Time for leadership

Party politics should be set aside to serve the interests of people
Nov. 08, 2012 @ 04:55 PM


The re-election of Barack Obama obviously is not popular among most voters in the South, especially Sevier County where three out of four voters chose Mitt Romney over the president. The Republican swept the South, save for Florida. But elections are won not by how many states you carry, but how many votes you get and, by extension, how many electors you earn.

The president won because he was better organized, had a strategy that worked and capitalized on Republican mistakes. He was not necessarily the better candidate.

Throughout our history presidents have served who were not very good by historical perspective. They didn't build monuments to Benjamin Harrison, James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce. Our greatest presidents were not always the best men, the smartest men, the most popular men, but all faced adversity and performed admirably. Sometimes that wasn't known or appreciated until after they left office.

President Obama's policies are anathema to millions of people. Heck, Romney got almost half the votes. But Obama is president for everybody, not just those who voted for him. The attitude of his opponents can be either to scorn and obstruct his actions and efforts for the next four years, or find common ground and compromise to move the country forward.

The people have a way of conveying hos they feel pretty well in elections. They made it clear in exit polling and in their votes that they are tired of gridlock, tired of bickering, tired of stagnation while the country suffers. They expect leaders in Washington to work together for the common good, not stand in defiance of everything the other side does.

Bipartisanship is demanded of people who don't make a living in Washington, D.C. The people in this country don't care whether their leaders are Democrats, Republicans, independents of Libertarians; they want something to get done to make things better.

That is Obama's challenge as he enters a second term, and the challenge of those in Congress who wear red or blue. The time to moan the loss on Tuesday is past. The time for leadership and statesmanship has arrived.