For Better or Worse, the Election Is Over
By the time this editorial hits the streets, the election will be over. For better or worse, the people have anointed a new leader in these final throes of the Bush regime. Now can we please move on? It’s been a long eight years under President Bush. (Where were you before 9-11? Where were we?). But it is time to relegate his era to the annals of history and get down to the hard business of remaking this country. It surely won’t be easy. Much figurative blood has been spilled in the presidential campaign trail, a contest which began rather in earnest some two years ago, and the electorate is bitterly divided — more so, perhaps, even than in 2000, the most-contested presidential election of the modern era. This one looked pretty close, too, which means that there are a lot of folks out there who did not get their way this go-round and are understandably upset. Likewise, there are some on the winning side who might be prone to gloating in this moment of victory. We strongly urge everyone to let go of these instincts, to ignore these artificial rifts created among us by strategists and hucksters. Remember: Whether you voted for McCain or Obama, whether you live in a high-rise apartment building or a farmhouse, whomever you pray to or sleep with, however you choose to make your living — we are all Americans. And we all have a stake in the course we lay out in the next administration. Here’s what’s real: Our soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq with ill-defined enemies and goals; our government has just seen fit to buy us what is essentially a silent stake in the US banking system, though we remain on the cusp of a significant economic event; 6 percent of us are unemployed while millions more are underemployed; 50 million of us don’t have health insurance. We call ourselves the Greatest Country in the World, yet in the United Nations Human Development Index — a formula that quantifies a country’s life expectancy, education and standard of living — we do not even crack the Top 10. But though we’ve taken some hard knocks as of late and gotten into some bad habits, this nation is far from a sinking ship. We were founded on the principles of independence, generosity and hard work. And though our mettle has not been truly tested like this in generations, we have faith that Americans will rise to the fore. Yes, ahead lie challenges. But all things are possible if we work in concert toward a common good. But we can’t move forward until we erase these artificial battle lines. A house divided cannot stand.
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