The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

November 13, 2012

It’s time to hang together or hang separately

ENID, Okla. — Late last week, a group of foreign tourists, most of them Americans, were riding a bright red and yellow contraption resembling a train, traveling not on rails, but through the streets of Belize City, capital of the Central American nation.

The tour traversed the gamut of life in the city of some 80,000 souls, from million-dollar ocean front mansions to shanty towns where laundry hung outside nearly every modest home.

Sitting in the shade alongside a quiet downtown street were a group of men — workers taking a break, or simple idlers (which is more likely, given the country’s 14 percent unemployment rate).

As the tourist train neared, the men began to chant, “Obama, Obama, Obama.”

In the back of a bus bouncing along a narrow road on the Honduran bay island of Roatan, a German tourist asked the Americans sitting next to her, “How do you feel about Obama? We like him.”

When asked in turn about her nation’s leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, the woman was not as enthusiastic.

“On some things we like her, on some things we don’t.”

That pretty much sums up the feelings of many about our newly re-elected president.

And yet a solid majority of Americans went to the polls last week and cast their ballot for Mr. Obama, which flew in the face of the tea-leaf readers and soothsayers who engage in public opinion polling these days. Most of them foresaw a tight race, one that could easily tip either red or blue, and one that might not be decided until December.

Instead, it was over long before the late night talk show hosts took the stage.

In the end, challenger Mitt Romney drew nearly two million fewer votes than the 2008 GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain, though Obama’s electoral college margin (332-206) was smaller than four years ago (365-173).

The Republicans, it seems, underestimated the voting power of minorities, the poor, city dwellers, the young and women, and overestimated the strength of the rich, country folk, seniors and regular church-goers.

So where does that leave us, as we march briskly into the next four years? Divided and dysfunctional, it seems, just where we were before election day.

We continue to face a burgeoning deficit, a struggling economy, increasing instability in the Middle East and a host of other challenges. And we do so with a Democratic president and Senate and a Republican House, not to mention the Tea Party, which has managed to divide the GOP.

Meanwhile, we are marching briskly toward the fiscal cliff, a daunting combination of tax increases and spending cuts that figures to plunge the nation back into recession — unless the president and the Congress can find a way to compromise between now and the end of the year.

Compromise is a word not often heard inside the beltway these days, so the battle to keep the double whammy from hitting our economy in the solar plexus will not be bloodless.

Speaking of polls, as if there weren’t enough of them taken before the election, Zogby Analytics conducted a post-election survey of 1,016 voters.

The survey says the American people are ready for a little good old-fashioned horse trading inside the beltway, not the horse you-know-what that has been the rule of late.

Respondents were asked: “Now that President Obama has been re-elected, what do you feel is the best approach for Congress to take?”

Sixty-one percent said that Congress should “Work closely with the president, make appropriate adjustments, seek as much compromise as possible and only prevent legislation in rare instances.”

The Zogby folks did not ask a similar question about the president, but the answer would be the same — it’s time to work together, not continue at cross-purposes.

The stakes are too high to continue the rancorous gridlock that has predominated in Washington of late. The election is past, and the next congressional vote is two years hence, so it is time to put campaign rhetoric aside and begin working for the good of the country, not the party.

Easier said than done, of course, but a worthy goal nonetheless.

And it will be four years before we choose another president, but that hasn’t kept one publication, the Buffalo News, from endorsing a candidate who hasn’t even declared her candidacy, Hillary Clinton.

And so it begins. God help us.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at jmullin@enidnews.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff’s office, emergency management get new home

    The sheriff’s office and emergency management office will move in October or November to the former Grady Robbins Army Reserve Center on Oxford. The building has been unused since 2011 when the Armed Forces Reserve Center opened at Vance Air Force Base.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Airline passengers should not be casualties of war

    Nowhere in the flight attendants’ patter did the word “missile” appear, and the chance their gleaming Boeing 777 would be brutally slapped from the sky likely never even appeared even as a niggling doubt lurking in the darkest corners of the passengers’ minds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads