We’re getting plenty of interpretations and advice from the media machine now that the election is (finally) over.
But why would anyone of either party listen to those who were proved to have been so wrong?
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With frightening news surrounding us, it is uplifting to read of refugee youth from 16 countries participating in a soccer program through the efforts of Branch Global and the Overland Park Soccer Club (11-24, A1, “They still have hope”).
Most of us cannot even imagine the perilous lives these children had led. The laughter they share on these teams can bridge many differences.
So thank you to Mariya Dostzadah and John Goodbrake for being compassionate role models for us all. Thank you, also, to Vahe Gregorian for in-depth coverage of some positive events in our community.
The road ahead
This letter is not about who won or lost the presidential election, or the reasons. It is about where we go moving forward.
After every presidential election, there are those who are unhappy. It reflects the polarization in our country. It will likely be the same in the future.
The winning party will celebrate while the losing party mourns. This is nothing new. It has always been this way.
Frankly, I am thankful to live in a nation where the major parties are allowed to disagree. There are many places where that is not true. Healthy disagreement allows for legitimate debate and compromise. We must remember that neither party is always wrong, nor always right.
Some people are displaying their unhappiness by marching in the streets. It is their right so long as they are peaceful. Violence is never acceptable.
What is troubling is that such protests could begin to occur after each election and escalate into violence and destruction. That does not coincide with our national values and would not, in my opinion, be healthy for the nation.
As we escape from an election that was loaded with hate and controversy, it is important to step back and consider why we even bother.
Why should we care? Why even cast a ballot?
Many people think it is important to vote purely to try to get the person you want into office. I agree that you should vote for whom you want. But voting itself is more important than whom you vote for.
The United States has been fighting for freedom since the Declaration of Independence. In our republic, freedom is the ability to run our own government through voting. Freedom is the ability to have a government by the people and for the people, along with a Constitution that protects our rights.
In the 2014 general election, only 36.7 percent of those eligible voted, according to the University of Florida’s United States Election Project.
Does this mean we live in a country run by 36.7 percent of the people, for all the people?
If we are to remain a democracy, we the people have to vote. Millions of Americans have died defending our freedom. Now it is our turn to use it.
Not the answer
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in the recent letter on campus rape regarding fair punishment for rapists and the right of every student to feel safe.
However, I disagree with the writer’s view that open carry on campus should be allowed to help potential victims of rape protect themselves.
I have experienced the fear of walking alone at night and witnessed the horrible effects of rape firsthand among my friends and peers. Allowing open carry on campus would only make me and many others feel more at risk of experiencing violence.
Yes, the law would allow the potential victim to have a gun for self-defense, but it would allow the attacker to have a gun as well.
More guns do not create a safer campus. They create a climate of fear that impedes the educational process and puts students at a greater risk of becoming victims.
The solution to the issue is not finding new ways for potential victims to prevent their own rapes. It is teaching people not to rape.