Moving forward ... if a bit slowly

That’s over and done with, finally, so now what?

I’m referring to yesterday’s presidential election, of course and ... well, I’m not going to gloat, jump up and down or run around the office giving out high fives, if you’re wondering. And while some people probably did just that, are doing that or will do that throughout the day, I have to wonder if it’s really necessary.

This isn’t Monday Night Football, although you’d almost think so, considering the crowds, the highlights, the electoral college “scoreboard” and so on. Sure, Obama won, but the margin of victory was a whole lot slimmer than many might have expected; there’s still an extraordinary amount of work to be done (the understatement of the decade); and we all know things haven’t been all that peachy for the past four years, let alone twelve.

Regardless, I’ll admit I was amused by some of the comments coming from the far right following last night’s election results, one of which went something like, “America has made its decision, now is the time for Americans representing both sides of the political fence to join together and move forward as a nation.”

Sorry, but for the past four years, both Democrats and Republicans have had more than one opportunity to do that very thing, instead focusing on the goals and desires of their respective parties, literally holding this country hostage in the process.

America – and more specifically the American people – simply got stuck in the middle, needless to say, but at least we know where we stand, right?

Republicans and the GOP, however, only have themselves to blame for last night’s loss, from their determined stand to make Obama a one-term president (there were, I think, more pressing issues to deal with) to any number of comments that made headlines, such as a woman’s body having natural defenses to avoid pregnancy when raped, not to mention that such a pregnancy – if those “defenses” should fail – must be God’s will.

No offense intended whatsoever, but can we please leave God out of politics in the future? Pretty please?

That’s not to say Democrats countrywide didn’t have their own gaffes along the way, as well, and looking back, the morning after, from bayonets to binders, the months leading up to last night’s election were as frustrating, depressing and – ultimately – wasteful as I could’ve imagined: millions of dollars spent on campaigns of all sizes across the country, the finger pointing, the half-truths, facts distorted (or completely glossed over), the outright lies, the ignorance, the petulant, childlike behavior displayed by so many (again, both Democrats and Republicans).

One thing’s for sure, we have our work cut out for us. Not to mention some growing up to do.

“We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation,” stated Obama last night. “Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.”

It’s a pretty speech, but then again, we’re all aware of the president’s impressive abilities in that arena.

A statement released by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, stated, “The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House ... If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt.”

Simply put, where was this sentiment for the past four years?

If I feel any sort of relief following the 2012 presidential race, it’s rather overwhelmed by the fact that we’ve had plenty of time to fix this nation, yet have continued to support the bi-partisan antics of our elected officials. One question, posed throughout the entirety of this election, asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

For me, that was an easy one, because – in all honesty – I am. Since Obama took office I’ve earned a college degree, found myself embracing a profession I never could’ve imagined and – most of the time – have been able to pay the bills (at least some of them). Where will I be, where will America be, four years from now? I have absolutely no idea. But it’s my hope that – like the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy just weeks ago – this election will unite rather than divide, as we’ve wasted enough time, already.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian

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