Press-Republican

November 8, 2012

Editorial: Country must pull together

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Press-Republican

---- — The divisive presidential election is over, and it is time for the United States to become united.

It can’t matter anymore whether you were a supporter of President Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney; this country now has a leader, and we need to demand that he and our elected representatives pull together.

It is essential that Democrats and Republicans work as a team to help him bring America the rest of the way out of the recession. If they don’t, every American will pay the penalty.

If you stayed up late Tuesday night to watch the results roll in, you know this was not a ringing endorsement of Obama’s four years in office. Romney, who ran a strong campaign, won the votes of 48 percent of Americans who filled out ballots compared to 50 percent of the popular vote for Obama.

But the president had the votes where they counted the most: in the Electoral College. He secured well more than the 270 needed to win the election; Romney fell far short.

A presidential election such as this can leave the nation fractured. If that happens, we won’t prosper over the next four years, and that will leave the nation vulnerable both domestically and abroad. 

The formula for inertia is in place: We have the same president, the Democrats still control the Senate, and the Republicans still rule the House of Representatives.

Obama knows many people across this country were displeased with his presidency; even among people who supported his first candidacy, you could find plenty of hesitancy. Many people said they didn’t care for either option in this election.

Obama needs to show leadership now in trying to repair this partisan divide. That will take cooperation from all: liberals, conservatives and moderates. It is difficult to see that happening because many people in this country can’t seem to tolerate differences of opinion anymore. They don’t listen to each other or evaluate the other person’s views. The tone seems to be: I’m right; you’re wrong — and I despise you for not agreeing.

We all want the same outcome, don’t we? We want a country that is strong — its economy, ethics, educational system. We want a nation that cares for its needy and ill citizens while making sure that all those who can contribute to that effort do so. We want an America that is ready to step forward to help other countries in need and is dedicated to protecting democracy.

We can’t achieve that through discord and intolerance.

Obama needs to persuade all Americans to work for the common good.

If Romney had won, we would have written this editorial with the names reversed — because the health of our nation is far more important than the name of the person at the top.