Sorting Through the Flotsam of a Divisive Campaign
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 16:11
By the time this column goes to press, the presidential election will (hopefully) have been decided. Unfortunately, I must draft these words and submit them for publication on Monday, before we get even an inkling of what will happen during the election.
Even so, in the aftermath of what played out on Tuesday, we have a lot of bits and pieces to sort through – the flotsam and jetsam of the storm that was the 2012 presidential election. One of the most negative, divisive campaigns in recent history, this election, may have proved to do the exact opposite of what our country needs; it may end up causing a deeper rift in the government, when what we really need is unity.
Whoever it was that won the election on Tuesday, their overarching goal – no matter their political views – should be the same. It should be to unify a divided America, to listen to the views of the other party, because, unless I am much mistaken, I believe the popular vote will be as close as any in history. This alone indicates how split our nation is – even though one party must win, almost exactly half of the nation is going to believe in the ideals of the other party.
A true leader, in this case, will need to make concessions. Oh, I know it’s so much easier said than done. I can preach all I want about unison and close party ties and filling in the rift, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty issues of the day, when the two sides sit down in the Capitol building and start to work out the nuts and bolts of the solutions to our largest problems, bi-partisan deals seem as far away as ever.
But (ideally), these are the people we elected, and we elected them for a reason. We thought they were competent enough to get things done. We are talking about people educated at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, and years of experience in governmental politics. Surely, if anyone on earth can find a way to heal our nation’s wounds, it will be one of these people!
So whether you voted for Barack or Mitt, whether your candidate won or lost, whether we are currently in the middle of a recount or a voter fraud lawsuit or the winner is clear, we all need to learn to trust the man we elected for president. If we put our faith behind him, it will empower him, and Congress, to do what needs to be done – whatever that may be – to bring our nation back on a track of forward progress.
I know it will be hard to have hope if your candidate loses – they are so very opposite, with such differing goals for our country. If Barack loses, I can promise you that I myself will have been looking for internships abroad, as early as yesterday morning (London has been calling me back ever since I left, after all).
And we can sit here and whine about the government and how effective it is all we want, but I promise you that whining and moaning and griping will not make our government any bit better. We are still America – and though our image may have been tarnished, our ideals are still intact. In the words of Bill Clinton, “There is nothing that is wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
Nathan is a senior majoring in landscape architecture. Follow him on twitter @nwstottler.