Our View: With elections over, it’s time to get started

Thibodaux council avoids employee cuts, for now
December 10, 2014
A Word of Truth
December 10, 2014

All of the dust has settled, and Louisiana’s 2014 elections are officially behind us.

You went to the polls.

And you enacted change.

The ability to do just that is what makes America great.

Whether you’re reading this as a Republican, a Democrat, or anything in between, being an American citizen affords us the opportunity to replace those who make our laws in a timely fashion.

It’s a right that not those in all countries can claim, and on the heels of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day last weekend, we should be thankful to our troops past and present for making that a reality.

But now that all of the primary and runoff elections are done and you not just in the bayou region but in Louisiana and the country made a strong statement that you would like to see change in your government, it’s time for those newly-elected officials hold up their end of the bargain.

That is, living up to the wishes of those who put them in office in the first place.

Because the all to recent reminder resonates that if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in a different line of work in a hurry.

This duty won’t necessarily be easy.

Washington currently finds itself in quite the conundrum. The Republicans have the majority in the Senate and the House. The Democrats own the White House. And the GOP’s advantage in congress isn’t enough to override any veto by President Barack Obama.

This has led to rampant speculation from various national media outlets that our government will be gridlocked until something changes.

After all, if congress passes a bill, the president vetoes the bill and congress can’t override the veto, what can possibly get done?

Well, we at The Times still think plenty can get done. All it takes is a little cooperation.

The gap between many of the differing opinions between Republicans and Democrats has seemingly never been bigger. The 2014 election cycle has shown us that many Democrats who went against their constituents’ wishes in the form of voting for Obamacare and other Obama-led initiatives will not directly participate in our government’s functions anymore.

There’s always another election cycle coming up, and those liberal senators still awaiting their first election since the approval of Obamacare better start working with their conservative counterparts or they too will be booking a one-way ticket out of Washington, D.C.

That goes the same for Republicans in office, who must avoid the same “cram laws down your throat mentality” that led Democrats to their decisive nearly-nationwide defeat in 2014.

Our new Republicans in congress – Bill Cassidy and Garret Graves, respectively – must serve their constituents while also keeping in mind that there’s two sides to every issue and serving the people who put you in office is more important than serving your party.

That means a hard line in the sand on some issues and negotiations and the willingness to listen on others.

Democrats failed to listen with its national health care initiative, and it bit them.

Republican-led governments have failed to listen also, and it too bit them.

Scholars say, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.”

And even the biggest die-hard supporter of their particular party has to admit that there are other opinions out there. There are always people who think differently that you do. And respecting those opinions, rather than dismissing them, is the key to not only a long sting in Washington, but a well-run government as a whole.

The American people said “No more” in a loud, clear voice on Saturday.

Now it’s up to our elected officials to end the political stalemate and work to get things done on both sides of the isle.

We know you can do.

And we’ll be watching.