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OBAMA THE UNITER.
Time for Bipartisan Cooperation.
Most American saw the Mid-term elections as a routing of the Democrats and a signal to President Obama; the election however, have slowly evolved into a unique opportunity. Yes, the mid-term elections have evolved as a huge opportunity for President Obama to show bipartisan leadership through dialogue and negotiation.
Negotiation is a skill that requires a strong intellect, resolve and purpose; only a few are gifted with the tools necessary for productive negotiation. Negotiation in politics is even more difficult because it involves making compromises and choices that alienate some, while placating others. As difficult as a political negotiation is however, it is a highly necessary tool at the local, national and international levels. There can be no meaningful political success without negotiations of some kind; the only lasting change is one that involves an agreement by parties with difering idealogies or positions.
When you think of great negotiators throughout history, you think of people like Moses, Shaka Zulu, King Solomon, Jesus, James Monroe, Robert Livingston, Winston Churchill of Britain, Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan, and Henry Kissinger. All these people had a strong sense of purpose, and a determination to see a favorable outcome despite the odds.
When you think of the greatest negotiations in history, eight of them come to mind; Benjamin Franklin’s negotiations with France during the Revolutionary War, James Monroe and the Louisiana Purchase, the Congress of Vienna, the Treaty of Portsmouth, the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Egyptian-Israeli Armistice negotiations of 1949, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the 1986 Reykjavic Summit. All these negotiations were frought with obstacles and cynicism, but achieved the needed results.
President Obama has found himself in a unique position not by choice, but by the appointment of the American people. The American voter by their choice of a Republican Congress has placed President Obama in the challenging position of being a negotiator and a uniter. Obama can turn what was once percieved as a snub, into a team building opportunity. Obama can put the Republican Congress in the position of delivering on a mandate of accountability by compromising for change, or posturing to the detriment of the voter.
As I see it, Obama can put himself in the drivers seat with every calculated move he makes, between now and the next elections. Obama can play the middle, working with the Republicans, while still satisfying his base. He can shed the identity of being a consumate liberal, and focus his energy on being a pragmatic fiscal disciplinarian.
While I disagree with the right wing agenda, I have to say that current economic realities are on their side. The time has come for fiscal responsibility as opposed to public goodwill. President Obama has to agree with this assessment and at least listen to some of the ideas of the opposing base. If Obama listens and talks, he will find middle ground that will enhance his stature and improve the lot of all Americans.
The Democrats and Republicans have started on the road of cooperation to the chagrin of their base. Leaders on both sides have to realize that pride cometh before a fall, and great men make great sacrifices. If Nancy Pelosi and Co had given Obama the support or challemge needed to right the economy, Americans will not be as frustrated as they are now. Sometimes it seems, we have to get our challenge from our foes. Foes can bring out the best in us, and we hope this will be the case with Obama.
I am excited about the prospects of a collaborative reduction in our national debt, tackling of the Iran/North Korea issues and our trade deficits with China. We all as Americans pray for the Republicans to recognize that Obama is not the enemy, instead he has to be seen as the means to acheiving two years of citizen mandated amendments to our economic policy.
If the Republicans play their cards right, and Obama uses his God given negotiation skills, America will be greater and our world leadership status revived.