Key to election is how we unite
As America's second straight presidential election goes down to the wire, we must think not of how we are divided, but how we can unite. It's amazing, really, how evenly split this nation is between Republican and Democrat and conservative and liberal causes.
But, as we go forward, we must reach out to each other ... to seek the best answers for all Americans. As we do this, it's encouraging to know that most in the nation are not extremists, but instead are moderate, middle ground people. We bounced back after the Florida voting fiasco, and we will do the same after the extremely close election of 2004.
While we're on the subject, isn't it about time to give serious consideration to electing the president by popular vote, instead of the electoral college method? We know the rationale for the electoral college -- it gives greater weight to state's rights. But, in national elections, that should not be the main criteria. The president represents all Americans and we should each have an equal say in who is elected.
On the state level, the majority of Nebraskans are relieved that the gambling amendment and initiatives were defeated. It's true that two of the initiatives, 418 and 419, will pass, but they will have no effect on casinos or gambling. One, 418, had to do with the votes needed to change a law passed by initiative, and the other, 419, dealt with the regulation of casinos should they have been approved. They weren't, so the point is moot.
Otherwise from a McCook and Southwest Nebraska viewpoint, the election went pretty much as expected except for Dr. Don Blank's defeat in the University of Nebraska regent's race for District 7. In 18 years as a regent, Don has done a commendable job of serving the university. He was the victim of negative campaigning by his opponent, David Hergert. It's regrettable, but attack ads are becoming a popular strategy for win-at-all-cost candidates. Let's keep a close eye on Hergert in the years to come. We need to be vigilant to see if he represents the best interests of this area and the university.
While voters are still cautious about spending issues, there are times when they will step forward for worthy causes. This is illustrated by action in Rawlins County and the towns of Beaver City and Imperial. Rawlins County voters passed 13 mils of support for their hospital for the next four years, while Beaver City approved a one percent sales tax for economic development for the next 15 years, and Imperial authorized $250,000 in bonds for a fire truck.
It's doubtful that anyone was satisfied with all the election results. But, like it or not, the voters have spoken. It's now our task to go forward, doing as Americans have been doing throughout the nation's history: respecting the election outcome, while honoring the right of the minority to disagree and work for change in future elections.