The Post-Election Answer Is Blowing In Sandy's Wind

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bob Dylan was right.

The answer really is blowing in the wind.

With Tuesday bringing an end to the election-barring a Bush-Gore fiasco replay-the question is how we, the people, flush away the septic partisanship and move on to higher ground.

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Building a nation instead of throwing those stones in condemnation.

The answer has been blowing in the hurricane winds of Sandy all around us this week. Instead of enduring the fevered height of the campaign's final week, Hurricane Sandy turned blue states and red states into united states, into the United States, as a nation watched as one, joined in prayer, joined in caring about people we didn't know, joined in responsive action.

North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut?

States lines meant far less, suddenly. Political leanings meant nothing. Everyone was leaning against the same strong devastating wind.

Oddly, Hurricane Sandy symbolizes both the destructive nature of this election's corrosive partisanship and the way we recover from it.

The hurricane of partisanship has been howling across this land, from sea to shining sea, for more than a year, gathering force and pressure, fueled by accusations, outright lies and distortions to satisfy a lust for power until it threatened to huff and puff and blow our national house down.

Or blow it in half.

A left wing and a right wing, with no room for all of us to gather somewhere in between to support effective leadership in the West Wing.

As I type out these words, the race for president is too close to call. Nobody knows who is going to win, though America must, regardless of who occupies the White House, see its better angels rise above the partisan rubble.

In the aftermath of the election, we need to remember how we all felt last weekend, watching Hurricane Sandy approach our shores like an invading army, and roaring ashore.

Our shores.

And how we felt watching helplessly this week while others were slammed with a fate that barely missed us, hoping for their wellbeing and recovery.

There was no Us and Them mentality as Hurricane Sandy drew closer and closer.

No Republicans and Democrats as the flooding tides, waves and rivers rose over city streets.

We were all Us.

There was no Them.

We were all, together, the US.

We don't know who is going to win the election. Most of us know for whom we are going to vote. About half the country agrees and about half the country disagrees. But no matter who wins we all should hope and pray for that man's successful presidency, with both sides of the political aisle working together, bringing their best ideas forward in a spirit of political craftsmanship, not one-upmanship, and those ideas received with an open mind.

There will, of course, be points of difference and occasions when principled stands must be taken. But suicidal games of political chicken are something else.

When we try to sabotage the president of our own nation at every single turn, simply to boost the prospects of our own political party, we betray the future and damage the lives of everyone in the house that is America.

Left wings?

Right wings?

Each, on its own, would fly in a doomed descending circle, crash-landing with certain inevitability.

We need some left. We need some right. It's like paddling a canoe. The oars on both sides must work together to reach the destination.

We now await our own answer to this most vital question.

The wind is rising, but not with a hurricane's howling menace-unless we miss this chance.

Let's spread this pair of wings and join the wind in ascension across this land of promise.