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Phil Cooke, Ph.D. Headshot

The Election Is Over: What Do We Do Next?

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During the last few days before the election it was interesting to watch people on both sides of the fence melt down on social media sites. But now that the election is over, it's caused me to think more and more about the relationship between politics and culture. Whether you're thrilled or frustrated with President Obama's re-election, it's worth remembering Scottish politician Andrew Fletcher's quote: "Let me write the songs of a nation: I don't care who writes its laws."

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, if you're an artist, filmmaker, pastor, writer, teacher, business person, leader -- whatever, I would encourage you to keep moving forward. Create. Spark visions. Inspire people. Speak the truth. The influence of culture is far more significant and life-changing than whoever sits in the White House.

Politics are important, no question. The direction of the country, the national debt, and national security are all critical issues. But as Confucius said: "To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."

Start where you are, and never stop making change happen. As R.R. Reno said in the magazine First Things: "At the end of the day, elections don't shape or influence our cultural imaginations. It's worth remembering that the future of America will turn on culture, not politics: the poetry of our moral and social imaginations, not punditry. So by all means vote, but don't neglect the real and deeper sources of public life."

The election is over. Now get back out there in the fray and start creating....

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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