With the election now behind us our nation is either poised to move forward or is stuck fast in the mess that has plagued us over the past four years. We can assume from the results of the presidential election that approximately 51 percent of the country believes we are on the road to recovery and bright days are ahead. The other 48 percent of those participating in the recent election believe the country is severely broken, lacks the leadership needed to correct the problems and believes very troubled days are ahead.
Obviously we are a nation where the majority rules, but we’ve become a nation of winners and when winning at all cost is the primary objective it tends to leave ill will in its wake. While no one wants to end up on the losing side of a hard fought battle, what I hear most disturbing from those on the losing side is a loss of faith in our nation’s principles more so than just a bitter defeat. When President Obama was elected in 2008, those who chose not to vote for him were at least optimistic that he would live up to the words of his campaign, bring the parties together, reduce the unemployment rate as well as the deficit and bring about a needed change in the way the country had been functioning over the previous administration.
Unfortunately, throughout this campaign President Obama took a different approach with his reelection using terms like “redistribution,” “revenge,” and drew lines around race, gender, sexual orientation, and age. Where most presidents spoke about motivational achievements and encouraging goals, President Obama spoke about entitlements, those who don’t share with others and discouraging small business job providers.
Clearly the last four years have seen a major shift in the attitude and expectations people have with regards to their lives and the position government seeks to have in those lives. We’re moving from a nation where John Kennedy challenged us… not to ask what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country to an Obama second term where we should be asking the country to step in and right the inequities through a leveling of the playing field.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.