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Doyle: Time for elected officials to work together

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My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful vacation.  Our time away was made all the more enjoyable because we were untouched by the daily onslaught of national political news about the outrage du jour and, closer to home on the state and local fronts, the avalanche of political mailers, radio talk show rants and television commercials.  
They all seem to be claiming the same thing — that a particular candidate walks on water and will turn Colorado or Jefferson County into Oz while his or her opponent’s path will lead us off the cliff to doom and damnation.  
We were jolted out of our vacation bliss when we sifted through the mail that had accumulated in our absence. The pile was filled with political ads, in one local race alone totaling 22 mailers, five more than one a day for each day of our vacation!
Of those, only four were actually paid for and sent by the candidates’ own campaigns while the rest were paid for and sent by a variety of groups with their own agendas and with money from who knows what source.   
Keeping the television and radio off is within our control. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was something similar to the Colorado No Call law that we could sign up for our mailboxes?  
Wanting to be informed voters, we read each of the mailers. No matter which side they came from, they all shared similar extreme messages.  
In my view, whoever is elected in November in the many races being held in Colorado and Jefferson County will need to work together in a bipartisan way to build consensus and move forward incrementally to address the pressing needs of education, transportation and infrastructure, jobs, health care and protecting our environment.  
No one party or one politician has the answer, and taking extreme positions will not serve Colorado or Coloradans. I urge you to be an informed voter ... research each candidate and each ballot measure yourself, rather than relying on the claims being made by both sides that flood our mailboxes and the airwaves.  
And then vote on each item all the way down what will be a very lengthy ballot. Not voting means other people whose interests may differ from yours will decide the issues and who represents you.                      
A second extremely disturbing jolt also occurred the day of our return, when Brett Kavanaugh, despite having been accused of serious sexual misconduct by more than one woman, was confirmed by the slimmest of margins to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Depending on your views, this may have been disturbing to you or it may have been cause for celebration. Much has been said on both sides of that divide, and I am not going to attempt to dissuade you of your views.  
What I do hope you will think about, however, is the message that was sent to all women and girls and men and boys in our country by President Trump’s leap to announce that Judge Kavanaugh was innocent because there had been no corroboration of the allegations made against him.  
This claim directly translates to “when it’s a he said-she said situation” the “he” is always to be believed. Now think of how that message is likely internalized by the women in your life — your daughters, granddaughters, sisters, friends and colleagues — with fear and silence and shame should the unthinkable ever happen to them, and they are sexually assaulted.  
Then think of how that same message may be internalized by the men in your life — sons, grandsons, brothers, friends and colleagues — I’ll never do anything like that but if I do, no worries, no one will believe her.  
In this day and age of #MeToo, when so many women have taken the courageous step of speaking out about their extremely personal experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, I hope you speak openly with the people in your lives to make sure that this corrosive double standard that pervades so many aspects of our society is eliminated.

Janet Heck Doyle is a retired CEO and attorney who has lived in Evergreen with her family for 20 years. She is involved with various nonprofit organizations in Evergreen and Jefferson County, and served eight years on the Evergreen Park & Recreation board.