After what seemed like an eternity, the General Election finally is over.
With Tuesday night now behind us, maybe, just maybe, what seemed like a never-ending, 24-hours-a-day onslaught of vicious, demeaning and half-truth attack ads has ceased.
The last few days before the election, it got to the point one political attack ad followed another attack ad, which followed still another attack ad throughout the evening.
I often wonder what could be accomplished if the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on political campaigns across the nation were funneled into research to end cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, etc. What if that outrageous amount of campaign money were spent on feeding the hungry, finding homes for the homeless, ending social injustice, improving education and providing for our sick and elderly?
Call me a dreamer or accuse me of living in a bubble, but I truly believe those hundreds of millions of dollars spent on political campaigns could be put to better use to help people instead of spent driving them to distraction and leaving them with a feeling of disgust for the political process.
The saddest part of our contentious political system is we have it to dread in 2016 when all this happening again ... and unfortunately it probably will even be more viciously. Aren't politics great?!?
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On a more positive note, if there is such a thing following an election, whether your candidate won or lost hopefully people can return to a more normal, less antagonistic approach to life.
It seems this political season has been one of the most contentious and vicious I can remember, with hard lines being driven between those who support one candidate over another. And, it seems those bitter divisions even have gone beyond just political views, creeping into nearly every aspect of social, economic and religious everyday life.
There is little doubt to me this presidential election and local political contests polarized people, split friendships and left wounds that will be long in healing.
But, the election is over and no matter who won it's time for the nation and its political leaders to cease their petty, political game playing and concentrate on moving the country forward instead of fighting among themselves to gain a perceived advantage in the next election cycle.
It certainly is time for Congress to return to being a body for the good of the people instead of the good of one party or the other.
It certainly is time for parties to begin offering viable candidates instead of following hardcore extremist ideology and big money backers.
It certainly is time for both parties to get back in touch with the average citizen.
And, it certainly is time for those elected to start looking out for the citizenry instead of posturing for their next run at office.
Somewhere along the line our political system veered off the path of being by the people and for the people ... and it certainly is time for all those involved to veer back.
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The News and Sentinel, Family Ford, Pioneer Chevy and The Marietta Times are partnering to hold a Swab-athon on Nov. 30 to increase the number of people in the bone marrow match registry to potentially benefit people with life-threatening blood cancers such as lymphoma. A match connects potential donors with patients for a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. Details for the time and place for the swab-athon are being finalized.
If you or someone you know is awaiting a bone marrow transplant or has had such a procedure, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 304-485-1891, Ext. 282, so we can assign a reporter to talk with you about the experience.
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On a personal note, congratulations to Jim Spanner, News and Sentinel publisher, for being named Businessman of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Jim's one of the good guys in our business and it's very pleasing to see him rewarded for his community involvement, industry leadership and support for the Mid-Ohio Valley.
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Let's all remember to say thank you today to a veteran. Those serving and those who have served deserve and are more than entitled to our thanks and our support.