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Politicians must now become public servants

The election is over, and the sun still came up Wednesday morning.

So many people have had tunnel vision when it comes to Nov. 6 that it probably came as a surprise to some.

Guess what? Some candidates won. Other candidates lost. There were quality individuals on both sides of this equation.

That is the way democracy works.

Let me blow your mind with even more secret knowledge: We will do it again in a couple of years.

Voter turnout was very strong, among the highest in recent years. That’s hugely encouraging and bodes well for our future.

Now the real work begins.

We need to forget about “Ds,” “Rs,” independents and all the other labels that certainly impede our ability to move forward as a country.

Veteran politicians and fresh newcomers must now become public servants

Will the division and vitriol go away? Not likely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work toward that goal.

As citizens, we too must put the partisanship and division behind us and come together to support those chosen to lead our communities, our state and our nation.

That is the way democracy works.

Even if the candidate someone supported didn’t win, hopefully people will remain as engaged as they were during the campaign.

Leadership changes can bring fresh ideas to old challenges and create new opportunities.

Nothing should be off the table. Far too often, we simply settle for the status quo since that is far easier than the alternative.

When they take office in a few weeks, we hope our newly elected officials immerse themselves in the roles and work to move forward quickly.

The bottom line is the men and women elected in Tuesday’s general election came through the democratic system our country was founded on and will now represent us at the local, state and national levels.

Most importantly, they must represent all of us.

The whole concept of being exclusively able to relate to one political party or another should be tossed by the wayside — by elected representatives and citizens alike. The goal should be to find common ground and make decisions that are in the best interest of and reflects the values of all constituents.

This holds true from the smallest of Kentucky towns to our school boards to the state house and all the way to Washington, D.C.

Of course, that’s where significant challenges lay ahead and even optimists like me have to admit the wounds are unlikely to heal any time soon.

We can always hope for a brighter future, because that is a concept our nation was also built on.

That is the way democracy works.

Michael Caldwell is interim publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6452 or by email at mike.caldwell@amnews.com.