The Day After

Paul Evans

We came together, made a series of important decisions, and did so without bloodshed or bullets – this is a treasure we must not squander.

Six years ago today I was in Afghanistan learning that I had lost a campaign for the Oregon State Senate. It was an interesting irony that took time – and the support of family, friends, and fellow travelers to reconcile.

And now, thinking about this November 7th – the day after an historic election campaign that saw Barack Obama returned to office, a blended Congress, and a Democratic Majority in the Oregon House of Representatives – I cannot help but smile.

Today is a new beginning for America, for our Oregon.

The wars I fought in: Iraq and Afghanistan are in very different phases than six years ago. Iraq is over, and Afghanistan will end about the time of my mandatory retirement from the Oregon Air National Guard (2014).

There is optimism about the future that we can either seize upon or ignore, but we cannot deny. This election was about a changing America at least as much as it was about any particular candidate or party.

It was also a statement: we are a nation in search of a unifying mission – a national purpose.

America in 2012 is a multicultural society struggling to realize the ideals embedded in our most cherished secular documents.

We came together, made a series of important decisions, and did so without bloodshed or bullets – this is a treasure we must not squander.

Today should not be about wild celebrations – or even – recriminations for things fallen candidates should have done. Rather, today should be about what we can – and must – do together, now.

The elections are over. We have a President-Elect, a Congress, statewide officers, and a new Oregon Legislature. The necessary division associated with times of election is now past – thank God.

It will take time for wounds to heal, for largely artificial divisions to be smoothed over. For good or ill, we just don’t have time for the human aspects of what is the spectacle of modern American campaigns.

We have work to do, and little time to get it accomplished.

Now is the time when all good men and women come to the aid of their communities. It is a moment in time when we can rally around the concepts that matter most.

Guaranteed Opportunity

A Safe Environment

Protection of our Basic Rights

Providing in the Present, Providing for the Future

We agree on 85% of the most fundamental policies required to rebuild our Oregon into the most amazing, sustainable, most civic-centric state in the Union. We all want strong schools, safe neighborhoods, partnerships for industrial development that promote innovation, responsibility, and technologies for the future.

And we all want a state government to function – for the benefit of the many, the few, and the one.

This is our moment. Whether your candidate/s lost or whether they won, they made the process better for their involvement. And now – all of us can pull together in the same direction.

Pick up the phone, write a letter, and seek out the folks that will be carrying the burdens of leadership. Request legislation be drafted, demand public attention on the issues and items you know are important for our Oregon, for our neighborhoods.

Remind them that the campaign was the warm-up: the real work begins today – the real work of rebuilding Oregon starts now – the real work of reform is neither inherently Democratic nor Republican, but the duty of a citizen blessed with living in our Oregon.

Demand leadership, explain our requirements for success, and encourage the men and women we now place our trust in to perform – our Oregon depends upon it.

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    Optimism works. And our President proved it. Mature optimism that meets the factual world in which we live. And this election shows that despite the hundreds of millions spent on cynical, divisive, and hateful politics, people powered organization inspired the aspirations of those who have been left out, to come to the table of America and participate and realize "a more perfect union."

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    Sorry, no new beginning , just more deficit spending...more borrowing 40 cents for each dollar spent..more takers than makers..more pigs slurping out of the government trough...more part time jobs..more Mexicans immigrating are our children going to pay for this? The private sector and cporations made America great and Democrats see ithem the boogie men. We all knew that the do nothings would sometime outnumber those who contribute in this country unless folks grew a backbone. Does anyone have a clue as to how a nation can continue to spend more than it takes in? Both bush and Obama didn't have a clue and neither do most of the posters to this forum. It is the private sector that makes an economy flourish, not an over regulating Government. Watch what happens to the energy production in the US in the next 4 years.

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    With respect to Mr. Wade:

    1. Corporations did not build America: Americans did. Labor in the manufacturing plants built the railways, roadways, and products that fueled the industry of our nation.

    2. Corporations are not people, never were, never will be. Rather, corporations are contractual relationships formed in order to faciliate the making and/or selling of products. I know this because I have stock in two; corporations are tools for people, not people.

    3. After twenty years in the military, multiple trips to "hostile fire" zones - sometimes referred to as wars - I am neither a hero, nor a saint. I don't consider myself a pig at the trough, and frankly I don't need to prove my "backbone" to anyone.

    4. Obama hasn't gotten every decision right, but Bush didn't get but a few right - even with his supposed "private sector" experience (much of which realized through a sweetheart deal associated with land and his baseball team). But Obama learns from his mistakes and makes a lot of calls right - he has earned my respect, and has done a pretty good job considering the mess we made for ourselves as a nation.

    5. Let's do exactly what you suggest... And when you see that energy production continues to grow under Obama (both fossil fuels as well as alternative forms), I will look for your written acknowledgement of the increases.

    6. There is a new beginning, there is always a new beginning with elections. It's the whole point of an election. It doesn't erase the past, but it is supposed to remind those engaged in making decisions on our behalf of the folks living outside the beltway/s.

    7. We sent our manufacturing overseas for 30 pieces of silver during the past administration. It has, and will continue to take time to rebuild our industrial base. And we must do this in partnership: private and public sectors working toward common goals.

    America is not a divided country, we are a confused country. For too long we have allowed those that profit from our confusion to prevent unity - to delay progress.

    This must not, will not happen again. 2012 was a transformational election. Watch and see. I welcome your comments in 2016.

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