Commentary: Elections bring women into politics

As winter descends upon us (admittedly rather gently in our so fortunate neck of the woods), and the rebirth of Spring is right around the corner, we should all pause to reflect on the many, many things that we should be grateful for. While we each have separate and different lives, we all enjoy the benefit of living on the Central Coast, where the scenic beauty is truly outstanding and many opportunities exist. From the romping Elephant Seals of San Simeon, the changing foliage of the trees in our wonderful new Three Bridges Park on Morro Road, and to the newly greening hills (we are blessed with rain this year), we have much to be thankful for.

The chaos in politics has been overwhelming for several years now, and many of us have been personally affected by the intensity of emotions from family, friends, and coworkers. It has not been a relaxing few years. But I’m pleased with the results of the recent elections, where so many women from across the country have been elected to positions of political responsibility. I’m thankful that women, who have been so underrepresented in many areas of politics, have found a voice, and a place, at the political table. We should all have representation, no matter your politics or gender or lifestyles. It’s the right thing to do and hopefully may lead to a calmer and more diverse perspective in all our political bodies.

Atascadero has two brand-new City Council members, Susan Funk and Heather Newsom, who will bring new ideas and new representation to that body. Also, new women council members have been elected in Paso Robles, Morro Bay, SLO, Arroyo Grande, and Grover Beach. These women were elected by strong percentages, showing that people are in favor of the platforms they advocate for and are rejecting some of the more extreme viewpoints that have recently bubbled to the surface. I find this very, very encouraging.

I think we all have a vision, a feeling, about what type of country that we want to pass on to our children and families. We have a long, great history of helping others, and standing up for what’s moral and ethical. Of working hard, paying our fair share, and expecting the best from public servants. Of being accepting of diverse religions, lifestyles, and nationalities. That’s my vision of America, and it doesn’t include the hatreds and bigotry used by politicians to keep the “outrage” at a high level so they can manipulate the voters. Thankfully, the recent election seems to support this.

But next year is going to be a challenge, with a constitutional crisis being a real possibility. Each of us has an individual vision of how we want our country to continue, and there will be different versions, but hopefully, we can keep in mind the big picture and keep our emotions under check. We have so much to be thankful for here in America, let’s not be led down the dark pathways and forget who and what we are.

Remember — journalism is not “fake news,” these are professionals devoted to bringing out the truth and protecting all of us.

Remember — the CIA and FBI are our premier law enforcement agencies, also staffed by dedicated professionals who have sworn oaths to uphold the Constitution.

Remember — the judiciary is a separate branch of our government, designed to provide a fair interpretation of our laws and to provide a check on politicians’ (and our own) excesses. Without “Rule of Law,” we have chaos.

If we can keep in mind all the good things we have, and try to minimize the 24/7 talking heads and Facebook friends who all try to keep your outrages fired up, we might just have a great 2019. And as the country western song lyrics say, “That’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it.”


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