Luke Ballmer: The election’s end marks a fresh start

Luke Ballmer

Elections and the campaigns that they create have always been much, much different from the practicality of actual governance. With this one over, however, it seems a safe bet that the difference is much larger than usual.

As the adage goes, you campaign in poetry and govern in prose. Recently, it’s been intolerably different. On the national, state, and local levels we’ve seen politicians, most notably white male Republicans, who campaigned as if they were partaking in a Comedy Central roast or a lying contest.

Facts became a casualty in a war where reality had no buffer zone. A presidential candidate only needs to be absolutely correct in their factual statements 15 percent of the time, and nearly half of the nation will vote for them anyway. Adoring supporters are more assured than ever in resisting the media bias that proves them wrong using facts and logic and other such liberal hocus-pocus.

But I think things will change now that the election is over. Governor Romney will fade away and slowly disappear, like all recent failing primary presidential candidates must. The unbearable stench of campaigns will soon wash away, and the nation will be better for it.

It’s most important to note that Governor Romney becoming the next president of the United States was a prerequisite for the entirety of the Republican agenda. This will aid immensely in getting Republicans, and our nation, out of the constant campaign mindset.

Let’s understand, for example, that there’s virtually nothing Conservatives can get done without the White House or the Senate. Repealing Obamacare can’t happen, appointing arch-Conservative Supreme Court Justices can’t happen, those across-the-board (proven unfair) tax cuts can’t happen.

What’s next? I think the Republican base, now incapable of being the “party of no” for the next four years, will finally concede that their vision for America isn’t the one that the majority of America wants to see. Compromise and a final breaking of the horrendous gridlock that Republicans had cheered and adored for the past four years looks increasingly likely.

This sounds a little optimistic, and could prove naive, but the motivations behind the increasing pragmaticism wouldn’t be quite as pure, and play to a baser political instinct.

Every party tries to align its message with what will win, and the Republican’s message effectively lost yesterday. They’ll need to finally help get something done and campaign on progress, lest they lose all hope of winning the presidency in future elections. Stymying policies they don’t agree with didn’t work and made for a failing campaign in Governor Romney.

President Barack Obama will have a tough time pitting the poetry and inspiration that surround his campaigns, most notably his first one, against another four grueling years in office. If he remembers, as the Republicans finally may, that the campaign is over and that he won, a return to progress in an increasingly divided nation could finally surface from the deep.

This gridlock already shows signs of lessening, and I’m very happy to say that with the campaigns and the noxious atmosphere they create finished, optimism is returning to this cynic’s heart. 

What do you think?