On Nov. 4, 2008, the United States elected its first African -American president, Barack Obama.
Tuesday, after a tight race against Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, Obama was reelected to a second term as commander in chief.
We congratulate president Obama (as well as first lady, Michelle Obama) on his second term and wish him luck in this economically ambiguous time.
Obama’s emphasis on jobs in the working and middle classes and stronger health care reforms are important achievements to work toward in this time of growth and change after a devastating recession.
This has been an extremely close race, and both candidates put in the work to warrant congratulations on both sides. Battleground states like Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Ohio made this race an exciting and suspenseful one to watch as the night wore on.
What we will remember from this election is that it was the most expensive campaign in American history, reaching over $1.6 billion. As usual, every new turn in the election increased the money in ads, tours and bigger campaigns.
We will remember the eventful debates and the frantic fact checking that went with them. We will remember the serious rifts created between friends, families, peers and co-workers on Facebook with politically aggressive posts.
But it also goes without saying that we will remember that America’s first African-American president was elected by popular vote as well as in the Electoral College for eight years.
The question remains, however, of whether civility will reign in our political atmosphere regardless of which candidate individuals voted for.
In a country where families have been separated due to aggressive views posted on Facebook, friends and coworkers have ended relationships because of opposing endorsements of presidential candidates. It is becoming more apparent that it is harder and harder for political campaigns to be run with respect and decorum on both sides and without sensationalism in the media.
Now that this election is over, one can only wonder whether these rifts in society will mend quietly as if they never happened, or continue and build into the resentment and bitterness that only brings the country down as a whole.
We live in a country where we get to determine a large part of our history in a conscious decision to vote.
Now that we have made that decision, we must stand by it in solidarity.
Let’s try to get past the gridlock that our government has been experiencing over the past few years and support the president that we elected.
Whether you voted for Obama or Romney, this is a call for respect and civility in debates and political decision-making. The election is over, and we must live with these decisions (for the next four years, at least).
It’s time to stop bickering and casting blame for arbitrary details that ultimately don’t matter. It’s time to start the next four years with enthusiasm and a passionate drive to make things better for our country.
In short, let’s try to get something done.