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SO WHAT IS NEXT?

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Please Try Some Respect

“WHY DO YOU expect the Democrats and Republicans to work together? We hate each other!”

This statement to my friend horrified me. Horrified me because I made it, and had never before realized I might actually believe it. What if it were actually true? …

Until now, I always thought of the other side as mostly loyal Americans who just had different opinions on some issues. The thought that many other Americans might actually hate what I fought for, hate what I stand for, and possibly even hate all Americans who think like me had never actually crossed my mind.

I know this isn’t true on an individual basis because I have friends and acquaintances with every political view who seem to like and respect me, just as I do them. But is this possibly becoming true in national politics? …

While raising my family, I had developed the habit of voting for the handful of candidates of either party who seemed to be giving an honest, competent and objective effort. Then, excepting a few where I might have serious personal concerns, I voted for the party not in power. Where excellence hadn’t been proven, it seemed reasonable to give someone else a chance. I’ve always known some people automatically dislike me because of my race, or religion, or personality, or branch of service, or for serving at all. There are always some people who won’t give other people a fair chance, for some reason or other. That’s OK with me, I know who I am. I’m happy to live and let live.

But, I don’t like my reaction to this last election. For the good of us all, I hope our politicians somehow learn to respect the interests and beliefs of those whom their opponents represent, if not their opponents themselves.

BERT KORTEGAARD

White Rock

We Can Work Together!

SOME OF US wonder why our political system doesn’t work. Others of us know why it doesn’t work because we claim to know “everything” just like “those” in Washington. Others of us wish the House, Senate and president were of the same party since that would fix everything — sort of like in China and Iran.

If it is not our belief, it is wrong. If you are Republican, you are selfish and greedy — and misguided. If you are a Democrat, you are lazy and stupid. I think I need to say this: “Obama won.” Those who have already started blaming the Republicans for anything that might go wrong in the future, why don’t you at least give the president a chance to prove himself?

Our nation was based on a democracy. Our forefathers didn’t agree on most things. Why should it be any different now? Are we so arrogant to think that we are smarter than those who wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, etc.?

Democrats should stop blaming Republicans because we don’t agree with many of your initiatives and fundamental beliefs. And as a Republican, I can say we have a lot of work to do too. We don’t get you. You don’t get us. But isn’t that OK? I sincerely hope and pray that those individuals we elected, as a nation, will have the knowledge, integrity, foresight and stamina to work it out — for all of us.

LORETTA CRESPIN

Albuquerque

Don’t Let Labels Get in Way

THE ARTICLE “Experts Say Results Show New Mexico Is Getting Bluer” looks to be actually true on two scores, with the least important truth being addressed in this particular article.

Regardless of the “blue” and “red” descriptions used in the political world, the most important meaning of “blue” really becomes evident in the same-day article: “Energy Regulations Holding Back Development in N.M.”

Blue means “sad” — an analogy that has been around quite a long time. I am truly saddened by the second article. My hope is that our elected representatives in Washington promote job development through sensible federal regulation and not hold it back, as the author describes.

Let’s hold our senators’ and representatives’ feet to the fire on this point, as that is why we hire them, and if they don’t do their jobs, let’s fire them. That’s what is meant by those pleas asking the federal government to get out of the way of business and economic development. Economic health is far more important than the “blue” and “red” political tags.

BILL KEXEL

Albuquerque

In Defense of Patriotism

I TOOK A minute to look up the definition of “patriot” and “traitor.” These words are generally used in what we would consider situations of war.

But they can apply to many situations. And I think they apply to the situation that our country faces with respect to its long-term budget, taxes and big-spending programs. Take a quick look at one set of definitions: Patriot: One who loves, supports and defends one’s country. Traitor: One who betrays one’s country, a cause or a trust.

If Congress does not act for the long term, leaving us in limbo about where the government will get its money and about the level of government support for all its functions, then Congress surely does not show its love for the United States or its willingness to support and defend it.

The members of our Congress accepted the responsibility to resolve the issues. … It is not a task that has any perfect or permanent conclusion. But by not acting except to give us little patches, then they are truly jeopardizing our welfare.

We need to tell these representatives of ours that they must do their sworn duty now and come up with a long-term plan. They have had plenty of time to work on it.

