Elections are Over, Let the Healing Begin
November 7, 2022
“For the Children” Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, OICA CEO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
Telephone: (405) 833-1117
OKLAHOMA CITY – By the time you likely read this column, the elections will be over, except for a select few which might go to a recount or have some type of challenge.
Every two years, voters have the opportunity to go to the polls to cast a decision for which candidate they each feel would do the best job in an elective office. Some decide by party, while others cross those lines for a variety of reasons, to give their vote to someone who has likely spent months, if not years, campaigning to do the job.
Judgment happens on Election Day, and in recent years that judgment has continued long after the certification.
So, why do so many people hate, and I do not use that word loosely, people who serve in politics? It feels that with the elevation of social media and the connections we have with others who are on these platforms, the animosity is growing around election time and continues to fester even after the votes are counted.
Just because someone is registered in a different political party does not make them bad, evil, a crook, or worse. People have different perspectives and those create the foundation for a belief system.
It is okay to disagree on a policy, but until you have “walked in the shoes” of another person, try not to judge someone because of what they believe due to upbringing, life experiences or learned behaviors. Even when the stance is based on ignorance, you get nowhere by belittling someone. In fact, it takes time and effort to share points and possibly change an opinion. I know that I have had many reversals of belief through the years based upon experiences and knowledge, and people who did not give up on me.
I had the pleasure of working with many outstanding men and women during my time of either holding an elective office or working for elected officials. I can only think of a very few who I would not ever care to see again.
In fact, many of those who I was certain that I would not like ended up becoming very good friends due to a shared circumstance or working on an issue together. It took me getting over my bias toward someone because of their party, their stance on a sole issue, or some blustery comment that had been made for those friendships to develop, and I can attest it had to work on both sides.
After these elections, I would encourage you to let the healing begin and to let the animosity go. You should get to know your locally elected officials and your state lawmakers with an open mind, even if they might not be in the same party as you. You will be shocked what finding common ground on issues might accomplish for the greater good.
Work on maintaining civility when it comes to another person, be it an elected official, a neighbor, a family member, or a coworker. Better things can be accomplished when we find consensus rather than unnecessary enemies. Life is too short to hate someone, especially when that hatred is based on something that is built out of ignorance or because another might have a different perspective.
Most importantly, be the bigger person who starts that conversation. I can promise you in many cases, it will be worth the effort to find an unlikely ally, and maybe even an unlikelier friend.