Rarely do I want to discuss politics online because I have a wonderfully diverse bunch of friends and relatives who represent all the extremes and everything in between.  I like hearing all their views…well, until they go on rants for weeks and weeks…and I like trying to understand where each is coming from to reach their conclusions, whether I agree or not.  I don’t like people who bombard me with hate messages and full blown vitrolic views assuming that just because I know them means I agree with them.

I’ve seriously voted since I was could, voting for some winners and some losers.  Many times my candidates have turned out to be huge disappointments and the ones I opposed have pleasantly surprised me.  And I studied them before I voted – not like I just checked a box next to a party.

I’ve worked for candidates who lost and understand that disappointment.  You believe that they are going to make the changes you want and then you’re left with wondering what will happen now.

I voted for candidates from both parties through the years, believing that parties don’t define the best candidates.  Four years ago, I left the two parties and became an independent and have found that an interesting position to take.  I was frustrated with the Democrats and the Republicans and haven’t seen much to draw me back to either one of them.  That’s just the nature of the party structure in this day and age.  You’re either all in or else, no room for moderation.

Mostly, I understand that we have winners and losers and that people need to concede with grace.  I always listen to the inaugural speeches with hope.  I want our leaders to be all that they can be.  The Presidents and Governors and Mayors and Senators and Representatives and Council Members may not be my first choice, but they won and I want them to do well.

Living in our age of violence, our age of constant media coverage, our age of access to the most extreme of views, I am grateful that good people want to run for office and I thank them for it.  I pray for their safety and hope that they can surmount the obstacles that lie in their way.  I want the future to be better for my descendants.  I want the best for our country and our planet.

Bless these politicians.  Heaven help them today and every day.  May we all become listeners and responders rather than reactors.