- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The post-election mantra is that we must come together as Americans. Although I did not vote for President-elect Barack Obama, I would never defame our president verbally, at home or abroad. How wonderful if these same sentiments would have been honored by those now espousing this Kumbaya moment in our nation’s history.

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have endured two terms of relentless vile-spewing verbiage by the left wing of the Democratic Party. Both have been portrayed as warmongers at home and on the world stage. The outrage here is the small or nonexistent voice of the media to stop such degradations. This silenced voice created a never-before-seen level of acceptable hatred of the president.

The election is over, and we need to come together. Times are difficult, and we need all the tenacity Americans can muster to face the staggering challenges ahead.

Had we united during the Bush administration, possibly we would not be confronted with an out-of-control economy. Partisanship reigned, and Americans lost. The call for unity was left unanswered. Apparently, though, the rules have changed; the messiah has come. Mr. Obama will lead us home.

THERESA E. PETERS

Washington

Frankly, I am tired of hearing from commentators that conservatives have to sit back and be gracious - code word for “passive” - after this election. Conservatism is a set of core ideological principles that frame how its adherents run their personal lives and how they determine what should be the goals of our government.

Losing an election should not mean abandoning our principles or causes. “Cooperation” does not mean we should sit back and let a presidential administration move this country in a poor direction without a fight. If anything, losing this election should serve as a rallying call to all who value matters such as protection of the unborn, free trade, a strong military, smaller government, lower taxes and regulation, free enterprise and freedom from the nanny state.

While I may hope for the best in regard to the president-elect. I will not be silent in my opposition. We conservatives need to take up the challenge, fight his plans and stir people to our side. Silence is defeat. Meaningful debate is at the core of healthy politics. America can’t afford for us to give up.

ANNA SOMERS

Vienna

We are fortunate to live in a democracy where we have a right to our choice and everyone is responsible for his own vote. I have many friends with different views from my own. Some are liberal. Others are conservative. I have friends in the Christian right and some with libertarian views, and we have great discussions. They make me see things in a different light. It would be a boring world if we all agreed on everything.

I respect the person, whether or not I accept his or her values or agree with his or her views. I have great difficulty understanding people who vote based on personality rather than issues, but I still must respect them. I am a big believer in critical thinking, and it amazes me how many otherwise intelligent people fail to analyze the issues, especially those that might challenge their own deeply rooted beliefs. Some of those folks are still my friends, even though we disagree.

Both candidates made statements that were distorted by their supporters, the Internet and the media. Each side accused the other of half-truths and fact distortions. Now it is time to move beyond the contrary evidence and discredited claims that plague our political campaigns.

It is time to take heart that, in these United States of America, democracy lives on. We can be thankful that there are no “pro-Americans” or “anti-Americans.” We are all Americans. Whether we are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we all love this great country.

Our president-elect has renewed our optimism, energy and vision, but we cannot expect one man to go in and, in just a few weeks or months, clean up a mess that has been years in the making. We must all come together and move forward as one people to renew this nation’s promise. We need to help one another to face the many challenges ahead.

YVONA FAST

Lake Clear, N.Y.

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