If theres one point of consensus, one place where we can agree, its this: By Tuesday, this election season had gone on long enough.
Perhaps there a few dissenters and holdouts perhaps the same sort of people who yearn for a longer appointment at the dentist or a longer line at the grocery store. For most of us, though, the 2012 election will be not soon forgotten, but not much missed.
It was a long, cantankerous ride of an election. Costly and caustic, its tenor reflecting the tension of the times.
And reflecting our divisions.
On Tuesday, a sharply divided America elected a president.
On Tuesday, a sharply divided Idaho chose a course of public education in the state.
And today, on the first day after that long election, where do we go from here? We hope we go somewhere often overlooked during campaign season.
To that place where, during governing season, solutions are most likely found.
To the center.
Things are seldom as simple as campaigns would make them appear.
There is no painless path to reducing the federal debt. The only realistic approach requires across-the-board sacrifices spending cuts; reforms to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security; and new revenues. And that, in turn, will require compromise we havent seen in Congress and two branches of government more interested in doing what is right, not what is expedient.
Revamping public education is much more complicated than this campaign led voters to believe. Propositions 1, 2 and 3 were a complicated potion of good ideas and bad ones: a nuanced reality lost amid a $6.2 million (and counting) campaign where the cost and the fundraising sources became the focal point of the debate.
At this writing, we do not know the outcome of the presidential race or the outcome of Propositions 1, 2 and 3. We do know this much, from what we have seen from the campaign: There is sharp disagreement about how we should solve our nations fiscal crisis and the myriad other problems facing the president.
There is also an emotional divide over the education policy in Idaho. Even in a predominantly one-party state. Even when we can agree in broad strokes on the objective: preparing Idaho high school graduates for the future.
To the winners, we make a simple appeal. Govern. Compromise. Put results ahead of rhetoric.
Because on Tuesday, with the end of this campaign, the time for rhetoric also drew to a close.
Our View is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesmans editorial board. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.