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EDITORIAL: Time to set aside the rancor

November 12, 2016

It seemed the bruising campaigns that had Republicans and Democrats in so many races calling each other names and attacking motives would never end.

From the presidential contest at the top to the statewide races in Indiana, the ads and mailers and speeches have undermined the credibility of Democrats and Republicans who are largely good people seeking to make our communities better.

With the election behind us, it is time to heal those wounds and come together to determine priorities for our communities, our state and our nation.

That sounds cliche—and maybe it is. It seems awfully difficult—and certainly it will be. But a democracy demands winners and losers who are chosen by the people who are governed. Now, it’s time to respect those decisions—and take heed of the messages voters have sent.

In Indianapolis, voters told the City-County Council they are willing to pay up to 0.25 percent more in income taxes to improve the city’s transit system, in part by having buses run at more frequent intervals. It’s now up to the council to implement that tax increase.

It will be a difficult vote for some, especially given the political implications of voting “yes” on a tax hike. But the referendum passed with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Improving transit is a clear mandate.

Voters also gave Republicans full control of the Indiana Statehouse. The GOP swept every statewide race—including governor—and ousted the only Democratic state official in Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. But while that certainly gives Republicans the power to continue pushing their agenda almost at will, we call on GOP elected leaders to be mindful of their responsibilities to all Hoosiers.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and the GOP-majority Legislature should use that power wisely and seek Democratic input not because they must but because it’s the right thing to do.

A democracy creates winners, but it’s up to those winners to govern wisely.

Holiday Wish List

Looking to the holidays is one great way to break free of the election doldrums, and it would be tough to find a way to brighten the season more than helping local not-for-profits fulfill some of their needs.

IBJ’s annual Holiday Wish List should make that easy.

You can peruse the list of requests that will run in the Dec. 5, 12 and 19 issues; then, when you see a group that needs the desks or chairs or filing cabinets your company is replacing, give that group a call. Some might simply be looking for copy paper, bulletin boards, cleaning supplies or desk lamps—and we’d like you to help.

Organizations that want to be included in the Holiday Wish List should submit requests for items or services (not cash) to Terry Sowka at tsowka@ibj.com.

Help us continue the community spirit that makes Indianapolis a great place to live and work. Check the Holiday Wish List and help a deserving group make a difference.•

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To comment on this editorial, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.

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