Both sides of the political aisle can give thanks

By Brent Laurenz | Nov 26, 2012

RALEIGH - Once again it's that time of year when we gather with family and friends to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. Whether it's a good job, close family or a roof over our head, hopefully everyone can find something to be thankful for during the holiday season.


For starters, no matter who we voted for on Nov. 6, we can all be thankful

that we as Americans have the right to vote and that when political power

does transfer, it's a peaceful affair.


Of course, in politics it generally ends up that some folks have more to be

thankful for than others. Look at North Carolina, for example. Republicans

have a whole lot to be thankful for this year -- expanded majorities in both

the state House and Senate, the first Republican governor in decades and

awarding the state's 15 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.


In fact, this is the first time Republicans have controlled both chambers of

the General Assembly and the governor's mansion almost since the original

Thanksgiving. On top of all that, Republican Dan Forest eked out a win over Democrat Linda Coleman in the lieutenant governor's race.

All is not lost for the Democrats though and they can surely find things to

be thankful for as well. They can start with the reelection of President

Barack Obama by a wider margin than most pundits and pollsters predicted.

And here at home, all of the incumbent Democrats on the Council of State won reelection.

It's safe to say it was a rough year at the ballot box for Democrats in

North Carolina, but I suppose they can be thankful for the knowledge that

things change fast in politics and just four short years ago they were in

the driver's seat.

And yes, even the Libertarians have much to be thankful for this holiday

season. Barbara Howe, the Libertarian candidate for governor this year, won more than two percent of the vote against Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Walter Dalton. Why should they be thankful for two percent? Because that is the magic number to keep their party on the ballot for the next four years. Had Howe received less than two percent of the vote, Libertarians would have had to go back to gathering signatures to regain a spot on the ballot.

Hopefully everyone finds time this holiday season to think about the things

we're thankful for, no matter our political affiliation. The holidays are

a time to come together, put petty bickering aside and think about the

common good.

Let's just hope that spirit carries over into January when state lawmakers

come back to Raleigh.