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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

After the election, we work together

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

With the election season upon us, political pundits of all stripes are pontificating on the merits of their candidates and the shortcomings of their opponents. This is nothing new by any stretch of the imagination.

I have written about the world of politics for many years. Were one to keep score in this political arena, I suspect my winning average would be less than stellar. But the purpose of sharing political opinions is not to rack up a high winning percentage. No, hopefully in the musings of a columnist you can find something worth pondering. And while pondering, perhaps you can appreciate a differing position and perhaps even be motivated to consider another point of view.

Now it was just last week that I bemoaned the national obsession with Sen. Barack Obama and his foreign tour. My concern was not with the Obama coverage as much as it was with the blatant lack of coverage for Sen. John McCain on an identical trip. But that was last week.

Following that column, some readers took me to task for my partisan concerns. I am very familiar with being taken to task. Never has bothered me and never will. That's why I attach my name to this column.

But I was labeled a "sickening human being," among other tidbits for sharing my opinions on the stark difference in political coverage. I don't mind the label. What worries me is the mindset behind the message. I fully understand the passion that surrounds the political arena. I wonder about confusing passion with hysteria.

Let me clear the slate. If Sen. Barack Obama is elected president, I will honor his position and support him as our commander-in-chief and the chief executive of our great nation. I would never undermine his efforts in any fashion.

But some take the election process beyond the nature of a serious event. Some of the wacko Hollywood elite have in the past and during this election cycle promised to move outside of this country if their candidate is not elected. Same goes for the wackos on the right. That is not a case of political passion. That's a hardheaded, immature position that calls for condemnation from all sides.

I can favor one candidate over another without being a "sickening human being." I have very close friends, lifelong associates who share not one single political view with me. I chide them and they chide me. We use any and all occasions to take a friendly swipe at each other over real or perceived foibles of our respective political views. But at the end of the day, we drop our differences and leave the political arena to rest. And we find common ground. There is always common ground.

In truth, we're nearing the end of the political season. The end game is near on the state and national front. When that fateful day arrives, each side has the same identical opportunity to voice their views at the ballot box. And then the numbers are counted. And the decision is made.

What's important is that - following that day - all sides understand that the important work lies ahead. And to succeed it takes all people working together - even "sickening human beings."

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen