Our View: Congrats, winners; now, get to work | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Congrats, winners; now, get to work

— The 2010 election season has, mercifully, come to an end. Although voting is a hard-earned American right and privilege, we can’t help but feel as though this election included far too much anger and vitriol, from the electorate and from candidates’ campaigns on the local, state and national stages.

We congratulate Tuesday’s victors and ask them to move forward in a spirit of civility, courtesy and compromise in office. Most Americans’ views are nearer to the middle of the spectrum than to the extremes. What we’ve seen in elections in recent years often is a rejection — voting against a candidate, party or policy — rather than a vote in favor of a candidate whose policies we support. What can result are two-year cycles from one party to the other and back again. The message is that we don’t like anyone, and we don’t like the results they produce.

That means we need those who represent us to create better results. This, more often than not, comes through good-faith cooperation and attempts to put together smart policies reflective of the viewpoint of a majority of Americans, not the fringes. More balance in Congress means the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate have little choice but to work together to fix what needs fixing.

That will require our politicians to be leaders in reaching across the aisle, and they should be doing so no matter who has the majority and which party holds the presidency.

We decided as a community who we wanted to install in office in Routt County, Denver and Washington. On the local level, we have the ability to focus on issues and really see what difference our elected officials make. We want to see our leaders at local, state and national levels make sincere efforts to solve problems.

That means taking on the aftermath of the recession, the effects of which we’re still feeling. As economist Carl Steidtmann told an audience Friday at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s annual meeting, we have experienced a “shattering.” Steidtmann warned us that the nation could not expect manufacturing and construction jobs to return to pre-recession levels.

But we need those jobs — or jobs like them — and we need them across the country, state and region. Our elected officials will be tasked with figuring out how best to spur job creation and reduce unemployment. We urge our locally elected representatives to start immediately on bipartisan measures to accomplish those tasks. In turn, a stronger economy will aid efforts to address the ballooning national deficit.

Anger, though it often motivates voters and starts important political movements, is not in and of itself a political platform. Our elected leaders must channel that anger into action on crucial issues.

Let’s put an end to the spiteful name-calling we’ve seen this fall and replace it with a spirit of cooperation.

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