, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Great post and indeed, it is a sad reality.
Mark Patro November 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM
When our hearts are at war we will never come to compromise. We will never ALL have the same point of view. It seems like we have evolved into a country with no respect for differing opinions. We can work at making this a better country if we decide to work WITH each other for universal victory instead of competing with each other for unilateral defeat of the other.
Neal Baker November 13, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I'll take my chances in a Ford Pinto over being indoctrinated into Obamacare and his socialist agenda.
Mike Lurz November 13, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Good to see that respect for others beliefs and views are alive and well
Honeygo Hal November 13, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Balled-upSurfer - So sad - all you express is how you make someone's anus hurt, or drag them through the mud, or ??? Before the election it was going to happen when Obama lost, and now you keep it up when your guy lost. Seriously, you should get some help with your anger issues. OBTW - don't start that crap with me - I know about you and your Uncle Ernie in the back of the basement.
John Doe November 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Republicans plan to vote on changing 'elephant' mascot to 'dinosaur' - feel it is more appropriate..
John Doe November 13, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Absolutely Agree.
Mike Fisher November 13, 2012 at 08:12 PM
A country divided against itself is easier to control, manipulate and makes it easier for a tyrannical, corrupt government to flourish. This is what they want, you see. People seem to love to hate one another. We put labels on other people and put them into categories and then hate them for it. Whether it's republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives or in some cases people of different color, race or sexuality. All people want to do is blame each other while the real people causing all this are laughing. As someone who prefers to stand outside all this partisan bickering, it makes no sense to me at all. It's like it turns grown adults into children and I really wish people could take a step back and look at themselves because it just makes people look stupid. All this anger is being directed at the wrong people. Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin, nothing more or less, but both think they're the only ones that are right and both insult each other like a bunch of middle schoolers. It is such silly nonsense and I wish people could see that. The ones who do see things for what they are is a small number of people. They are ridiculed, insulted, laughed at, and ultimately ignored. It is the height of arrogance and ignorance, IMO. A corrupt government doesn't want it's people to be united because they couldn't survive against 300 million+ people. If they can be made to hate each other, they remain divided. They set the trap and most fell for it.
Mark Patro November 13, 2012 at 08:16 PM
We don't have to give them what "they" want. We can each decide to work at having a peaceful heart.
Mike Fisher November 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I agree, we don't have to, but people choose to. Change comes from within and most people don't seem to want to change. It would be great if we could because then we'd really start to see positive change.
John Doe November 13, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Mike - I try to vote for the best candidate. But, when a party nominates extreme candidates that can affect everybody nationwide, then it is hard to vote for that party. Give me John McCain 2000 and I possibly vote for him. Give me John McCain 2008 when he sold his soul, then I don't.
Mike Fisher November 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I understand that. I really believe that at the core of things, if you boil all this hate and vitriol away that people have for each other, everyone wants the same thing. Most people know something is very wrong with this country and they all want to fix it, but all the other stuff gets in the way and people just end up fighting with each other. The quality of candidates just gets worse and worse and people just keep on voting for them. I think anyone who gets elected into a corrupt system becomes corrupt themselves. We don't need to look much further than this thread to see what politics does to people and the people here aren't even politicians, imagine if they all had power. The system is broken and until the corruption is fixed, anyone elected into it will also become corrupt if they aren't already. It's almost like you have to be corrupt in order to hold a government position because that's how the system is. People have forgotten that when we are united, we hold all the power, but divided, we give that power away and for what? I wish people could unite and change things. If we can't, the worst is yet to come. I don't want to see this country fail, but I hate what people have allowed it to become.
Tim November 13, 2012 at 08:32 PM
That's basically what Bobby Jindal suggested today. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83743.html?hp=f3
FIFA November 13, 2012 at 08:44 PM
A much different Jindal than when he was being considered as a VP pick.
Bill Howard November 13, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Mike As we get more and more of these reports, expect the brainwashed left to laugh at them and through in old crap about Kenya. But they will NEVER give you an explanation as to why 143% of the voters were counted or how in a county were Romney polled at 40% the week before, he got "zero" votes on election day. Instead they will say Faux News Faux news they are lying etc. It's a shame. These folks are not just eroding our freedoms, they have given away their minds.
Tim November 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM
It is indeed a sad state of affairs in this country. It's not just the news media, it's the talk shows on each side as well. Somewhere along the way, entertainment took over from journalism.
Tim November 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Yeah you noticed that too, FIFA. I told my centrist-conservative friend on the way out of work that Jindal was just securing his place in the first lifeboat. ;)
FIFA November 14, 2012 at 12:41 AM
The rats always find a way off the sinking ship Tim.
Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 01:08 AM
This is nothing new. The news media in the time of Andrew Jackson was brutal. Papers were divided by party (not one party like today) Jackson's wife was dragged into it and called a woman of ill repute. he was accused of murder etc. Things may have actually calmed down compared to then.
Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Sometimes compromise is nothing but an incremental victory for one side and an unrecoverable loss to another. This country has swung too far to the wrong direction as it is.
Bill Howard November 14, 2012 at 01:13 AM
@John Doe Based on what you just said should the DNC change its mascot to Che Guevara? Maybe something else based on the fact that they want to remove God and Israel from the platform. Who or what would that be?
Balt Observer November 14, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Ah, Honeybucket rushes in to defend the honor of his loverdog, Fido. How heartwarming. But beware Honeybucket: bestiality is an abomination. ROTFLMAO
Tim November 14, 2012 at 02:51 AM
The thing is folks, it's fun talking to rational people on both sides. I'm more centrist-liberal, but the liberal stuff on my end is much more social then governmental. Just because I believe something like gays having the right to legally marry, doesn't automatically make me a lover of the DREAM act, or governmental free spending in general. Just because I believe taxes should be raised (specifically, but NOT solely, on the wealthy) doesn't mean I am against major cuts in government - both non-military and military to a lesser extent. This is obviously the problem with the folks in our government today. There's only two options, and they are both insane and irrational in their own respective ways. What's worse is that compromise is considered losing based on the 24 hour news cycle, and it's not just crippling our nation - it's crippling the world too. Ok, off the soap box I go.
John Doe November 14, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Bill Howard - lighten up, the Democrats are fine being the donkey.


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