Mixed reactions to the election results


As a well-drilling service professional, I've endured some of the most miserable conditions you could ask anyone to tolerate. I've done my part, paying taxes and providing jobs. I invested a lifetime chasing dreams with mixed results.

Today, I'm sick. I know the worst is coming. What's mine will soon all become yours. Estate and death taxes are back on the rise. Increased business taxes, income taxes and property taxes are a painful reality. Fuel and material prices have skyrocketed, and will continue to do so. As I grow into my senior years, my reality is that my business will get snuffed out. The last six years, plus the next four, have sealed my fate.

On Tuesday, this nation put this old clunker in reverse. More than half of the country bought into an incumbent president's concept of four more years of hope and change. Congratulations to all you folks out there in urban America. Hopefully you will benefit from my past misguided optimism.


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This election shows what happens with years of government school being taught by progressives (read: socialists). It will be all right, though -- the economy will recover eventually because of the coming oil and natural gas boom, despite the stifling policies of this administration. It will just recover more slowly. It's hard to completely kill the economy of this great nation, no matter how hard we try.


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Several pundits remarked that President Obama's victory was too close to be interpreted as a genuine mandate. While it's true that it was not a huge landslide like Reagan's, Nixon's or LBJ's, a look at House and Senate races and state legislative races and referenda show an enormous, thumping rejection of the Tea Party. Voters realized that they had been lied to in 2010. The Tea Party ran on a platform of fixing the economy, and instead produced voter suppression, union-busting, abortion restrictions and other radical right-wing measures in the states, while passing absolutely nothing in Congress to deal with the economy, obstructing even those programs originally introduced by Republicans.

I would hope that as the GOP licks its wounds, saner heads will prevail and we will once again see Republicans behaving like genuine conservatives, believing that the best society is one that is stable and orderly, and that change should be brought about through a reasoned, respectful, fact-based exchange of ideas.


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Although I didn't vote for Mitt Romney, he earned my respect with his concession speech. He said, "This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president be successful in guiding our nation."

As an American Muslim, I find this democratic process thrilling. This is what distinguishes America from many other nations -- our ability to look past our differences and elect our officials peacefully for the sake of our nation.


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Compromise is the real message


This morning on MPR, state Sen. Dave Senjem was interviewed about Republicans losing the majority in both the Senate and the House. He seemed baffled by the results, and said, "Our message was jobs, jobs, jobs." He couldn't understand how that failed to work.

The party's real message was delivered by how it used its first dual house majority in decades. Instead of jobs, it insisted on pushing favorite social issues, even to the point of putting constitutional questions on the ballot for mere political advantage. Look how that worked out.

When Michael Brodkorb revealed that the Republicans put the voter ID question on the ballot to try and gain the upper hand in this election, he observed that politics is a contact sport. Maybe so, but governing is not.


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I hope that the new Republican minority changes its attitude and attempts to make adjustments. I also hope that those in the Democratic majority learn from this election. There is no mandate for them. They need to compromise to accomplish what needs to be done. There is no need to change the definition of marriage in state law. There is no need to solve a voter problem that doesn't exist. People want change that makes sense. Rule by common sense.


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Next time, skip the funny business


It was a genuine privilege to serve as an election judge, but to all of you who think it is funny to write silly names in the write-in space, let me tell you what this really means. Most of us have already been working since 5:30 a.m. and have to stay after the polls close to hand-examine ballots to tally authentic write-ins. Most were "jokes" -- Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Mayor McCheese. Next time, please be respectful and just leave it blank.