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November 6th, 2012


Or, perhaps more appropriately, commiserations. I applaud the spirit of public service which has led you to this position, and I thank you for doing the always taxing, frequently thankless job of being part of the government of this township, county, state, or country. I hope, when you leave public service, that you can look back on it with proud memories of time well-spent, with good work done.

That said, I ask you to never mistake victory for mandate. Frankly, unless you won with more than 60 percent of the popular vote you need to be sensitive that you were elected by a bare majority. In a country this diverse, and one that has laws specifically designed to protect the minority "from the tyranny of the majority," that means you need to move carefully, and incrementally in all things, because any dramatic moves will, in fact, likely alienate nearly half of those you serve. And your job is to serve all the people, not just the ones who selected your name on their ballot. Every national administration in the last twenty years has made a hash of the job because they have mistaken an electoral college victory or a 2% margin in the popular vote for a mandate to shove their agendas down the throat of the people. So far those of you in more local offices have avoided this hubris (for which I am very grateful), and I ask those of you in wider offices to take a note from your more local counterparts.

So, again, my sincere congratulations. I'll see you in two, four, or six years for a performance review.

Rosemary E. Mink
Registered voter since 1975

*I have been assiduously avoiding following the returns tonight. I'll find out tomorrow--finding out tonight vs. then won't actually change a thing in my life, and why should I let myself be annoyed by the histrionics on FB (pro or con, win or lose) or the faux gravitas of the news pundits?