So here’s ours.
President Barack Obama, the pride of the Democratic Party, will return for another four years to lead what many believe — whether Republican, Democrat or “other” — is still the greatest nation on the face of this planet. During Tuesday night’s election returns, it became obvious into the evening his command of the electoral votes was dominating. At last reports, he held a 303 to 206 lead over GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
To some, this is a message. America believes in what the president has tried to do over the past four years and now Americans are calling for his work to continue.
Yet, the president’s lead in the popular vote was not so commanding. With slightly more than 90 percent of the nation’s precincts reporting, Obama led in the individual ballot race by a margin of only about 50 percent to 48.4 for Romney.
To some, this is a message. America remains a split country. Although the president in his victory speech late, late into the evening assured Americans around the country that our populace is not as divided as our politics would suggest, some will point to the slim difference in popular votes as a sign that many remain discontent with the nation’s direction and are ready for a change.
Each message is legitimate. Both should be heard.
But regardless of one’s political lean and despite all the finger-pointing by partisan leaders over the past few months, we see Tuesday’s results as a warning: America needs to get her act together and Americans — and specifically our American lawmakers whether local, state or national — must find a way to work together by scaling the troublesome brick walls built by straight party-line voting.
Romney himself said as much Tuesday evening in conceding the bitter race to his incumbent rival.
“At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering,” he stressed. “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.”
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, essentially said the same when he told The Associated Press, “If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs.”
In his comments, President Obama concurred. The words used were a little more cautious by acknowledging differences will remain between the Democratic and Republican legions.
In the president’s words, “By itself the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.”
It is our hope such comments by Romney, Boehner and Obama are more than mere lip service paid to postelection courtesies. Token election night admiration, although comforting to the American public, will do little to address this nation’s ills if the words have no meaning.
Our nation nears a crossroads.
Our national debt is rapidly becoming a global nightmare.
Our nation’s jobless numbers, though improving, remain far higher than what is acceptable.
Our economic recovery remains a fragile work in progress, one still subject to too many influences, both domestic and overseas.
Our health care crisis looms and too many aged, and aging, Americans shudder at the wrecking ball that could be aimed at Social Security and Medicare.
Our dependence on oil still haunts our future stability as research toward alternative fuels has seemingly stalled.
Resolution will not come overnight and it won’t come at all with senseless political bickering whose shortsightedness loses focus on America’s big picture — one whose portrait will be painted best through legitimate compromise.
Our nation’s time of awakening has arrived.
And our president returns for a second term.
Now the responsibility, and accountability, falls with our lawmakers — local, state and national — to work together, not apart.
We urge all officeholders to vote the conscience of America, not the cause of political party.