This month we will enter a new era in American politics. This new era includes a president-elect who has chosen to use social media rather than the main-stream media. This new era promises to focus on American citizens and the needs from coast to coast, but of course that has yet to be determined if this will happen or not. This new era will certainly usher in changes in the Supreme Court and perhaps even changes in the Constitution itself since it was just announced that Senator Ted Cruz has introduced an amendment for congressional term limits.
Regardless how you feel about the elected officials ANYWHERE, there is one thing on which we can likely agree--this was, by definition a realigning election. "Realigning elections or political realignment describe elections that cause a significant shift in the way voters align themselves, that is, in who they vote for."--Hank Edmonton of Georgia College.
There have been many realigning elections in the past. Among those were Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, and some even choose to include Reagan. These elections, as Dr. Edmonton says, showcase a shift in the way voters align themselves or in who they vote for. Trump certainly qualifies for that.
This is also true OUTSIDE the venue of the President. Many state governments switched to predominately GOP candidates for the first time in a very long time. My home state did so in the statehouse, but not with our governor. He is a Democrat.
However, what has my mind churning is not whether the GOP or the Democrats have any majority or power. Rather it is that the voice of the American people shouted loudly from the rooftops that they wanted CHANGE. Not the catchphrase change of politics, but real and MEASURABLE change.
What does that mean? Well, I used to teach a concept called SMART goal setting (lesson can be seen at www.roadstosuccess.org). S=specific, M=measurable, A=achievable, R=realistic, and t=timed. I believe those currently elected officials have only two years to create SMART change and if they're not specific changes that are measurable, achievable, and realistic, they'll run out of TIME in the end of two years.
Does that mean they need to toss the baby out with the bathwater and change EVERYTHING? Of course not. However, there are people in this country who are in desperate need of a well-paying full time benefitted job. There are children who need better education than they're receiving, and we need to ensure that healthcare actually BECOMES affordable for EVERYONE--not just those with subsidy payments.
When I discuss this, I often hear things like, "But what about gay marriage?" Well, in my home state, it's been legal for quite some time now. It was ushered in with no fanfare, no protests, and no gnashing of teeth. Just good legislation and it was done. I also hear "What about gun laws?" Again, in my home state, we have some of the toughest purchase laws in America. We also have had legal conceal carry with no permit for over a year. NO rise in gun violence has occurred. So, what makes my state unique? Nothing other than good ol' common sense.
We don't need to be splashy or make headlines. We just do the right thing and move on. I truly hope this realigning election has brought an end to the oligarchy politics and reinstated some good ol' common sense. If not, we'll see a new crop of elected officials in two years.
In political time, two years isn't very long, so let's get it right the first time, OK?
Happy 2017 to all, andI wish you all the prosperity you deserve.