Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"A Deeply Fractured Country"

      It is election night.  I am, like so many in the US, ensconced in front of the TV watching to see how the Presidential Election unfolds.  It is increasingly leaning toward Obama to be re-elected.  It also so looks like the House of Representatives will stay with the Republicans and the Senate will be Democratic.  We may be in for another four years that will mirror the last two years i.e. stalemate.  That is not what I want or what I believe we need.
     This is a very close race for an incumbent.  The victory will certainly be important and key, but it is not a mandate for the winner.  The parties have to learn to work together.  I am not sure they can do that.
     Romney made a great showing.  He ran a an aggressive and well funded campaign.  He adapted like Clinton did to the polls to secure his parties nomination.  Romney moved from moderate to conservative to placate the leadership of the party which is more extreme than the American people want.  The Republicans and the TEA Party lost three close senate elections in Massachusetts, Indiana, and Missouri.  I think the real loser here is the TEA Party and hardline Republicans.
     It was just announced that Ohio has gone for Obama.  That secures the re-election of the President and marks the end of the Romney run.  No Republican has ever won an election without winning Ohio.  Romney has not bucked that trend.  Ohio went to Obama.  Ohio is a midwestern state that is mostly white and working class.  Obama's bailout of GM and Chrysler resonated well here. 
     Savannah Guthrie of NBC just stated "He now governs a deeply fractured country."  This would have been true no matter who won tonight.  This was a tough and hard fought election.  It was a grotesquely expensive election.  It was an election that strongly polarized the people.  Half the people are now happy.  The other half are probably depressed and besides themselves wallowing in the belief that the country is about to take a few more giant steps toward socialism.
     It is time to pull together.  This country has problems that need to be solved.  We need a unified government.  We need a sound budgeting and governing process.  We need to define what kind of country we want to be. And I mean economically and militarily more than anything else.  What are we aiming for?  What can we afford... and not afford?  Do we have the resolve to do this?  Or, are we just going to keep our collective heads in the sand and believe that we will miraculously recover to the better times of the Reagan and Clinton administrations.  
     This last recession brought us to this new normal.  No matter what anyone says, I believe that Obama's so called "socialist nationalization" bailouts of the auto and other industries kept us from an all out depression.  The government is also out of most of these investments and, if I am not mistaken, at a profit.
     We, all of us, who have been bickering at dinner tables and in social media, should now demand of whoever represents us to work together.  This means dusting off words that we seem to have forgotten the meaning of:  Compromise, Consensus, and working for the common good.

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