Obama Win: Not a Mandate

Tuesday night’s election results are a wake-up call to both major parties. People are tired of the same old politics. They were especially tired this election with both candidates.

Only 54 percent of the American people were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the candidates-the lowest since 1992. That’s why President Obama endured with a 2 percent edge over Governor Mitt Romney with the popular vote. To all my liberal friends out there, Obama gets no mandate. But people don’t get understand. This was pretty evident when I saw crowds here at Knox College cheering like it was Flunk Day. Well guys, 2012 is not 2008. Obama won by landslide with the electoral vote but almost tied Romney with the popular vote. That means that almost half of this country still doesn’t agree with the Obama’s policies. That’s why Obama needs to sit down and compromise with Republicans just like Republicans need to talk to the president.

The important issues need to be addressed– the deficit, jobs, energy independence, immigration, middle east, education-you name it. People didn’t elect Obama to ram his policies down our throats. They elected him by a slim margin to moderate his policies.

That means in order to balance the budget and close the deficit there must be some liberal and conservative ideas. Simpson-Bowles got it right when it proposed to cut spending and increase taxes. I would love to embrace a much more conservative plan that only cuts spending, since I oppose increasing taxes especially when there is a stagnant 2 percent economic growth. The Dow Jones dropped 312.95 points Wednesday, to its lowest since three months. Our economic situation is not healthy.

But this is not about conservative ideas beating liberal ideas or vice versa. This is about putting our national interests first. If increasing taxes will get Democrats to sit down and agree to budget cuts, then so be it. Our government needs to cut its expenditures or else they will have a problem funding our essential social services such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. All federal dollars will go to these federal programs by 2026 if nothing is done.

The job crisis is just as important as well. Mitt Romney didn’t lie about our economic situation. There are 23 million Americans who are not satisfied with today’s situation. They are either underemployed, unemployed, working part-time jobs, or simply defeated and stopped looking for a job. Their needs to be a long term proposal that would grant businesses incentives to hire, not impose more government regulations.

The bad example would be to follow Speaker of the House John Boehner’s and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s footsteps. They believe that moving to a more conservative position will fix things. The thing is that they don’t have control of the Senate and, in fact, they don’t have it because they embraced embarrassing candidates that spoke more about rape than people’s financial problems. Todd Akin and Richard Murdock were two undisciplined candidates that made many on the right scratch their heads.

Both parties need to compromise; that’s the political reality. Our country depends on it.

I voted for Romney/Ryan because I thought that they would be a much more bi-partisan administration. Governor Romney did work with an 87 percent Democratic legislature. I admire the fact that politicians can get things done by working with people from the opposite party. That’s how our system was created.

We don’t have a parliamentary system where one party gets elected to deliver their party platforms. Our founders didn’t believe in creating political parties and allowing them to govern. As James Madison wrote in The Federalist, human passions “divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.”  Political parties force statesmen to serve their own interests rather than the country’s.

Obama, Boehner, and McConnell have to go back to basics. They need to serve the common good.

Alex Uzarowicz | Knox College | @AUzarowicz

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