The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

November 8, 2012

Time to mend, come together and move forward

— Barack Obama pleaded with voters to not turn back, to let his plan for our nation run its course. The American people responded, giving him four more years in the Oval Office to prove he has the answers to what’s ailing our nation.

Certainly, time will tell.

Regionally, state House and Senate incumbents were reaffirmed for new terms while Mark Critz’s defeat to Allegheny County’s Keith Rothfus assured that for the first time since 1935, a Cambria County resident won’t serve in the U.S. House.

Paying dividends for Rothfus were his many visits here, including a last-minute endorsement from Cambria County’s president commissioner, voter support he received in Somerset County, millions of dollars of ads paid for by outside sources, and perhaps his promise that, if elected, he would maintain an office in Johnstown.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Shuster, as expected, had no trouble keeping his 9th district seat.

While Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney wasn’t overwhelming, it still sends a message that we all must heed: It’s time to end election campaigning. It’s time to end the hate. And it’s time to end the divisiveness pulling us apart.

Our country arguably has reached or is near rock-bottom and once again needs to reach down, tighten its bootstraps and come together as one, much like it did after terrorists cut into our hearts on Sept. 11, 2001.

On Capitol Hill, the composition, party-wise, of Congress remains the same at least for the next two years, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House.

The split needs to end there. The cry from voters in both major parties was for a national debt over $16 trillion to start disappearing, unemployment numbers to shrink drastically and businesses to start growing – and for a national health care plan more acceptable for all to be put into place.

With figures still to be counted, we’re told an obnoxious amount somewhere around $2 billion was spent on the presidential election. Much of that was applied to negative campaign advertising.

Usually following a presidential election, we’re left with hope for better things to come. We’re left with a renewed spirit of optimism. But this time we’ve been left battered and bloodied.

There is much to mend.

In Barack Obama, we know what we have. Still change has to come in the relationship between the White House and Congress.

Across America, it’s time for all of us to rally our leadership to do a better job and to work together.

We agree with national columnist Kathleen Parker, who said, “If this election provided any mandate at all, it is that we set aside our special interests and work together before it’s too late.”

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