Time to reconcile and focus on Nation Building
The Elections are finally over
The long bitter contest has reached its end, and we can finally all heave a sigh of relief. Roughly half of us would be disappointed that Romney did not win – or more specifically, that the Republicans did not succeed in their avowed priority of ensuring that Barrack Obama would be a one-term President. And the other half would be pleased that the President now has four more years to complete the tasks that he had envisioned when he took office four years ago.
It’s time now for us all, and more particularly for our elected Representatives in both the houses of Congress to focus on Nation building, the first and foremost job that they have been elected to do. Whether to create jobs and to build up the economy or to cut down the deficit and balance the budget, the paramount requirement is to work out a compromise between the two opposite factions. A few bitter pills would need to be swallowed. In order to cut down spending, the Democrats will have to acknowledge that some cuts in our Entitlement Programs are inevitable. But spending cuts alone will not result in balancing the budget – no matter how forcefully the Romney/Ryan team used their fuzzy math to justify it. There will have to be revenue increases through some reductions in the existing tax cuts. This would mean that the Republicans, and more particularly the neoconservatives and the Tea Party supporters amongst them, would need to tear up the No Tax Increase pledge that they signed up with Grover Norquist. Elected Representatives owe their Allegiance to serving the Nation and the people who have voted them to power, and it is morally wrong for them to sign up any other pledges. The Republicans need to shed their label of being the Party of No.
Certain phobias need to be cast away
In spite of his victory, it is unfortunate that nearly half the nation may still not accept Obama with an open heart. Nearly 30% will likely still cling to their conviction that he was not born in our country. It is time to stop wasting the time and energy on this issue and in branding him a Socialist or a Communist and that he is a Muslim. And we need to rise above the petty politics that a media hungry Real Estate Mogul loves to indulge in, by demanding Obama disclose his college transcripts and his passport application. We now require the reelected and re-energized President and the elected Congress representatives to devote their full attention to the pressing problems at home, and focus on Nation building. This requires that we set aside our ideological differences and join hands and work together as one.
Abraham Lincoln faced bigger challenges
If you thought the present times have been the most challenging in our Nation’s history, think about what Abraham Lincoln faced after his reelection in1862. As narrated by David Von Drehle in his book “Rise to Greatness – Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year”, with his armies stalled and his party on the verge of a revolt, Abraham Lincoln described in detail our Nation’s future of unrivaled prosperity and national influence – a future that came true. He ended his message with “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope on Earth.” Americans have always looked forward to a better future and all our most admired Presidents have been the ones who painted a bright tomorrow, no matter how grim the present seemed.
We can get together and do it
Are we capable of rising above partisan politics and work for the common good? We actually did that just a week ago in the Northeastern states when we were hit by the monster storm Sandy – and we have done that time and again in the past when we’ve suffered natural calamities and disasters.
Isn’t this the perfect time for us to show the world how we have time and again set our differences aside and worked hard to make ours a great Nation – a fact that has made us the envy of the rest of the World?
Joe Klein has summed it up this way in the Time magazine. “We will struggle along, secure in our freedom, and eventually prosper. That is the American way: we make fools of pessimists.”