So What Have We Learned?
People in battleground states have their televisions back, and we’re all on the road to regaining some sense of sanity. Among council members, there are those who are still thinking about building a boat and sailing to Europe (hopefully not to Greece), and there are others who are still evaluating the president’s reelection, hoping for continued leadership through the tough issues this nation has to contend with. From an insurance brokerage perspective, i predict, everyone will be fine. The confusion that exists just means that you’re in business and will be in high demand to sort through the mess.
I think it’s important to reflect on what happened last month. In spite of all the attacks on the other side’s ideas and personas, in spite of the billions of dollars spent on advertising, robo calls and literature, and in spite of the countless pundits claiming victories for their side of the aisle, the American people, as smart and diverse as they are, walked into the voting booths and made their own decision.
The lines were long, and the wait was even longer. Even those in early voting lines waited upwards of four hours, sometimes more. But few walked away. It was important to be part of the democratic process—just a peaceful journey to a machine or ballot box. They and they alone decided the outcome. No guns, no bombs, no attacks. The American spirit shined that day, and it was beautiful to watch. We may have differing opinions on how to handle the issues of the day, but the record number of citizens who turned out in this election represents the care for and strength of our nation. Democracy is a special system—it’s our system—and it works.
In the early morning hours following the president’s victory, there was no destruction or violent riots. Instead, we had two speeches to watch. First, a most gracious and decent loser standing before a somber crowd congratulating the winner and urging prayer for the president as he confronts the critical issues that face this nation. Following that were remarks by the winner, reelected as president of the United States. We watched as he congratulated his opponent and laid out the work ahead. Americans walked away hopeful for a better future, but we know from experience that turning hope into reality isn’t easy—especially on Capitol Hill.
The presidency is important, but Congress is critical. There are 90 new members of Congress. Forty percent of Congress has been in office only since 2010. That means there’s a big brain drain in Washington on issues we’ve been working on for nearly a decade, like NARAB and TRIA. We have a lot of new people to build relationships with and educate about The Council and our industry. Most importantly, we need to send the message to all members of Congress that we want realistic, balanced solutions to fix the issues before our nation and our industry. We expect smart people to sit at the table, debate them honestly and come up with combined solutions that work.
It’s time to end the demagoguery. Naïve? Maybe. But necessary.