JOHN STRAND: Taking Liberty — We Have Made Our Bed, And Now We Must Lie In It

No morning-after pill

Despite what many feared, the sun rose again Wednesday. And it will again, daily.

The shockwaves of a Trump presidential victory reverberated around the world. Many people fell into a state of despondency, a pall cast over their world. Others were jubilant, a victory in hand for Americans who had simply had it with big government’s dysfunction.

At this early point, there really is no prognosticating exactly what it will mean to American policy and the body politic with a Republican administration, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, plus the changes forthcoming on the U.S. Supreme Court.

We can expect some things, however, such as the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, erosions in protections for women and families under Roe v. Wade and efforts to overturn rights for same sex couples to marry.

One thing most assuredly to change will be the ability of government to function. Gridlock should be a thing of the past, we’d gather. A paralyzed government in our nation’s capital will have been stimulated into cohesive action.

The ugly election cycle our citizenry have endured hopefully stopped election night. It was divisive, harsh, dark and revealing all at the same time. Yet, hope springs eternal, and we genuinely hope for better tomorrows, albeit new seasons.

It’s time for everyone to get on the high road. America is only as great as her unitedness. A divisive country leaves some out. Good policy is reflected in what’s for the greater good. Magnanimity is part and parcel to America’s fabric; let’s foster it.

There will always be finger-pointing and those who will dig in their heels resisting change. That will not help. We are all family, after all, and we are all one country. Every single one of us. It’s time for all to roll up their sleeves and build relationships with decision-makers.

Burgum wins

Come Dec. 15, Doug Burgum will be governor of North Dakota. His journey there is nothing less than storied. He went against all the odds. He came from nowhere and first trounced the GOP nominee and then the other two contenders on the ballot Tuesday.

Now, he’ll be at the helm.

To those who know Burgum, this comes as no surprise. He’s always been wired for challenges. To many in his circle of acquaintance, Doug was destined to greatness and accomplishment. He’s an irrational optimist, coining words from his own vernacular, and the word can’t is not anywhere in his life’s vision statement.

Certainly there will be some healing for everybody going forward, particularly legislators who were feeling the focus of Burgum’s messaging as he inched toward the governor’s office since he announced early January.

There also will be room for some bridge-building among progressives who held out hope that he’s be cognizant of their values and concerns, especially regarding women’s reproductive and health care, LGBT protections and public education.

By his own admission, Burgum is data-driven. Yet, as borne out in this election race, when data indicated an upward battle, he simply gave it his all and unyieldingly stayed the course.

Congratulations, Gov.-elect Burgum. We expect great things under your leadership. Also, we all need to sincerely thank Democratic Marvin Nelson and Libertarian Marty Riske for stepping up to the plate and running for governor. Service comes with a price. Sacrifices for the public good are deserving of our respect and gratitude.

Medical pot

A sleeper issue that prevailed handily was Measure 5, which called for legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Seemingly against the grain of a chorus of establishment voices, the people had the last word.

North Dakota now joins the ranks of states that have shifted views regarding cannabis for medical purposes. This one issue ushered in a new era. Congratulations to the people for speaking your minds in the ballot boxes.

“Sometimes you make the right decision,” said Dr. Phil, “sometimes you make it right.” Now, going forward, it’s our collective job to adapt these decisions to reality and to somehow make them work as they should. It will take all of us to do it. We’ve done it before. That’s what truly makes America great.

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