SPENCER NELSON

Albuquerque

Put the Partisanship Aside

WHEN NOTICING the title of Rep. Steve Pearce’s piece, “Thanks for Your Vote; Now, Let’s Rebuild America,” I was very optimistic. But after thoroughly reading it, I came away with a feeling of foreboding.

Although it is admirable that he thanks the voters of his district for his re-election, the tone of his letter indicates that he is preparing to continue the partisan gridlock in D.C. He only shares the stories from his constituents of how some believe that Democratic leaders have been causing multiple problems across our country.

He ignores the fact that Democratic gains were made in both the House and the Senate. He glaringly avoids the obvious victory of President Obama both in the electoral college and the popular vote.

That said, what needs to be the focus of all Americans is how we continue to get the country back on course. … As Obama has been saying, now is the time to work together, since there is much more to be done.

Although Pearce has a responsibility to represent his constituents, the same partisan talking points that he repeated in his piece indicate that he wants to push the same rigid ideas that the majority has rejected. Pearce needs to remember that many of those constituents who re-elected him also voted for Obama, as did the majority of New Mexicans. …

I do hope that Pearce will go back to Washington carrying his constituents’ stories; but I also hope he will vote with the understanding that compromise and progress will best serve New Mexico.

KIM MARTINEZ

Albuquerque

Try Being More Conciliatory

SHAME ON you, Rep. Steve Pearce. While the entire political world, from President Obama to Speaker John Boehner are talking about coming together as a nation to solve the problems of America, you write a spiteful, one sided op-ed insinuating that Democrats are all terrible and only those who have “converted” to the Republican Party are any good.

Let me remind the congressman that the people of New Mexico have spoken. They not only returned Democrats to the White House and our other two congressional seats, but also elected a Democrat to the Senate.…

We have a lot of problems to solve. One-sided, angry op-ed pieces such as Pearce’s will not bring us together in a positive way to solve those problems.

ARTHUR FLICKER

Albuquerque

Now’s Time To Get to Work

IT’S OVER. Our president won. My congratulations and special thanks to New Mexico’s voters, who spoke loudly. And for the Democratic candidates who spoke clearly. Big picture — what’s next?

Now President Obama has asked for us to come together and for our elected leaders “to do the work of the people.”

Is this possible in New Mexico after the governor’s support of her chief of staff’s PAC that spewed crud? I understand the PAC will be closed. But I think the Legislature and Roundhouse will fight during the coming session perhaps even harder then usual. Oh, the governor will want to bring us together for her re-election. Not yet earned.

What will Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce and Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall find in Washington? At first there will be lots of static and overall posturing. …

The so-called fiscal cliff and other fixes are one ball of wax. A fix cannot happen without addressing the tax code and other revenue. Even the Congressional Budget Office states that “just extending tax cuts and reducing spending does little more than add trillions to the debt.”

We need revenue, and there are real possibilities if Congress can get off the dime. Also, the defense budget must be part of the any fix — less can be more. …

Again, congratulations to the 2012 winners, especially the Democrats. Now it’s time for a real fix. The tea party of the absurd needs to be American and come to the table. Without compromise, there is little to be said.

JERRY NACHISON

Las Cruces

Finally, There’s Acceptance

THE GOOD NEWS is that the election is over; the bad news is that we have President Obama for four more years.

If I am repeating the obvious, I apologize because I have intentionally avoided watching the Democrats spike the ball and the Republicans whine about it. The only way I can rationalize my way through more Obama is to develop a strategy to accept the inevitable. … It is easy to liken our country’s dependency on the government to crack addiction. I believe we became addicted to government over generations beginning with well-intended but ill-conceived programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Bush drug prescription plan and on and on.

I also believe it will take generations to wean ourselves off government dependency once we hit rock bottom. … I don’t think we will have hit rock bottom until we have run out of other people’s money to tax and borrow or we lose the ability to print more.

None of this analogy is new or original. My spin is that four more years of Obama will likely move us to toward rock bottom at a faster pace and therefore the road to recovery — or not. If Mitt Romney were able to do anything at all, he would have only slowed the rate of descent.

Having more Obama to me is simply a twisted form of tough love. The faster we decline, the sooner we recover — or not. Clearly the “takers” and their keepers now outnumber the “makers” and their complicity and/or incompetent advocates. In that light and for the first time, I am ashamed of my country and what it has become. However, as with a loved one with an addiction, I will always love my country and will never give up on it.

TOM CHILDRESS

Albuquerque

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