Now, please, some unity
As this is written on Tuesday afternoon, I have no clue who was elected president, though I'm pretty sure there are sky-writers in the air above Ohio seeking out the last undecided voter.
Another great American political season comes to a close with a presidential race that truly is too close to call -- no matter how confident the campaigns say they are.
A politics junky, I've enjoyed the last year immensely, but the final days of the campaign have taken an otherworldly turn. The talking heads for both sides became super positive, ever-smiling, utmost confident robots. Apparently, neither side is allowed to even think the other side has a chance. Supreme confidence in the outcome ruled the airwaves over the weekend and Monday, to a comical degree.
Democratic talking heads ignored the tightness of the polls and the fact that challengers often get the last-minute push. Republicans seemed ignorant to the fact that the polls exist, writing them off as creations of the "liberal" media, inherently tilted to President Obama.
Have you ever heard a mouthpiece for either candidate saying, "Yes, those are indeed troubling poll numbers."? No. Poll numbers are either hailed as mandates from an adoring public (when positive) or absolutely discounted (when negative).
The concept of never uttering a pessimistic point must come from the idea that the dwindling number of undecided voters will, at this late point, just cast their ballot for who they think will win -- so they too can be winners. The political textbooks must put forth that, to fish this final half-percent of the electorate one must convey utmost confidence.
It will be refreshing when the political textbooks are put away and the government manuals are brought out. That happens now.
It's time to start working together on the greatest challenge of our time -- re-invigorating our economy and continuing the dig out of the economic crash of 2008-10, and forging a plan to tackle the deficit and secure our vital social programs into the future. The fiscal cliff awaits. Compromise, tough choices and political fortitude will be required.
Partisan politics is fun, like football is fun ... lots of rough-and-tumble action, winners and losers. But good government, that's life or death important. Let's give it a chance, let's demand our elected officials contribute to it and not detract from it.
Partisanship will always be rich in American politics, and it plays a key role in dialogue and balance. But realize its place. We cannot continue to allow reckless, misleading, blind partisanship to tarnish our nation, as it has.
On Tuesday, the nation's voters, approximately 100 million strong, ended the latest game by choosing our next president -- (pray it wasn't so close that the courts have to decide it).
If we elected Mitt Romney, recognize that we have chosen a man who has been hugely successful in his private life, a true American success story. Yet, even with vast, self-made wealth, he has always hungered to serve his country, and has done so with honor and achievement. He could be a fantastic president.
If we have re-elected Barack Obama, recognize that we retained a man who inherited the worse economic storm since the Great Depression and enacted brave policies to fight it, and on many fronts, they've been very successful. He also got historic health care legislation enacted, something presidents from Truman on had hoped to do. He's ending two wars, made killing bin Ladin a priority and watched it happen, and has enriched America's standing in the world.
So, whomever we chose, he's our president, he's capable, and he deserves our best hopes, prayers and respect. Democrats and Republicans need to realize that unity is what makes America strong, and partisanship is the enemy of unity. In this, Americans need to lead, and our politicians will follow.