Op/Ed By Rev. Michael Vaughn –
Praise God that the midterm elections are now over! There were winners and there were losers (as is the case in elections). I congratulate the winners and even the losers for being willing to serve the public.
Indeed we disagree on certain issues and that is Ok in a democracy. Where we go wrong is when we disagree to the point where we lose all objectivity and try to force those that disagree with us to change their viewpoints. In America, at our core, is the democratic process in which we elect people to represent us in public office. This is how we get done what we want to get done. We don’t denigrate people that disagree with us and we do not use violence against them. Unfortunately many in the Democratic Party did not follow that very simple logic after the election of President Trump back in 2016. However, I am hopeful that we have turned the corner and that we will be much more civil in our civil discourse in this nation.
There is always a “now what” after an election. Candidates make many promises to those that vote for them and usually many people do not ensure that the candidates keep the contract that they themselves established. We need to hold people’s feet to the fire and if they do not keep their end of the bargain, they need to know that we will not give them another opportunity to represent us. We elect people to do a job that we desire to get done. We do not need them to be more concerned about their own power nor even their collective political party than they are about the people that elected them.
I can much more respect someone that goes against their party but stays true to their conscience and their constituents than someone that just votes the party line in order to curry favor and position. In this past election there were two senators that had opposite outcomes as a result of the vote they took on the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. One of the senators held to their views of what they believed their constituents wanted and they ended up winning their election (sense they represent the people that elected them, not the party). They bucked their party’s position and ended up winning. The other senator went against the wishes of their constituents, holding to the party line and ended up losing their election (sense they represent the people that elected them, not the party). I believe that if more of that were to happen, we could see real change in our society. But unfortunately the same people that do not represent their constituents well keep getting elected; becoming more powerful and more wealthy while at the same time becoming more useless as an elected representative (because they never get anything accomplished for the people that keep electing them).
For example, I have stated multiple times that African-Americans in the city of Rochester would be (and are) supportive of using vouchers for their children’s education. However the politicians that are elected in the city do not support that position. Therefore if this is a real issue for African-Americans in the city, then they need to vote out the politicians that do not want to represent them on this issue. There is no reason why the school system in Rochester should be so poorly representing the desires of the constituents of the city in the way that it does. African-Americans solidly elect democrats to every city wide position in the city but still do not see the needle moving for them or their children. I say, hold their feet to the fire and vote them out (there is nothing to lose since the results are already basically as low as they can go now).
The after election responsibility falls to the electorate. We have to keep the people that we elected accountable to the contract that they made with us. If they don’t we need to call them out on it and if they do not hear us, give our vote to someone else, the next time they come calling!
Rev. Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)