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Here’s hoping for a great (and peaceful) 2019

Jan. 1 marks the beginning of a new term in state, federal and local governments.

New lawmakers will be sworn into seats ranging from the halls of Congress to the halls of Northeast Michigan townships.

In Congress and in the state Capitol, it marks the beginning of a newly divided government. Where for the past two years Republicans have controlled all branches of government at both the federal and state levels, now both will be split as Democrats gained control of the U.S. House and the executive seats in Lansing.

That means nothing will get done unless people can find a way to cross the aisle and get agreement from the opposing party.

Some like to think the last two years have seen a rise in political anger and hate and a decline in bipartanship. Perhaps that’s true, as a matter of degree, but the circumstances feeding the distasteful things we’re seeing in politics today have been building for many, many years.

Let’s make 2019 the year we turned the corner.

Let’s all make the effort to work with those whose beliefs are different than ours, to split the difference where it can be split, to walk the middle road where it’s passable — and to make new roads where it isn’t.

Let’s all approach the issues of the day with the right motives in our hearts — that the polices we endorse are about making lives better in our futures, and not about scoring political victories or hurting the other side.

Here’s hoping 2019 marks the beginning of a new, peaceful, civil path forward for us as Michiganders and Americans.

If it isn’t, we’re in for two long, long years of stalemate.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)

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