The elections are finally over. The votes have been counted and the winners announced. The months of candidates answering questions, shaking hands and vying for votes has ceased. Throughout the county, all of the road signs asking for your vote will be removed. Soon all evidence of the sometimes hotly contested issues will be gone. Then again, you have to ask yourself, are those issues really resolved?
In the past few months, there have been rumors and accusations surrounding many of the candidates. While the local elections are non-partisan, there were people who questioned whether the political hopefuls were Republicans or Democrats. There were even mailers that surrounded Johnson Countys own Scotty Campbell, alluding to the fact that he is indeed a Democrat in Republican clothing. While Campbell won with a large percentage, what is the purpose of anyone trying to discredit someone else because their beliefs or political views may differ from theirs? Why would exposure to another political partys views and politicians be a cause for concern? I would hope that such exposure would lead to a much more well-rounded and informed person. Why cannot people stand on their own merits and not be subjected to allegations that may not be true?
God gave all of us the ability to think and reason for ourselves. While many of us think alike, there is a whole host of topics that people do not agree upon. The world would be a pretty boring place if there were no discussions, no debates and no individuality. We would all become robotic. However, that doesnt give us the permission to be hurtful, harmful, mean or vengeful to others because they think differently or believe differently than we do.
I understand that there are many differences between political parties. For the most part, when you declare that you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or part of any other affiliation, you typically believe most of what the party itself stands for. However, does that make any one of us better than the person down the street who has a slight variation on our own personal views and thoughts? What makes us right and them wrong? Why do we need to think less of a person because they may support tax credits for small businesses, while their neighbor believes that more assistance should be given to those who are economically stressed?
People were made to be different, be it religious beliefs, ethnicity, personalities, and, yes, political allegiances. What we as a community, a nation and a world have to do is learn to live amongst each other and to respect each other. While we may very often not agree with someone, what is the purpose of expending negative energy and saying things that we may or should regret later? Johnson County is a small community. It seems many people know each other, either through family, communities or churches. Why would we want to burn bridges? The very person we may have spoken ill of because of our differences could become our neighbor, our boss, our local representative or our own governor.
At the end of the day, people are people. When we stand before God, we arent Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, members of the Tea Party, Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics or Asians. We are neither rich nor poor. We need to learn to celebrate our diversities, accept one another and learn to build on our differences, and most importantly, treat others with respect and kindness.