Political Animal: A good start, but a long way to go

Political+Animal%3A+A+good+start%2C+but+a+long+way+to+go

Megan Pietz

Though it isn’t correct according to the AP style book, I’d really like to start this piece with an emphatic WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because as Americans we voted for progress and the future, not just quick fixes and empty promises.
President Barack Obama’s re-election says something about our country’s views on some of the most controversial issues we’ve been faced with to date. Voter turnout was off the charts, and people waited hours in line just to make sure their voice was heard. Gay marriage, abortion, health care, taxes, foreign policy, the environment – you name it, it was was a highly debated issue this election season. I believe that when this country re-elected President Obama, we voted to help our entire nation and our neighbors and said we are ready to make even more changes to our nation.
That’s not to say that these next four years are going to be easy. The word our congressmen need to have tattooed on themselves, regardless of their party, is compromise. Neither side of the aisle will be happy if we stay in deadlock, wasting time and money. Partisanship is possible if each side gives a little something up and both parties need to be more critical of themselves rather than just believing their own opinion is right.
President Obama is ready to compromise, but the Republicans need to realize that playing the waiting game is not only going to make the President look bad, but it will mostly make themselves look bad. The conservative ideals do not match the ideals of progressive America today, and if they want anyone to take them seriously, they’ve got some major discussing to do.
Selfishness hinders progress. All of us are struggling in different ways right now – whether it be because of the economy, health care, the tolls of war. But, what we really need to make this country liked by everyone is an open mind.
President Obama said it best during his re-election speech: “By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.” I hope that no matter what your political affiliation, you’re ready and willingly to have an open mind and make informed opinions about the issues that define our nation’s success.