EDITORIAL: Celebrate Obama victory but don't stop criticism
Our View: Obama victory does not mean an end to the hard work of pushing for changes — for either party.
After struggling through a close race and a vicious election cycle, President Barack Obama has officially been re-elected for a second term in office. Though it may take days or weeks for all precincts to be completely counted, it looks like Obama has won by a narrow margin in the Electoral College and an even narrower margin in the popular vote.
For those who voted for him:
This is a time of celebration, and rightfully so. Your hard work cut through the fog of one of the most divided and dirty campaigns in recent history to give Obama four more years to work on his promised reforms and continue the slow but steady economic recovery.
But don’t let this well-earned swell of joy blind you to the important work of the next four years.
Obama’s supporters have just as much of a responsibility to critique the president’s policies and pressure him for stronger action as his opponents do. And even before the first day of his next term, there are some serious and important critiques to be levied.
Supporters cannot allow the excitement of winning obscure Obama’s continual abysmal civil liberties record.
There is not even time to catch your breath from the campaign before it becomes necessary to stand up and demand an end to the violations of Americans’ liberties and to decry the illegal drone war against citizens in countries the U.S. is not at war with.
His supporters also are tasked with insisting the president work more closely with Congress and seek compromises to achieve solutions.
Yes, much of the blame also falls on the stubbornness of legislators, but this is a new day and a new term.
Let’s start with a clean slate and a willingness to come together to do what’s best for the future of this nation — not what’s best for either party.
For those who voted for another candidate:
It’s not good news. Losing a race this competitive and divisive is disappointing, exhausting and even scary. It may feel like the end.
But it’s not.
Yes, we supported Obama’s bid for a second term. But that doesn’t mean we don’t value your opinions and concerns. And we don’t want to continue the divisive war of this campaign.
After all, this is still one nation with one president who represents the needs of all citizens — red, blue and everyone else.
The U.S. needs your voices, your experiences and your ideas just as much as it needs those of Obama’s supporters. It is only through the debate that we find the best answers.
Only when we have a diversity of views and willingness to compromise will we find solutions.
So don’t give up or give in to resentment. It’s time for Obama’s supporters and opponents alike to come back to the table ready to do the hard work to solve the nation’s problems.