Obama again | Nov. 7
Pull together for the greater good
The election season is over for now. I will be plugging in my land line again.
I found this cycle more interesting than many in recent years. There were true philosophical differences in candidates for office at all levels. Whether your candidate or party won or lost, we must now go forward with our lives.
If you are surprised by how close this election was, perhaps you need to expand your circle of friends and stop believing all those emails. Become more critical of your sources of information. I have found that when I listen to people whose opinions are different than mine, I learn things. Sometimes, I find confirmation of my own beliefs. Often I find increased respect for a person who has looked at the facts and come to a different conclusion. Disagreeing with their conclusion does not mean I disrespect them.
The United States is strongest when we all pull together for a greater good. When we let our differences divide us into inaction, we fail. Our system is founded on the idea that citizens will be involved in our communities. Stay engaged, especially at the local level. If you want to know how, contact the office of your elected representatives and ask.
Anne Madden, Ruskin
Obama again | Nov. 7
All day Tuesday I listened to amazing and heroic stories of what seemingly insurmountable obstacles people overcame to cast their vote. Some drove for hours, walked, rode bikes and waited in line for hours even though they had lost everything to Hurricane Sandy and have been living without power.
They, and the woman in Chicago who voted in labor and the man in Detroit who had a heart attack at the polling station — and all he cared about when he recovered was his wife and that he had voted — are the some of the true heroes of the 2012 election. I don't care who they voted for, I am just heartened that voting was this serious and important to them.
Lisa A. Shaw, St. Petersburg
Bills will come due
Just like being broke and buying a big-ticket item on credit, re-electing President Barack Obama will feel good until the payments start coming due. I expect the GOP to feign interest in working out a deal with regard to sequestration, but in the end it won't happen and all of us will see smaller paychecks beginning in January (call it the Obama-Tax).
With Obamacare here to stay, look for businesses of 50-plus employees to opt for the lower fine rather than continuing to pay for employee health care. This likely means massive movement from employer-sponsored plans into the exchanges, where you'll get the quality of plan you can afford (or pay a fine for not buying one), while the typical Obama voter gets theirs free of charge courtesy the taxpayer and the Bank of China.
If you thought exercising your right to vote was free, you are about to find out otherwise.
Dwayne Keith, Valrico
Party needs a rethink
It's time for some GOP introspection about the issues and how the party can broaden its appeal. What it takes to win the nomination and what it takes to win the general election are too far apart.
I am a conservative woman, a registered Republican for over 16 years. And I am sick of the prolife/prochoice debate in presidential politics. Roe vs. Wade has been law for nearly 40 years. We are a nation of laws. The executive branch, by design, does not have the ability or authority to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Why do rank-and-file Republicans continue to demand their candidate even take a position on this subject ? It is impossible for a Republican to be nominated without waving the prolife flag, and this issue alone, in my opinion, cost Republicans the women's vote and the 2012 election.
It is time to come together as Americans and find a way to address some of the toughest issues our generation has faced, which means everyone compromises.
Sara Stearns, Palm Harbor
What a wonderful morning. What we have experienced is the empowerment of a new generation of American voters. We are amazed and thrilled to see that the younger voters, the African-American voters, the Hispanic voters, the single women voters have — one vote at a time — realized how powerful democracy is. We hope that they carry that momentum forward and make changes in the election process.
Do away with PACs, stop enabling corporations to count as one individual when making political contributions, disempower the tea-ocracy that has eviscerated the Republican Party. God bless America.
Bill and Sande Haynes, Dunnellon
Thank you Karl Rove, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and all the rest of the haters of the Republican Party for motivating the Democratic base.
The dirty tricks, constant lying, voter suppression and tons of cash from billionaires only got the Democratic base fired up.
What other reason would voters stand in line for seven hours to cast their vote? Their tactics backfired, and we're all better off for it.
Don Myette, Sun City Center
Florida rejects the extremes | Nov. 7, editorial
Fix our voting system
As part of "rejecting extremes," Florida voters need to demand that the governor and Legislature immediately undo the mess that conservatives have made of our voting process, delaying the count and leaving it open to endless challenges.
Attacks on voter eligibility, unrealistic voter ID requirements, tinkering with early-voting schedules, last-minute monkeying around with poll hours, and packing ballots with lengthy, partisan amendment proposals — all this needs to stop.
As a last piece of election business, every Floridian should contact representatives and make it clear that enough is enough; our elections belong to us, not to special interests in Tallahassee.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg