Despite personal preferences, all Americans won

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Despite the scoreboard, elections are not a zero-sum game.

Yes, the Democrats took control of the House by taking away seats from the Republicans, and the Republicans maintained control of the Senate by taking away a couple of seats from the Democrats.

A Republican governor won re-election and a U.S. Senator held on to her seat, but Nebraska voters embraced, by a narrow margin, one of the major points of Obamacare, Initiative 427, expansion of Medicaid.

A female Democrat was elected governor of Kansas, which also elected a gay Native American woman to Congress.

Two-thirds of the states have now legalized some sort of marijuana, the latest medical marijuana in Utah and Missouri and recreational in Michigan, but North Dakota rejected the recreational use of pot.

A Furnas County sheriff was defeated by a write-in candidate, but two incumbent McCook City Council members were re-elected, and a young local businessman won a seat vacated by an incumbent who chose not to run again.

There are certainly many other local, state and national races of note, and we’re still sorting out the deluge of results and implications.

But the most important results are already apparent — 56 percent of eligible Nebraska voters turned out to make their choices, 54 percent voted in Red Willow County and other area counties had similar results.

It’s a shame the numbers aren’t closer to 100 percent, but they’re still far above numbers for other recent elections.

Americans should be celebrating a process that forces government to address their concerns, rather than mourning defeat of their favorite candidate or issue. And, they should channel the energy that propelled them to the voting booth into staying involved in the political process, and not just for the next election.

Implementation of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska is an example of an issue that bears watching, and making voices heard, as it works its way through the Legislature to the governor’s desk.

Responsibility for the changes that result from that vote, as well as other issues and candidates, fall on all of us in the coming years.

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