Election Message

Good afternoon Niwot High School, this is Mr. Rauschkolb.  Please pardon this interruption for a few thoughts on today’s election.


I would like to take a couple of short minutes to talk about the elections that are taking place today.  I don’t know about you, but to me it has felt like our entire country has been feeling incredibly anxious about today’s presidential election for over a year now.  In my lifetime I can’t remember an election that has felt so polarizing, so filled with vitriol and negativity, and so filled with personal attacks.  It has been disappointing to me, because in my optimistic viewpoint we should be able to look to our political candidates as role models of how to act and speak with dignity, how to treat others with respect, regardless of whether we agree with them or not, and how to respectfully debate the issues without having to rake the other person over the coals personally.  I’ve been very disappointed in the tone that this election has taken.

So one might ask, how are we going to react to this election here at NHS?  Well, regardless of how today’s election shakes out, tomorrow we are going to have many people who are very pleased, and many others will be very disappointed.  No matter which side you will be on tomorrow, I want to encourage you to treat each other with dignity, respect, and empathy.  If your preferred candidate is victorious, be a gracious winner and treat well those who are feeling down.  If your preferred candidate does not win, try not to be bitter and angry.  Regardless of the outcome, I’m looking forward to tomorrow because it gives us an opportunity to come together as Americans and to rally behind our new president.  


Today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life, always remember this:  If you disagree with someone on an issue or a slate of issues, the disagreement does not make someone else an idiot or a fool, it simply means that they see the issue differently.  We can be friends with those who see things differently, and we can certainly disagree without being disagreeable.  


Additionally, I will go as far as to say that it is a good thing for us to be friends with those with whom we may not always agree.  In fact, our diversity in many areas, including thoughts and ideas, is part of what makes NHS strong.  Our diversity is part of what makes our country strong.  


So no matter what happens as the result of today’s election, pledge to yourself to treat others with kindness, understanding, and respect.  That is what we value here at NHS, and I’m proud to be part of a school that embraces those values.  And if you have disagreed with anything that I just said, that’s ok too.  You and I are still good.  Thank you for your time today, and as always, Go Cougars!