Returning to a more peaceful time, post-election

As mentioned on the front page of this issue, we regrettably were unable to cover the election results due to timing. We assume that you were not banking on the Waltonian to hear the results.

It prompts us as a newspaper staff, and as young Americans, to reflect on this historic election from the context of what we have witnessed in our lifetimes. Being first and second time voters, we have recently experienced things like “voting responsibly” and following political coverage for the first time.

One thing that all of us experienced beyond the fray were the tensions of politics. I’m right, you’re wrong battles of words that, amazingly enough, rarely led to fist fights.

In my senior year of high school, George Bush was running against John Kerry, and I was six months too young to vote. Only a few of my classmates were privileged enough to vote. Despite our unimportance to the election, my friends and I nonetheless found ourselves quarreling for the first time about politics. Our usual conversations revolving around simple topics such as sports, television and girls chartered course into something altogether new to each of us.

Most likely we had no idea what we were talking about, but my friends and I somehow managed to engage ourselves in heated debates. However unlikely it was, we managed to become fuming mad at each other.

“Bush is dumb!” someone might say.

“Kerry isn’t really a Christian,” another might respond.

We discovered quickly the ugliness of politics and why our families avoided talking about them at family gatherings. I fretted that this new-found responsibility that came with being an adult would tear our seemingly indestructible friendships apart.

Post-election, there were people who were upset and people who held grudges, but for the most part, everything quieted down. We returned to a more pleasant state of being, void of political talk virtually altogether.

The other night I had a wonderful discussion with a close friend who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum from me. We were able to have this conversation because we realized our differences in political positions rose from differences in beliefs, both in government and life in general. I believe in smaller government, he believes in larger, and down the list we go.

Unfortunately, for all those who shy away from conflict and debate, politics happen. Elections will come and go; people will be upset, and people will settle down. But, politics will last, and we would all do better not to hate each other because of them.

Inquiring Minds is the opinion of the writer and not altogether representative of the editorial staff’s views.

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