And now to 2016
It’s Nov. 7, and after a grueling, long election season — from a year and a half to more than three years, depending on who you ask — America has finally decided the winners of the 2012 election. While speculation and bravado for the 2016 election will surely start over the next few weeks, it’s time for our nation’s elected officials and political class to end the politicking and concentrate on work.
Our election season is far too long, and it has been for some time. From Barack Obama declaring his candidacy in January of 2007 to the rampant, sometimes rabid coverage of the GOP presidential contenders last year, the electoral process is getting far too strenuous for the average voter. Voter fatigue and voter apathy are becoming commonplace as each election only causes further furor over the next, with Democrats, Republicans, and even the media increasingly focused on the next big race.
This is defeatist. It’s no wonder voter turnout is gradually declining since 1960, with the exception of the 2008 election. Take a walk down the street, and you’ll find more people excited for the election to end than residents confident the candidates they voted for will make progress and work hard for their constituents. It’s particularly telling that 18-year-old Tommy Olmsted, who the Herald featured in a story about young voters that ran last Sunday, said every one of his friends, regardless of political ideals, wished for the election to be done.
That doesn’t bode well for future generations who must continue to vote after we’re gone. We need a population who values the democratic process, and we need elected officials to get off the campaign trail and get on the House or Senate floor, get in the court room, get in the Oval Office and get to work.