Last week’s inauguration showed our democracy still in tact. Votes were cast, counted, often re-counted, and certified in multiple ways.

There were winners and losers like in all elections. With the call to go forward and start healing some divisions, perhaps some of us can do our small part.

Let’s remove old campaign signs, banners and flags regarding ballot issues and candidates. Sometimes such things lead others to stereotype those who display such signs rather than getting to know why folks really support or oppose that candidate or issue.

Maybe reducing such displays will lead to more questioning, searching, civil discussion and perhaps greater understanding amongst us. Our county and municipal ordinances actually say such election materials shall be removed within 15 days of an election. 

Although the American flag is supposed to represent the United States of America, it seems to often have been co-opted to representing only one segment of the population in recent years.

It doesn’t fit into the election materials ordinance above. However, I fear that keeping all the flags up along U.S. Hwy. 285 might continue the stereotypes. Perhaps they could be put in reserve for July 4th or the next election with additional signage to “Please Vote.”

Groups throughout the country such as Braver Angels, the League of Women Voters and others are sponsoring workshops and zoom talks to help us learn how to discuss difficult issues in a civil manner, reduce polarization and find common ground.

Even in Washington the House has The Problem Solvers Caucus and the Senate has The Common Sense Coalition which are bi-partisan groups trying to work together to solve our country’s problems. Let’s do our small part and take down the signs.

We all have different backgrounds and experiences which influence our values. Let’s work towards the common good. No elected or appointed official, law or program will totally satisfy everyone.

Life is made up of costs and benefits. We are lucky to have the freedom to display our preferences in elections, unlike some other countries. With freedom we have responsibility, so let’s remove past election signs.

Karen Dils

Buena Vista

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