The election is over, so now what? Since last December, I have spent time campaigning for my friend Courtney Cole. I did this because I was not happy with the way my Representative was conducting himself and voting on certain issues. This was my right, as well as my responsibility as a citizen of Missouri.
During this time I tried to set a good example for my children and for those who saw me in action. I tried very hard to keep my very heated (and sometimes bordering on inappropriate) comments in private, and I was careful to look up information so I was talking about the issues and facts. I did this for several reasons, but the most important one was that I wanted to walk away from the election cycle with my head held high. Looking back, I have no regrets about my behavior and I am proud of that.
At this point in time, we need to move forward. The newly elected officials work for and represent ALL their constituents. I plan to continue to do what I have done for years by sending them letters and emails about my opinion on the issues, by visiting their offices in Jefferson City, and by encouraging children, youth, and young adults to get involved by doing the same.
As I am not a party player, who knows who I will support in the next election. To be fair, I will have to watch and see what the current elected officials do and how they behave. For now, I get to take a step back and take my role as a constituent very seriously.
All in all, this election cycle was amazing for my family. My children are even more aware of the process of political campaigns, the issues at hand, and (most importantly) their voice. They have learned that their opinion matters and that it is their responsibility to stand up for what they believe. They have seen their parents make financial decisions to back certain candidates at the expense of them not getting a fun treat. The conversations we have had with them about this election cycle will be memories I cherish for years to come. They have also learned how to compose themselves when their candidate does not win. This is just as important of a lesson as all the others.
The lessons don't stop today because the election is over. They will continue to see us try to affect change by working within the system. They will see us tighten our families budget in preparation for the bigger budget cuts coming to education. They will see that we do not call names and throw a fit when we don't get what we want. Most of all, they will see that I do my best to model every single one of these lessons I am trying to teach.