This is the one where we congratulate the winners, console the losers and reassure our readers that the sun will come up, and this old democracy will survive. Indeed, it will not merely survive, it will flourish.

Eight years ago, we wrote such an editorial after Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president.

At the time, Republicans and conservatives were reeling from the notion that a man as good and as qualified as John McCain could lose to an untested young community organizer from Chicago.

Today, conservatives have the upper hand as Donald Trump handily defeated Hillary Clinton and will travel Pennsylvania Avenue in late January to a seat in the Oval Office.

The quadrennial peaceful transfer of power we have known for more than 230 years will once again prove to the world the only legitimate and lasting judge of government is the voice of the people.

Elections have consequences and the consequences of this election will be dramatic and far-reaching.

Republicans – now in control of both houses of Congress as well as the presidency – will pursue a conservative agenda they believe will invigorate the economy, provide for greater security and support the middle class Americans who have been left behind in the slow but steady recovery we have seen over the last eight years.

Democrats will lick their wounds, search their souls and begin preparing for the next round.

On a statewide level, Republicans also took control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time in almost a century. With a GOP governor in place and control of the Senate, Republicans will have the power to make major changes in the way Frankfort operates.

John Simms won a seat in the new minority of the House, and his challenge is to be an effective voice of the 70th House District in a body controlled by the GOP. His defeat of John VanMeter was an anomaly in an otherwise disheartening day for Kentucky Democrats.

On a local level, seven honest and sincere candidates fought for four seats on Maysville City Commission, and voters chose experienced incumbents over enthusiastic newcomers. Three commissioners were returned to the commission and Jerry Schumacher will return after a long hiatus.

City commission has challenges ahead, and we are confident these four, supported by an overhauled city staff, will be up to those challenges.

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To Kevin Fulton and Robbie Detro and Rick Litton, to John VanMeter and to others on the local state and national level who ran for office, we offer our appreciation and our admiration.

To the winners, we offer congratulations and a charge to represent all of your constituents regardless of whether they supported you or your opponent.

And to those who voted – win or lose – we offer this thought:

Representative democracy is a messy, contentious and often frustrating form of government. The results of elections can be inspiring or heart-breaking. But the real challenge comes once the poll workers have gone home, the ballot boxes have been stored away and TV commercials return to furniture sales and auto dealer promos.

The real challenge is in coming together and moving forward as one nation. Let’s all commit to meeting that challenge in the days to come.

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