Columnists

Primary Over, Time to Move Forward

Polls are closed. Voters have spoken. It’s time to get going.

It’s been said before – many times – in this space that we’re so lucky here in this little corner of God’s green earth. Politically speaking, we don’t have the issues that our brothers and sisters in Washington, or even Indianapolis, have. For sure, there is a little grumbling and griping about politics. That goes with the territory. But for the most part, we go through primaries and elections in relative peace and harmony. You don’t see and hear the mudslinging that is prevalent in many places.

Thanks goodness!

But we can do better.

Do you hear anyone saying that all is well? Aren’t we in one of the most divisive times in U.S. (and perhaps human) history? Have opinions from reasonably intelligent people ever been more polar opposite? And make no mistake, the unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court regarding abortions is only going to make those polar opposites dig in more.

There’s one single item missing. One single item that is critical. Want to have a magic wand to wave that fixes things? Find a way to restore this one single item and you’ll have it.

Respect.

Even here locally. Noblesville is split between those who want growth and those who don’t.

Some folks in our fair city aren’t happy with the addition of apartments and parking garages in our historic downtown. Yet Mayor Chris Jensen and the city are spending a fair amount of time and money on economic development and the city continues to change.

Is that progress? Is it wrong? What direction should the city take? That’s what elections are all about.

It’s after those elections that things go off the rails. One side, one philosophy wins. We move forward. Except we don’t. More and more the losing side says they’re taking their ball and going home. Some won’t even acknowledge the winning side, let alone respect it.

Thing is, it’s not about who gets the respect. It’s about respecting the process. It seems like each election we slide apart a little farther. The national politicians don’t help when they sling more mud than a teen-ager in a pig wrestling contest. Win or lose, they call out their opponents by comparing them to everything unholy.

That is filtering down.

Simply put, we don’t respect the process of voting anymore. We don’t respect what this country is based on – that everyone is entitled to their opinion and the majority rules.

If the Republic is to survive we need to find a way back to mutual respect. Election winners and losers don’t have to become bosom buddies, just respect the process that got them where they are. If your side wins, govern with grace. If your side loses, hold your tongue and work toward winning the next election.

Fair and square. Without the hi-jinx. Ditto for all of us non-politicians, too.

The process has survived for 246 years. Add in one simple thing and it has a good shot at 246 more. Keep up the division and who knows. Even Vegas might not touch the odds on that one.

– Timmons is the chief executive officer of Sagamore News Media, the company that owns The Noblesville Times. He is a proud Noblesville High School graduate and can be contacted at ttimmons@thetimes24-7.com.