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The power of social media was ever-present during the 2012 election, as early results and projections came across television and computer screens on Tuesday evening.
And at the Sweetwater Reporter, we decided to join in on the fun and ask our Facebook friends what their thoughts were--as the coverage continued, when Ohio was projected for the incumbent president, and when the dust slightly settled on Wednesday morning.
Our fans came to our rescue and gave their opinions, ranging from the local race to the overall picture nationally. What they had to say might echo your own thoughts...ranging from red-hot remarks to subdued statements.
While a majority of responses dealt with the federal vote, Robert McBride with the Nolan County Veterans Service Office was excited on the local front, sharing his thoughts on the widely-known county race.
"We got the right man back in office for Nolan County Precinct 1, Terry Willman," he posted. And with the Facebook 'likes', a couple of other fans agreed.
Another post--which was "liked" by one person--gave a glimpse into both the local and national perspective. Ashley Frazier, who describes herself as a "stay at home mom and student", was upset that social issues trumped the fiscal matters during this election season.
"It's too easy for people in bigger cities who are making really good money and not feeling the effects of a bad economy to only care about social issues like gay rights and abortion," she explained, "when there are people in places like Sweetwater who are suffering and struggling."
Frazier believed that the economy and jobs should have been pivotal aspects for voters, stating, "We are the ones feeling the effects of the jobless economy and having people go out every day looking for jobs that just aren't there!"
Also regarding jobs--or the lack thereof, our Facebook friend Lana Reyes took a satirical stand on the current status of the nation.
She revamped the proverb, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime," and updated it to meet a 2012 standard. At least six of our fans agreed with her to "like" her post.
"Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with unlimited free minutes, free internet, cash for his clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, ninety-nine weeks of unemployment, free medicine, and he will vote Democratic the rest of his life," she posted.
Another Facebook fan took the view from a religious perspective, Lindsey Waldon from Anson, and three people "liked" what she had to say.
"As a Christian, I am deeply saddened," she wrote. "We had a chance to turn the country around & didn't do it."
And the power of social media allows anyone to cross city limit lines. Aaron Mitchell, a youth pastor from Stephenville, found fault with the electoral college method, calling it "old and outdated."
"Anyone who wants to vote can find a polling place," he said, citing the electoral college as a means to represent people who couldn't cast their ballot in times past.
"That day and time is over. It [the winner] should be the one the people actually vote for, the popular vote," said Mitchell.
On the other hand, Clyde Dela'o, a Sweetwater High School alum from Abilene, said that it didn't matter who became the 45th president. Americans should do their own part to bring about realistic improvement for forward progress.
"We still have responsibilities to handle and daily routines to go by," he noted. "If there is an obstacle in your way, find a way over, around or through it."
Dela'o also added that the best way to improve is by working hard and persevering--an opportunity Americans are "lucky" to have, and five others agreed with what he had to say.
"So put your working gloves on," he encouraged. "The job is not over."
One of our Facebook friends Kimberly McKinney, a local resident, took a broad look at the future of America as a result of the election, citing natural resources, health care, defense and finances.
"Overnight the value of our dollar went down. Oil is traded in USD [United States dollars] so our gas will go us," she posted. "The beginning of next year, because of EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] strangling regulation, more coal plans will go off line."
McKinney noted that nationally, coal provides over 30% of our electricity, thus raising electric rates "just as [President Obama] promised they would."
Businesses would also be affected in this new presidential term, as McKinney posed the possibility of businesses cutting full-time hours to thirty--to avoid "Obamacare," also known as the Affordable Care Act--or if business owners would pay the penalty and require their employees to join.
"There are no death panels for Obamacare," continued McKinney. "There will just be limits...if you are above a certain age it will not be cost effective to pay for a procedure or a medicine. You won't be denied meds or a procedure, you will just have to pay out of pocket yourself."
She also noted that some parts of the new health care reform are already taking place, and she says that the government has also taken legal action against the Catholic church for standing behind their beliefs.
Regarding defense, McKinney said that the military will get smaller because President Obama said that he would not spend money on new military technology.
"Personally I want money spent on our military. I want a military that is strong where terrorists will be scared to test it."
Looking ahead, McKinney hopes that the elected officials, whether locally or state-wide, are "fiscal conservatives that will not spend money carelessly, that will decide we can repair and not spend money on something new all the time."
"If you elect someone that keeps spending," she explained, "we will all be taxed to death." She added that those who do not own a home will also feel it in their pocketbooks, in that rent fees will rise.
McKinney cited a quote from Benjamin Franklin: "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.â€ť But for today's world, she said that those who trade freedom from free things from the government will eventually lose both.
Yet overall, it may be safe to say that some of our Facebook fans--at least three on the Sweetwater Reporter page--might agree with the post from Ashlye Headstream, especially if their candidate lost. It's a post that's directly to the point.
"You really don't want to hear my thoughts," she said, "because it's nothing you can put in the paper."