Bipartisanship, compromise needed when looking to the future


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In the approximately nine months since the presidential caucuses, Iowans have had their lives bombarded with political advertisements and towns filled by campaigners.

Barack Obama was re-elected as the president of the United States on Tuesday, and whether you voted for him or not, he will be inaugurated this January and continue to serve our country.

Now, the real change will come. Instead of using petty politics to polarize all people, our leaders will be forced to turn their attention to the solutions rather than their re-election campaigns, and responsible citizens must rally for compromise.

Despite the obvious polarizing nature of the political season, we all should remember the awesome process our democratic system allows every voter to partake in. Every four years, the electorate of the United States is given the chance to overthrow a regime and to make a radical change in the direction of our country; what machine guns and machetes do in some parts of the world, we do with pens and ballots.    

The country has come a long way since the Iowa caucuses in January. Iowa was the catalyst for the Republican primaries, putting both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as front-runners, and Americans watched as slowly but surely the race narrowed down to Romney against Obama.

The country was quickly divided and seriously polarized.

Public opinion was so heated that pundits began calling the debates “warfare,” specifically with regards to “the war on women” and “class warfare.”

In fact, those two issues, women’s health, abortion rights, birth control, and equality in the work place, have seriously influenced the presidential discussion.

But more important than any other issue is the economy, and with a win for President Obama, it is clear that the want for greater equality outweighs the more radical cuts proposed by Mitt Romney.

The decision has been made, but now platitudes and promises must be set aside, grudges and partisan gridlock must be frowned upon, and compromise must be sought. On either side of the aisle, lawmakers should be actively pushed to take off their partisan blinders and compromise on difficult issues.  

People will need to pay even closer attention, because it’s not likely that every lawmaker is going to release an advertisement asking our opinions on matters of the federal budget and tax policy, but it’s still important that we are involved.

However, being politically involved or active does not mean, as it seemed to mean during the campaign, that people must pick a side and stand by it no matter what.

Political engagement means that we will not waste time bickering about who won the election, fighting over those things that split this nation in two during the campaigns, but will set aside the heated differences and encourage compromise.

America is still in an economic slump, the education system needs reform, many are without affordable health care, and infrastructure needs renovation.

The end of the campaign does not also signify the end of active citizenship. Work needs to be done now, and because politicians no longer have to worry about campaigning, they can get to work and so can the rest of us.

Whether your candidate won or not, all can breathe a sigh of relief that the election is over, and now attention can be focused on actually finding solutions, not just making inflammatory statements about them.

The best we can hope for is that the representatives we elected are the best and the brightest with the true intention of improving America, which is something we can all get behind.

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