After elections, healing process begins

Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The most beautiful part of our representative democracy is election day. On the flip side, one of the ugliest parts of our representative democracy is the election process.

On one day, voters are able to go into a polling place, take a ballot and make a decision that will go to decide their leadership for the next few years. They are able to set the direction of their city, their state, their nation by the single, beautiful act of casting a vote.

Unfortunately, that one day is often preceded by weeks, if not months, of candidates doing whatever they can to garner votes. At times, the campaigns are run above board, clean, positive, but there are others that are run well below board, dirty and very negative.

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At times in the recent municipal election cycle in Selma, we saw both kinds.

Today, the election cycle is over. The votes have been cast, the decisions made.

Today, the healing process, bringing the community together, begins. We heard the first steps of that process soon after the votes were announced, we heard even further evidence of that over the airways of local radio.

Did those who lost Tuesday’s run-off elections call those candidates who won to congratulate them? In some cases, maybe.

Did those who won Tuesday’s run-off elections reach out to those they vanquished and offer a “job well done.” Maybe, maybe not.

In November, members of city and town councils and mayors will take the oath of office. They will promise to serve honorably and for the greater good. Maybe we as residents should do the same.

Maybe we should take an oath to put behind us the tough campaigns and harsh words and cheer for those in elected office. We should want them, all of them, to be successful. For if they are, if they make the right decisions, then we all benefit.

Tuesday, we saw the beauty of our nation’s electoral process, regardless of the outcome. We had a chance to decide, a chance to have an impact on what happens the next four years.

Now comes the hard part. Now those elected to office have to turn their promises into actions. Today, the re-election bids begin for all of them.