After the election, it’s business as usual

Keltin Wiens

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The Prairie.

The Prairie.

The election is over. Can we get an amen?

It was certainly an exciting, and at times ridiculous, election season. In the end, President Barack Obama has been re-elected, securing 303 electoral votes and winning the popular vote as well. The public will be anticipating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s next career move. Maine and Maryland passed gay marriage laws and Colorado and Washington State legalized recreational marijuana use. Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, has voted on statehood. The

Republican Party controls the House of Representatives and the Democratic Party controls the Senate.

So now that it’s all said and done, now what?

If this is anything like the 2008 election aftermath, there will be a few weeks of an uplifted mood in the nation, or at least the 51 percent of voters who voted for President Obama. There will be complaints by those who voted for Governor

Romney, calling everything unfair and the election rigged. There will be calls for bi-partisanship and working together.

However, after the “honeymoon phase” is over, things will go back to “business as usual”; more filibustering in Congress and general lack of interest about politics on the citizen level. Those who are interesting will bicker about “evil Democrats” or “out-of-touch Republicans,” which really doesn’t do anything in terms of finding a solution to our nation’s problems (the vitriolic nature of our political parties is another editorial for another time).

Frankly, it’s a cycle that needs to stop. Politics does not occur once every four years. It is living and breathing and affecting the lives of average citizens daily. It’s great that many people turned out to vote in this election. As it was mentioned earlier, several states have passed their own laws concerning gay marriage and marijuana use, thanks to the citizens that voted. What are the implications of those laws and how will this affect other states? We’ll find out soon, but will the public still be interested then?

Does anyone even remember Hurricane Sandy anymore? The storm is long gone, but the damage remains and the East Coast needs help rebuilding.

What about our Congress? We will have a divided legislature once more, which may prevent much-needed laws to be passed if the current filibuster system continues.

Do you remember China? As much as the presidential candidates hammered on it in the debates, no one seems to be paying much attention to the major leadership change in its government that occurs every decade. This could have a huge impact on China-U.S. relations.

Thankfully, life goes on after the presidential election, the political Super Bowl on steroids, but remember: politics is not just the election. It’s what happens in the federal, state and local level as well.
Get educated. Find out what’s going on in the world. In the Information Age, it is so easy to catch up on the world’s events that it’s almost laughable. Educating yourself on the day-to-day issues empowers a person more than he or she may realize.

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After the election, it’s business as usual