The election is over and voters have had their say. They elected what some may see as a divided government – a Republican House; a Democratic Senate, and President Barack Obama for a historic second term.
The question is: Will gridlock, special interests and party caucuses still rule the day? Or will there be a willingness to compromise, put country over party and work together to create a united government that works for all the people? We need true statesmen who are willing to step out and do or say what may not be popular.
The Observer’s community forum gave citizens an opportunity to hear from members of Congress, past and present, about how to create an atmosphere where tough decisions are made in a bipartisan way.
Here’s my perspective on moving forward: Compromise!
Both parties have to reach across the aisle. It’s unlikely we’ll get all that we want, but 50 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing. For example, to keep us from going off the “fiscal cliff” the richest Americans have to pay more taxes and there have to be cuts to entitlements. That’s what the election was all about.
As public problems get bigger and harder to solve, we have to come away from the extremes and meet in the middle. Legislators need to find common ground and meet there – the only way forward is give and take.
Members of Congress must decide whether they want to score political points and follow party rules, or do the right thing for the American people and give in a little, which may be politically unpopular.
What will they do? Only time will tell.