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Respect for the man in the arena


Well, the election is over. And now, as always, the real work of governing begins. Kentucky has a culture of respect and civility, and it is time to call on that tradition to move our state forward.

Of course, we all have our special interest or handful of ideological issues that define our politics. I myself can’t negotiate on some. But for the most part I believe we can find common ground and we can’t allow someone else’s special interest to destroy us all.

In fact, the American electoral system was designed within a constitutional order to allow us to disagree; even passionately, and then after an election work together to achieve, as much as possible, for the common good.

History has documented this same thought from Thomas Jefferson. He reflected this sentiment when he delivered his first inaugural address in the spring of 1801. His presidential race has been described as the birth of nasty American politics. Books have been written on the slander and dirty political tactics used by him and his opponent and former friend, John Adams.

All politicians think their races were dirty and as I listen to some cry about the political crimes against them it makes me laugh inside. I’m reminded of a line from the 1600 play of Hamlet by William Shakespeare “the lady doth protest too much, methinks”. Let it go.

As a community publisher I hear most rumors and for the most part this election cycle was very calm. There is absolutely no reason any winner should carry a grudge; and no loser should hang their head in shame. Winners should get to work and prove the right person was elected and a good place to start is with grace toward their opponents.

It was Theodore Roosevelt who wrote, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Thank you to all those who stepped into the arena and I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.
Publisher Note: I would like to thank all Jobe Publishing employees and contractors for their hard work and dedication in helping honor our veterans.

Jeff Jobe is founder and CEO of Jobe Publishing, Inc. His commentary reflects his personal views and does not reflect the views of personal or professional associations and affiliations. Reach him at Read his previously published commentary at

Jeff, Jobe Publisher

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