Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true.
Maybe then, there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do."
-Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Tony Asher, Wouldn't It Be Nice (the Beach Boys)
Last week, leaders of our two political parties came together and got something done. They threw politics aside and worked together to take care of the people that elected them. We haven’t seen that happen in a long time. And it felt good.
This of course was during the aftermath of Sandy, during the calm after the storm that annihilated the East Coast including my home state New Jersey, the Jersey shore in particular. Things are still in turmoil of course, lots of people displaced from their homes, including my stepmother who is "stuck" in Florida (not a bad place to be stuck) until her home is repaired and power restored.
But the powers that be are working hard to restore all that infrastructure, thanks to the efforts of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said politics be damned when he asked for and got help from President Obama.
This major effort, and the funding it required, could not have happened if the Governor and the President hadn’t thrown politics aside and did what they were elected to do, help their constituents. Obama responded immediately to Christie’s request for help, declaring New Jersey (and parts of New York) major disaster areas, allowing for maximum financial support and help from FEMA. This all took less than eight hours to accomplish. A good example of what can happen when the people come first.
So now the election is over and we’re faced with how we handle the calm after another storm, the viscous campaigns that thankfully ended last night. Will we continue to be a fractionalized society? Will our elected officials still put their ideology and their party ahead of what’s best for the people who elected them? Or will we see a trend towards conciliation and cooperation?
The way this is handled will be critical for the future of this country.
I heard President Obama say last night that one of the first things on his agenda would be to sit down with Governor Romney and talk about how best to help the country, specifically the economy, going forward. That would not only be smart, but could be an example for Congress to follow.
Maybe Obama and Romney can bring their parties together. Maybe they can fit their areas of expertise together. Maybe they can start a trend where politicians cross the aisle to get things done for the people.
I hope so.
James Causey said it wonderfully well in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Now it's time for Washington to lead by example. Obama and Christie presented a blueprint that works, and it's called collaboration.”
Wouldn’t it be nice?
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