Sunday, November 18, 2012

Get on with it

Thank God Obama won. I was equally as thankful that the campaign had finished. It was obscene—it’s negativity, the nearly $2 billion spent, the ads on both sides that were filled with half-truths and innuendos.

I don’t trust Romney and I didn’t like his vision for America but neither he nor Obama gave us much substance during the campaign. Both promised to create jobs with old paradigms—lower taxes and businesses will hire; investing in the infrastructure will create jobs. Neither addressed the complexities of job creation in the global economy where workers in competing countries make less in a week, than middle income Americans make in a day. Neither spoke of the need to readdress free trade in this environment. Or how we’re going to direct students toward the specialties employers need—many high-wage jobs are not being filled because they can’t find applicants with the needed skill-sets.

We celebrated a friend’s birthday on election night. Four of us gathered at another friend’s house for food, champagne and chocolate while we watched the returns. We cheered when Obama won. Then CNN showed a graphic of red and blue counties. Seeing his formidable challenge was sobering.
The day after the election the looming, so-called, fiscal cliff (that neither candidate addressed during the campaign), couple with continued fears about the European economy caused the DOW to plunge 2%.

As the market’s downward spiral continued, both President Obama and Representative Boehner promised to work together to reduce our deficit but that’s not what I see. The reds are still holding fast to their no tax increases stance, the blues insist the rich must play more. And continued diverseness in Congress was easily apparent in the responses to the Benghazi investigation that began last week. 

We can argue about whether Obama’s re-election does or does not give him a mandate. But what does have a mandate is eliminating the gridlock. No one’s going to end up with exactly what they want. That’s the essence of compromise.