In this current political climate, I have been thinking lately about an early November day in 2008. Barack Obama was our new president in a historic election. Getting ready for work, I remember telling my wife, "Well, we didn't vote for him, but he is now our president. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and pray he makes the country successful."
While I did not agree with all of the decisions from the Obama administration over the next eight years, I tried to hold true to my original mindset. I still firmly believe that most people would rather see the majority of the citizens get a win rather than see one targeted individual fail. After all, most of us voters are grounded in a set of ideals and principles, and we vote for the candidate that we feel has the best chance to fulfill those beliefs. I don't think there has ever been or will be a "divine miracle worker" of a candidate to vote for.
On the Nov. 26 Opinion page, five out of the six pieces were negative toward our president. The only bit of common sense objective reasoning for me came from the Community Voices piece by Stefanie Daubert ("COMMUNITY VOICES: What did the impeachment hearings accomplish?"). It took a logical approach toward the impeachment issue.
While I'm used to seeing more negative coverage about the president from the mainstream media, it is always my hope that more balanced content will come. I support the First Amendment and applaud those who care enough about their beliefs and ideals to write in and voice their concerns. Please continue to do so on both sides of the issues, hopefully with a somewhat civil and respectful tone.
I voted for our president three years ago, and I am going to vote for him again, mainly because his policies most closely match my ideals and beliefs. I do not always agree with everything he does, says or tweets, but in my view, he has done more with the economy, trade, border security, our military and our standing among the world to benefit the most Americans possible. All of this accomplished while battling the other party, a large percentage of the media and the never-Trumpers of his own party. Imagine how much more could be done with just a little more cooperation from all sides. Issues like immigration reform, infrastructure improvements, cyber security, prescription drug pricing, medical reforms, opioid epidemic crisis, veteran care, taxation and many others could be addressed. A win on any of these is a win for all Americans, not a loss for one party or another.
I will continue to pray for all of our elected officials and decision makers that they will focus their energies towards solving these and other problems, not just trying to regain or retain power.
One of the more clever terms to describe the current climate is "electile dysfunction." Let's develop a treatment for this condition, and it starts with all of us taking a step back and working toward what will be benefiting the majority of our citizens. A win for the majority of citizens will always outweigh a win for a party or candidate.
Matt Koelzer is a retired utility manager and life-long resident of Bakersfield.