Some of my friends predicted a Blue Wave. Some of my friends predicted a Red Wave. Instead, I awoke this morning to a sea of purple.
I'm good with that. I'm a purple kind of person, politically. I belong to a particular party only so that I can participate in the primary elections. Yesterday I voted for some Democrats and some Republicans. I won some races and lost others. Of one thing only am I certain: the victors will be neither as bad as I fear nor as good as I hope.
I'm also fine with what they're calling a "mixed government." No party should have an easy time pushing its own agenda: we lose the checks and balances that allow the voices of the rest of the country to be heard.
However, I do have a few words for the winners:
- If you won your race by a 51/49 margin, do not intone, "The people have spoken" and think you have a mandate for your ideas. Never forget that half your constituency do not want you as their leader.
- If you won by a landslide, I say the same thing. A rare 60/40 victory, or even an unheard of 90/10, does not mean you have the right to ignore the minority. Never forget that you are now as responsible for looking after their interests and considering their needs and values as you are those of the people who voted for you.
- Remember that you were elected to serve, not to be served.
That would make American great.