EDITORIAL: ‘We won’ means we all lose

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The “we won” mentality in American politics has become toxic, replacing our sense of right and wrong with the politics of brute force and making it impossible for people to come together either before or after an election.

Regardless of whether your candidate won – be it the presidency or the local mayor’s race – we should demand a premium be placed on common sense decisions, made clearly in the best interest of the people being represented.

Look at the results. Few candidates at any level earned six of 10 votes. Are we truly going to approach governing by saying “too bad” to four of every 10 people?

Political division is at an all-time high and our mentality about one another is one of suspicious enemies, rather than neighbors, and that makes it easier to discount the “losers” when the election dust settles. In Liberty Hill that’s nearly half the population. In America it is nearly 70 million people.

If our elected officials focus on the right action for the community, striking a balance of interests versus pointing to the “I’m in charge” button on their chest, we will all be better off and not so mired in the fear and skepticism of the other side winning an election.

Looking up and down the ballot in Williamson County, a fair number of candidates won on both sides of the fence, and that means it is in all our best interests to strike compromise and recognize we can be on the losing end as easily as on the winning side. All or nothing is no way to live our political lives.

Voters in the County can be proud of the new foundation established that should remind elected officials that every person does matter and should be considered. A 75 percent voter turnout – higher than ever before – with 88,000 more ballots cast, says everyone has a stake in local governance.

Voters have become engaged, either deeply as candidates or campaign workers, or by the simple act of voting in numbers never seen before. That engagement and energy can’t die, it can’t dwindle. To keep the pressure on our elected officials that involvement must continue to grow. When we don’t speak, our elected officials don’t respond.

Our representative democracy has always been referred to as “democracy” but perhaps we should recalibrate the approach and focus more on the representative part.

The new Sheriff, the new Mayor, the same US Rep and the same County Attorney still represent the same residents as someone did only days ago. Surely their importance as citizens of Williamson County has not become more or less suddenly over an election.

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