Well, the electorate has spoken, the hype has ended and we can answer our phones again.
Today we begin hearing from the election deniers. You know who they are; those who cannot accept an election result that differs from their belief system. We will hear them say that voters frequently get it wrong. We hear them say that the uninformed should not be allowed to vote. The results are in, this is the way the system was designed; let's get on with the business of national unity.
Petty differences that have divided us and our political parties must now be ameliorated and be replaced by a new spirit of cooperation and (gasp, dare we say it?) compromise. The Republican Party may need to re-evaluate its policy of resistance, in light of the reality of four more years of Obama. The Democrats also need to embrace a less partisan agenda. Both parties and houses need to cease wasting time on symbolic measures and meaningless gestures. The era of ideological deadlock must be placed behind as we move our nation forward to heal the schism and bitter mood that has separated us from one another. It is time to rebuild the economy.
At this precise point in time, we have crucial choices to make. Are we going to continue to demand that our representatives fail to accomplish? One would certainly hope not. This would be the time to make the best of our political situation and determine how best to cope and accomplish within that reality.
To do otherwise would be a perilous course as we must have immediate cooperation during the lame duck Congress to address actions to prevent that ominous "fiscal cliff." We have been told to wait until after the election. Well, that is now not January.
On Dec. 31, the Bush era tax cuts will expire unless action is taken. Furthermore, the $1.2 trillion sequester that demands immediate and draconian spending reductions will occur unless our elected "representatives" lay down their rhetorical and ideological arms and meet on the field of conciliation.
We are the deciders; are we to continue to insist that no new revenue can be raised regardless of the size of spending reductions? Are we going to demand that only some programs can be reduced but others cannot be considered? Are we going to continue to demand smaller government while insisting on the continuation of big government programs? HEY, we can draw that line in the sand that cannot be crossed and ride the ship of America into the ground, or we can erase the line and legitimately allow everything on the table.
Locally, results were predictable with little drama or surprise.
Those candidates with the coveted "R" behind their names won, and won handily. Rose Pugliese was the big vote winner of the evening trouncing Dave Edwards by nearly doubling his total. Ray Scott delivered another loss to Dan Robinson, and even Jared Wright won with more than 50% of the total. John Justman swept by his two unaffiliated contenders. Scott Tipton was returned to office over a weak challenge by Sal Pace.
Legal marijuana was defeated locally but won statewide. On other statewide issues the voters expressed support to reform the hiring processes of state government and strongly objected to the infusion of anonymous money into the electoral process. We can only hope that this repudiation of the "Citizens United" decision of the Supreme Court begins the process of introducing true campaign reform in an electoral process that has continued to spiral out of control.
Now we will see if Grand Junction and Mesa County say yes to jobs and tax revenue by allowing the now legal sale of marijuana to proceed without unnecessary restraint. I saw a sign at the Chamber of Commerce today; I believe it read "Jobs Matter." Do they mean these jobs? We have the immediate opportunity to add 100 or so jobs and a new source of tax revenue to our struggling local economy. Are our leaders going to continue to just say no?
Returning to the national scene - just a final wish that those in Washington, D.C. do what needs to be done and do it now. There is no further time for delay. To paraphrase a Florida voter, "Whoever is elected is our President. We need to pray for him and support him."
Jim Hoffman is a local real estate broker and investor who is trying to move from semi-retired to retired. He needs to retire to devote more time to unpaid interests such as skiing, camping and fishing.