To meet production deadlines for today’s edition of the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, this editorial was written hours before the polls closed in the 2016 General Election. But the campaigns are over and voters have made their picks. And, what the following words convey apply regardless of who won or lost, or the office or position they hold.
When our nation’s founding fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution, they wisely created a central government that consists of three branches: legislative (the Congress), executive (the president) and judicial (the Supreme Court). By doing so, they also created a system of checks and balances to make sure neither branch would become more powerful over the other two. The responsibility of governance would be shared between the three to produce policies and laws that were hopefully fair, in alignment with our country’s democratic ideals, and move our nation forward.
Cooperation and compromise are key ingredients behind the purpose and success of our nation’s three branches of government and how they interrelate for win-win results to benefit the nation and its citizens. This holds particularly true between the legislative and executive branches, in which the interests and motives of party politics come into play.
But a look at the past eight years shows the push and pull of party politics between Congress and the White House have been divisive and bereft of cooperation and compromise. What we have mostly today is hard line polarization between political parties that has resulted in leadership and government paralysis. The greatness of our nation doesn’t work under such a dark plight.
Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, and regardless of what each candidate has pledged while campaigning, neither will be able to make good on their promises without a spirit of cooperation and compromise with Congress. During campaigns, the candidates and even the voters tend to forget that. But reality always arrives after Inauguration Day.
The first big task of our next president is not to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, nor defend and expand the Affordable Care Act. It’s to bring an end to eight years of paralysis and create ways in which political differences are encouraged to collaboratively create policies and laws that work for good governance — just like our founding fathers intended.
That message is on a national scale, but it applies locally as well. The candidate winners from Tuesday’s general election in Tooele County are urged to be true civil servants and approach or respond to all matters with cooperation and give-and-take for the benefit of local citizens. And that urging takes on even greater weight if voters in Stansbury Park and Lake Point decide to incorporate. Stubborn posturing won’t turn one or both communities into cities with governments that work for and represent their respective citizens.
The campaigns are over and voters have made their picks. Come Wednesday, it’s time to push bitter political differences aside and focus on moving our country — and our county — forward. For above all else, we are Americans first.