As I try to process the results of Tuesday’s election through the heartburn of the campaign we’ve just endured, I can’t help but ask, “How could this happen?” I don’t mean “How did Donald Trump win?” I mean, “How did we end up with these choices on Election Day?” We have only ourselves to blame.

If you’re like most people you went to the polls with a heavy heart, knowing you were casting a ballot for a presidential candidate you didn’t really support.

Who really chose these candidates out of all of the great people in our nation? We have a lot of honest politicians and smart, successful businesspeople from whom to choose, and we end up with a not-so-honest politician and a not-so-successful businessman on our ballots.

The whole process starts years before Election Day. It’s up to us to get involved now to help choose who will ultimately be on that ballot on our next Election Day.

The parties need to start the processing of vetting our potential candidates years before the primary process to make sure they can withstand a rigorous campaign and all of the scrutiny that comes with it. Why are we leaving this process up to our politicians and the cronies they have in their back pockets? What do we expect if we just sit back and let that happen?

I hope things go well over the next four years and that all of my fears are unfounded, but I’ll be working with my party, starting tomorrow, to search the country for smart, honest, decent, law-abiding, compassionate individuals. This is our country and these are our lives and livelihoods at stake.

I, for one, am ready to get going. We have a lot of work ahead of us and only four years to go.

Terri Winslow

New Sharon