Empire State Building Photo by CNN
Despite a hurricane, fights over voting rights and annoyances over voting procedures, the people have spoken.
I don't mind living in a country with at least two political parties. It's called a democracy. And I don't mind living in a pluralistic society. That's called the 21st century. With the election over, let's get back to compromise and respecting differences. As President Obama said, we are not red states and blue states, we are the United States.
We live in hard times, not just here at home, but all over the world. People need hope, jobs and opportunities to take care of their families. I know I'm not alone in wanting to see politicians and everyone else work together for our common good. Why is New Jersey's Governor Christie being attacked for praising the President's quick response to Sandy?
I was a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. at a time when U.S. Senators from opposing parties fought one another all day to get their bills passed, then socialized with one another after hours. Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch were from opposing parties and good friends. Compromise wasn't considered a weakness, but the way to get legislation passed. It's how our political system is set up to work. As we begin a new session of Congress, let's aim higher than gridlock, rise above special interests and political parties and solve difficult problems. There is no shortage of problems to solve!
In a world that is always changing, where people are multicultural, let's all try to rise above fear and ignorance and a single point of view. Sometimes life is fair, sometimes not; however a little compassion goes a long way. Staying informed and working together is the only way to get things done.
It will be interesting to see what tactics, President Obama comes up with in the next 4 years to force Congress to get more done. (Hmm? Lock vexing members in a room? Sauce inflexible ones up with White House beer? Take away office heat until resolutions are reached? Yeah, that's the one!) Regardless of politcal leanings, critics describe Obama as a smart and measured problem-solver. Out of adversity there is potential for greatness. Obviously, for democracy to work our leadership must succeed.
You gotta love Florida. (See map.) Fortunately, it wasn't decisive in this race. After a very loooong day of voting, the state has not been called. Late last night, NBC's Chuck Todd said poll workers had gone home and planned to continue the next day. (The heck with counting votes!) Other reports had Floridians still voting during the President's victory speech! (Time he took the stage: shortly after mid-night.) Election officials promised to do better next time.