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Campaign ‘16 taught us lessons

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FROM MY PERSPECTIVE by JOHN SHINDLEBOWER/Spencer Magnet Editor

If you’re reading this, it means the sun came up this morning despite the direst of warnings and predictions of those who thought Tuesday’s election was going to be the end of it all.

We survived apparently, and while I write this on Tuesday morning with no idea who is going to be our next president, or even if the there’s been an official declaration of a winner yet, I’m at least somewhat confident that life will go on.

This has no doubt been the most surreal presidential election in modern American history and I truly worry that future campaigns and races might use this 2016 cycle as the standard by which to conduct future efforts. I hope not.

All that said however, there have been a few positives that have come out of this bizarre contest for the White House. Whether your side won or lost, there are a few trends that have begun that need to continue and it’s up to us to make sure they do. They include:

• An end to Political Correctness:

Dr. Ben Carson dared to call out PC during a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast a few years ago, calling it dangerous.

“You see, in this country one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. and it muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them,” said Carson of political correctness.

That’s evident in workplaces, college campuses and just about everywhere in society today.

While Trump sometimes blurred the line between bluntness and tastelessness, he did remind us that sometimes we need to speak plainly and without being tethered by some unwritten rules of what is and what isn’t appropriate.

• Recognition of Shame:

Trump also gets credit/blame for this as well. When his recorded comments regarding women and his callous disregard for them surfaced, it exposed the hypocrisy of the rest of us. We acted shocked, but yet our entertainment is filled with similar talk, images and depictions.

Perhaps we can finally have a real discussion on what should shame us.

• Independence:

Maybe you were a Trumpster or a Bernie fan. This election gave voice to the independent voter who was sick of the establishment and party politics.

No, the 2016 election didn’t eliminate the two-party system, but it did indicate a willingness, and even an eagerness by many Americans to think for themselves and abandon the notion that they must fall into one of two political parties.

Whoever the new president is may not make America greater, but if we can continue some of these trends, there is at least hope.