The Day After for a Republican
by Barbara_Donnelly_Lane
 Politics
November 07, 2012 12:28 PM | 1583 views | 7 7 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

It’s been a long election season.  It’s been a longer four years.  And for Republicans, there’s little reason to celebrate a “move forward” into what feels at the moment like the promise of an interminably long tomorrow.   

But this is where we find ourselves, and we have to decide how we are going to react to losing an election. 

You see, we are grown ups.  We are not children.  And this was not a football game that we can simply stomp away from or forget. 

As adults we are required to put aside resentment, anger, regret at the end of what has been a passionate and sometimes bitter debate.  It doesn’t matter how we feel or why we feel it.  We must step forward and shake hands and get on with it. 

We know this.  We live in a republic.  We made our case, and we lost our argument. 

In his concession speech, Mitt Romney graciously 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.” 

He was absolutely right. 

Barack Obama has been re-elected.  He is the President of the United States.  Whatever he has done in the past, we must fervently hope he leads a divided people to a new place of consensus.  We must, if we can, help him do this. 

As he said in his acceptance speech, this will not be easy. “Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight….” 

This is spot-on for his part. 

Republicans will not magically begin to agree with Democrats.

Democrats will not magically begin to agree with Republicans.

Both sides will still represent constituents who care deeply about the issues that drove them to the polls to vote in the first place, and members of Congress will continue to answer only to those people within their myriad states and districts…those millions of people across our great land who have different priorities and who do not seem lately to agree on much of anything. 

“But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future…. [and] that common bond is where we must begin.”

With these words, President Obama seems to be pledging he will not in this very divided nation try to stand in just blue states this term.  Rather, amongst disparate groups, he will try to build bridges.

For our part, we must allow those bridges to be built! We must look at his good faith efforts to respect what we think, and then we must demand those other leaders who answer most closely to us to craft real compromise in Washington. 

On this both sides have little choice.  Our nation cries for solutions.  Our problems can no longer be ignored, and we can no longer care about just your or my special interests.  We cannot leave this to the next generation.   

President Obama said, “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.”

In good faith, let’s try our best to make that right.   

Comments
(7)
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Lib in Cobb
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November 08, 2012
Ms.Donnelly-Lane: From your keyboard to our representative's ears.
B D Lane
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November 07, 2012
Off Balance: As we are conservatives who believe in our system, we must respect the outcome of the election enough to give the president a chance to DO rather than to just SAY. This is not betraying principles or shutting up about our viewpoints. It's not even about not still seeking the truth on situations like Libya, which have never been partisan. It IS about sitting down at the table again IN GOOD FAITH and figuring out what to do next. We need to start talking in a way that others HEAR us rather than letting others speak FOR us. We need to LISTEN to our fellow citizens as well as we engage in conversations with people who don't hold our views. We CAN find things we have in common... principles on which we can build some action. After all, we are back for all intensive purposes to where we were two days ago as far as balance of power in Washington is concerned, and gridlock is just not going to be acceptable for four years.... The debt just keeps growing too fast.

Thank you very much, Mr. Tanner and Concerned Citizen. Of course 3 million people in a nation of 300 million people is a tiny number of folk, and the president's tone thus far--to his credit--has registered an understanding of this fact. It should be obvious the country is still deeply divided, so I'm not sure what "anonymous/Mr. Foley" are on about unless they wish to toss the spirit of my column aside, rehash old wounds, and not move forward. That's a choice, I suppose, but they cannot argue it is in the best interest of our country.

Remember, we have never looked for our light within government. Tis but a tool to serve the people. Keep the faith, and don't get mired in emotional darkness. It does nothing useful, and we as Americans have work to keep us occupied.
anonymous
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November 07, 2012
@ Concerned Citizen - "Real close?" I think not. The president won by nearly 3 million popular votes and by an Electoral College landslide.

It's Mitch McConnell who said he'd work to make Obama a one term president. It's John Boehner who said he rejects compromise.

More on that tomorrow.
Concerned Citizen
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November 07, 2012
Your wise comments are welcome always. We all pray that our President will reach out to those who have beliefs contrary to his and that together, he and our representatives in Congress will be able to come up with solutions that must be found. The election was too close for anyone to consider it a true mandate for one side or the other to have its way exclusively.
Kevin Foley
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November 07, 2012
Lovely words, Ms. Lane. Now perhaps you can help Laura Armstrong, frogbreath, mrbill and all the other "sophisticated voters" understand their meaning.
Ken Tanner
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November 07, 2012
A great description of the sweet pain involved in being on the losing side in a democracy. Ms. Lane hits another home run.
Off Balance
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November 07, 2012
B D L

In this issue , I disagree with you. Obama can no more stop his desire to create a socialist state than he can stop breathing. It is possible that he doe not even think of it as socialist.He may perceive it as a "fair" way to structure America.

How then can a conservative who love our republic cast aside his fear of the destruction of our country for the sake of bipartisanship?

I know you mean well and I agree with you in concept, but when does or will bipartisanship become aiding and abetting in walking far away from the Constitution.

Among the many issues is L.O.S.T., UN Small Arms Treaty, the reduction of the military, the change in health coverage for the military, Obamacare, assisting Mideast countries in opening the governments to the Muslim Brotherhood and a host of other issues including the failure to protect our ambassador in Benghazi.

When Clinton was president and then Bush, I did not feel that our Constitution was under attack. I did not feel that the strength, power and Christian spirit of America was under attack. I saw many things under both that I disagreed with, UN involvement in Kosovo, for example, but nothing that threatened the Constitution.

No nation can survive with the concept that half of the people will work and the other half will be supported by them.

When did capitulation become a synonym for compromise? For, to date, hat is what I have seen from the other side.

Your ideas are full of goodness and in that I agree. I believe the reality will be the decay of the fiber of the republic.

I summary, I believe we must accept our loss, review our platform to assess each issue, spend our resources on the support of the core issues of the Constitution and bend on those issues that do not change the basic structure and values given us by our Founding Fathers.
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