This is it, folks. Our next President has been chosen. If for some reason, you've completely locked yourself away from the world around you... I'll spoil the fun and let you know that our next President is... the same President. Last night, Barack Obama was re-elected as President.
I, like probably millions of Americans, sat in front of my TV watching and waiting. I listened to the commentary, and I tried to process all of the information being given about poll numbers and swing states and battlegrounds. But, in the end, I found myself only caring about the news caster was saying about the turmoil of our country.
You see, one thing I've realized about this election...and something I've really tried to explain to my students... is that things got really nasty. Too nasty. It was another dirty fight to the end. I couldn't agree more when the commentator said that half of the country will think that the country is now heading for disaster while the other half believes it's been saved from disaster. A gaping, gigantic rift has divided our country because of this election.
And I called it about the Facebook statuses. I saw the exact same scenario going on over there. There were statuses declaring that our country was now safe, while other people declared that we are now coming to the end.
The news caster then went on to something I had been thinking for a while. Why on earth one side can't work with the other side to fix the problems of this country is just beyond me.
That's what this country needs.
If a Democrat is going to be President, the Republicans are going to run the House, and the Democrats are going to run the senate...they have to work together. What's caused this country to dig it's self in to a shallow grave is the fact that both sides stand on opposite sides of the playing field. It's like a never ending football game where the defense from both sides are going to block anything that comes there way. No scoring will take place as long as they gridlock with each other.
As I sat with my kids yesterday afternoon, answering some wonderful questions, I was able to shine a light on both sides. I was able to show that Obama had some great plans for the country, and Romney had some great plans for the country. I sat completely in the middle - not swaying to one side or the other. When someone asked a question, I made sure I gave benefits from both sides of the coin. And they soon realized that it was much harder to pick someone than they thought. There were also a lot of misconceptions running rampart. My Hispanic kids told me that their families had to vote for Obama or they would all have to leave the country. Some of my kids told me that their families were voting for Romney, because Obama wasn't a Christian - and it's not right to have a President that wasn't a Christian.
Some of the blarney that escaped these innocent children's mouths were put there because of what they'd heard, what they'd been told...a solid divide down the middle.
Until one of my darlings said the thought that had been playing on my mind, and apparently been playing on the news caster's mind last night. Why can't both sides just work together and do all of the good things they promise?
Ah, if only it were that easy.
It warmed my heart just a little to watch the discussion going on in the Fox news room last night... and you probably won't ever see me making that statement again. There were Democrats and Republicans sitting together and having meaningful discussion. One side praised the other side for various things. One side made suggestions to the other side, and there wasn't a harsh word lashed back. There was agreement. WHAT THE WHAT? Agreement between a Democrat and a Republican? Oh yes. They discussed how sad of a situation our country is in with the "Me against You" scenario that has played out all over the place.
Change can only happen when all parties involved are on board. That's just how it is. One person can't step up to the plate with talk of change, if everyone standing between him and making that change is against it.
I pray with everything inside of me that one day, our country can move away from one side or the other and focus on how one side can work with the other. Just one day, I'd like to watch a debate where either Democrat or Republican stands in front of the country and says...
"I have lots of ideas and change I want to do for this country, but I know that I can't do it alone. My hope is that if I win this election, I will have the support of the other party and we can work together to bring the change that we all so desperately want and need. While I don't agree with everything my running mate wants to do, there are some valid points he/she makes - and I believe that our end goal is the same. We may have different ways we want to get there.. but I truly believe that if it's a joint effort from both parties - we can improve the lives of everyone. Rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, Christian, or non-Christian. If we can just set aside our personal differences, step in to the shoes of others that so desperately seek a different kind of change, and find a balance... our country will be on the fast track to being the country our citizens so desperately want."
I would vote for that person in a blink of an eye. Regardless of what political party he/she came from.
And, yes, I'm fully aware that what I speak is really a hopeless wish. I know that it's not as simple as singing Kumbaya around a fire pit and hashing out the differences. I know that the ideas and plans for one side are usually the opposite from the other. There's no way to really work together if one wants one thing and the other wants the complete opposite.
But, one thing is for sure. Barack Obama is our President again. Half the country isn't happy about that, half the country is rejoicing. It is what it is.
I just hope that I can move forward in to this month of thanks not seeing anymore hate or nastiness. Whatever side you're on, it's over now... time to move on... and let's all just try and get along. M'kay?