Manifolds, Manolos and Manure
Election day came and went in the Heinsohn household. Years ago, we gave up cable television, so my blue-eyed girl and I listened as results crawled in. Crawled. In.
It was the first election since college that I didn’t sit glued to the results. And election night is basically my Superbowl complete with snacks, cheering, and the occasional booing. All that’s missing is the commercials!
As a former campaign manager, I still vividly remember telling a candidate that he couldn’t leave for the post-election celebration because the results were still too close. We won his race, but I was late to the celebration because I waited for the remaining results come in.
Four years ago, I saw midnight come and go as I waited for a conclusion to the Presidential election. Despite the speed of the results, this year our house was tucked in and lights out before 11 p.m.
This was also the first election that I woke up the day after knowing that many of the races that I had listened to so intently the night before wouldn’t be called. Like everyone else, I assumed that the Presidential election wouldn’t be final. But that morning I checked the results of the races I was watching, including the Lauren Underwood and Jim Oberweis matchup in the 14th Congressional district; the Tom Morrison and Maggie Trevor rematch in the 54th Illinois House district; the Dan Patlak and Tammy Wendt match up for the Cook County Board of Review; and the Jack Franks and Mike Buehler matchup for McHenry County Board Chairman. Not final.
As I sit down to write this, I’m not even sure what races are or are not final at this point. But I do know that over 5.8 million of Illinois’ more than 8 million registered voters turned out on Election Day or voted early in some manner. This is up from the previous record of 5.5 million set in 2008. Also of note, 3.6 million mail-in ballots were returned.
I also know that now that the election has come and gone, it’s time to move on. Races were contentious. Heated. Nasty. Feelings were hurt. But the votes have been cast. Selections have been made. And now it’s time to accept the outcome and work together.
I was raised to respect the office regardless of which party won and that’s how my blue-eyed girl and big little boy are being raised.
After the election, my blue-eyed girl asked, “What happens next?” It’s an innocent enough question. With the election done, current leaders and newly elected leaders have their hands full. The country and state are facing the most challenging stretch for the farm economy in decades. A pandemic. Prolonged food insecurity for families in urban, suburban, and rural areas. A precarious economy. A budget hole made larger by the failure of the Pritzker’s progressive income tax.
But what the state and country doesn’t need is bickering. Infighting. And an unwillingness to compromise. The election is over, now it’s time to move forward. It’s time to reach across party lines. For the state. The country. And most importantly for our future.