Resetting the clock

Another presidential election in the United States is now mostly in the books, save once again for Florida — where, for the past dozen years, election officials can’t get their act together. In the coming weeks and months, what happened and why will be dissected and put under all kinds of microscopes in attempts to find answers.

Truthfully, we can wait.

For the next week or so, we’re content to be happy that the election is over, thus giving the public a respite from the partisanship and political maneuvering that invaded daily life during the time leading up to this past Tuesday.

We’re just pleased that the drone of campaign advertising no longer floods the airwaves and clutters up mailboxes, and that life at home won’t be interrupted by “robo calls” or appeals for financial support coming from the political parties.

We’re ready to reset the clock for another four years. That is, after all, what takes place with our presidential campaigns and election.

We’d say it’s true, too, for Barack Obama, whom the nation just re-elected.

It’s not so much that the slate is wiped clean. Rather, President Obama now has four years to truly define his presidency, to be the leader he, and the many Americans who have believed in him, thought he would be.

We realize that for some opponents, this means the realization of their worst nightmare.

Mere hours after the election went Obama’s way, detractors were already expressing their fears — so often expressed — about the president’s “secret agenda” ... one steeped in tenants of socialism.

We don’t think that the way most Americans see it, however.

Regardless of how they may have voted, most citizens are willing to support the president in his desire to guide the nation and to see life here improve for all.

That’s because they want to see the promise of hope and change that ushered Obama into the White House in 2008 come to fruition.

“We can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests,” Obama said in his victory speech in Chicago. “We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states.

“We are and forever will be the United States of America.”

We believe that’s true, despite attempts by some to sow division.

The president knows the work ahead isn’t going to be easy, that he and the country will be tested. But there is hope.

“The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”

The clock has been reset and the work begins ... now.

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