Kremer’s Corner: Looking ahead while looking back

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For quite a few people ,even though the national election took place almost a month ago, it seems that the division within the country will continue for some time to come. 
No matter where I travel these days, I overhear arguments between husbands and wives, mixed groups and grown children over the results of the election.  
Having been a student of history, an elected official and a commentator at the national and state levels, I have seen quite a few elections where the country was polarized by the two presidential candidates, but not to the extent of this one. 
I have endured the losses of Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Al Gore and enjoyed winning quite a few. 
But, when those elections were over, the country went back to work paying little attention to the aftermath of the campaigns.
The 2016 election will be seared into the memory of millions of people for a number of reasons. 
At the top of the list is the impact of social media and the news media. 
With so many people on Facebook, the universal use of cellphones and the easy flow of communication, negative news spreads fast and it feeds into how the public forms its opinions about the candidates.
The mass media was the source of a torrent of news about the candidates.  
For 16 months we were subjected to day after day of so-called “breaking news,” which in quite a few cases was either inaccurate or was on a number of occasions retracted by the anchor, too late to catch up with people who had already spread the word.  
Facebook is also enduring a heavy share of the criticism over the fact that it is alleged to have been the spreader of false news, paid for by the Republican candidate.
At the beginning of the campaign many in the media treated the candidacy of Donald Trump as some type of circus act that would help drive ratings and increase advertising dollars. 
On each and every occasion that candidate Trump was willing to offer an opinion on something, he would get top billing. 
In most cases, the media reports on Hillary Clinton were often negative and repetitive. 
The irony of the mass media’s addiction to Mr. Trump was when they decided that he might actually win, they changed their tone from positive to negative. 
The end result was that the general public became more and more confused and unable to figure right from wrong. 
All elections are battles about issues and ideology. 
This one left us with a nation in a state of mass uncertainty about the future.
The winners get congratulated and the losers get condolences. 
But going forward we must follow political events and news with the same degree of attention as we did during this campaign. 
We will be exposed to four years of heightened coverage of the new administration, and the good news is that in the blink of an eye it will be 2020.              

By Jerry Kremer

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