It’s time to join together

Published 8:01 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

The recent election brings many thoughts, but three stand out.

First, congratulations to President-elect Obama and to America. Barack Obama ran a masterful campaign. He emphasized the positive, deserved to win, deserves our support and can be a great president. Whether or not we voted for him, we all share in his success.

His election represents what is best about America, and it says to the world so many good things about us. Much will be said about the fact that Barack Obama is the first African-American to be elected president, and African-Americans have every right to be proud of him. In fact, all of us can be proud of him and his heritage. He is an American, just like the rest of us.

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His inclusive message and his broad support give us hope. He demonstrates that with intelligence, dedication and hard work, someone in America can face many obstacles and still win the support of the people for election to the highest office in the land.

He is not only an inspiration to all of us, he tells us to stop making excuses, to take responsibility for ourselves and to achieve our full potential. He reminds us that the American dream is very much alive and that fulfilled dreams require hard work.

Second, our leaders must live up to their promises to leave partisanship behind and to work for the common good.

Our country is at a critical time in its history, and our problems need answers now. Our elected officials and our entire government must get moving to provide those answers.

Honest philosophical differences are understandable and even healthy. They help make the system work. But positions taken just to make the other side look bad are no longer acceptable. Petty politics will not help.

Third, all of us must fulfill our responsibility to be good citizens.

Some years ago, President Kennedy called upon us to ask what we could do for our country. The challenge is still with us.

In recent years, only our military families have had to make any real sacrifices. Our leaders should call on the rest of us to make sacrifices, and we should gladly accept the call. We should at least accept our duty to pay our fair and legally required share of taxes.

There are many other things we should do in these troubled times. We should vote for leaders who ask us to accept our civic responsibilities and not those who just promise us a future filled with benefits and no obligations.

We need to do our jobs well, study our lessons, be informed on the issues, lead a healthy lifestyle, care for the environment, reduce our use of energy and volunteer when and where our services may be useful.

Let’s demand accountability from both our leaders and ourselves. Let’s emphasize our points of agreement as we work together to solve the problems in our nation and in our community.