With the election now behind us our nation is either poised to move forward or is stuck fast in the mess that has plagued us over the past four years. We can assume from the results of the presidential election that approximately 51 percent of the country believes we are on the road to recovery and bright days are ahead. The other 48 percent of those participating in the recent election believe the country is severely broken, lacks the leadership needed to correct the problems and believes very troubled days are ahead.
Obviously we are a nation where the majority rules, but we’ve become a nation of winners and when winning at all cost is the primary objective it tends to leave ill will in its wake. While no one wants to end up on the losing side of a hard fought battle, what I hear most disturbing from those on the losing side is a loss of faith in our nation’s principles more so than just a bitter defeat. When President Obama was elected in 2008, those who chose not to vote for him were at least optimistic that he would live up to the words of his campaign, bring the parties together, reduce the unemployment rate as well as the deficit and bring about a needed change in the way the country had been functioning over the previous administration.
Unfortunately, throughout this campaign President Obama took a different approach with his reelection using terms like “redistribution,” “revenge,” and drew lines around race, gender, sexual orientation, and age. Where most presidents spoke about motivational achievements and encouraging goals, President Obama spoke about entitlements, those who don’t share with others and discouraging small business job providers.
Clearly the last four years have seen a major shift in the attitude and expectations people have with regards to their lives and the position government seeks to have in those lives. We’re moving from a nation where John Kennedy challenged us… not to ask what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country to an Obama second term where we should be asking the country to step in and right the inequities through a leveling of the playing field.
Many nations have tried this approach and many nations have failed. When the able bodied population of this nation have been empowered and motivated to make things happen on their own we’ve seen growth in all forms. When the population becomes complacent and lacks the opportunity for great personal growth the bottom line motivation becomes hollow, and the risk is no longer worth the effort required.
We can not allow the latter sentiment to take hold.
When the risk takers, the motivated small entrepreneurs and young dreamers just starting out in life become disillusioned and lose faith that the realization of their dreams is no longer in their hands a fear sets in and takes hold. The fear that what made our country the great economic engine that drove the world is now slowing down is both frightening and disheartening. It’s seen as more than just a failed election it’s a stark realization that our way of life is about to change and there may be little anyone can do to alter what is about to take place.
The nation’s course now appears to be set. We can not afford four more years of stagnate government but we’ve essentially sent the same players back to Washington who have accomplished little over the past four years. We can not afford rising costs, increased unemployment, higher deficits and further grid lock. So we must have faith that our great nation will persevere and not allow a process of social reengineering to dampen the capitalistic spirit that has proven so successful over the years. Both must coexist and so it’s time for both sides to unite, address the issues facing the country without further gridlock, with a spirit of cooperation and resolve to maintain a national attitude where personal responsibility and self reliance are still valued over all else. Time will tell what the future holds but none of us can lose faith in a country that has given us so much and yet much more is still expected for the generations that follow.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.