Editorial: Time has come to work together
Now that a majority of American voters have chosen President Barack Obama to lead our country for the next four years, we have another choice to make - and it is a vital one: We must stand together, not forget our ideals and that we are the greatest country in the world.
No one can deny that recent times have been among the most divisive in our country's history. The campaigning leading up to Tuesday's election was nasty. What American was not relieved to see that the venom between candidates vying for office had vanished overnight when television sets went on Wednesday morning.
We have watched the partisan bickering from the time Obama took office four years ago. Both major parties are guilty of refusing to settle disagreements and work out compromises on behalf of the people who elected them. And, the talking heads on major television networks have done their best to perpetuate their own viewpoints in the name of broadcasting news, when in fact they were using their venues to promulgate their political opinions and persuade the American people to their respective sides.
In his victory speech to the nation Tuesday night, Obama acknowledged that he and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney "may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future."
The president applauded the Romney family for their contribution to America through public service and said he looked forward to meeting with him in the near future "to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward."
When Romney conceded the election to Obama Tuesday night, he said, "The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work, and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. ... I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I am concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a renewed greatness."
The president also noted "the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people."
We, as Americans, must listen to what each man said election night and take their appeals for unity to heart and stand united.
They have made the pledge. It's up to the rest of us now to follow their lead.