Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Four More Years…Together

I realize this should be an emotional post but the truth is I’m exhausted: not burnt out, but simply running on empty. Given the prices of gas, that might not be a bad thing.

President Obama won. The Democratic agenda won.

But the reality is that we carried it with a little more than half the vote. 

America is slowly digging itself out of a deep hole. It is a hole that has taken its toll on 99% of us, many of whom did not vote for the President. The reality is that we must continue to dig ourselves out as one nation. There is not much of a margin of error, and we need to do it together. 

Many of the more extreme candidates lost and I believe this is important. We need a government that will work with the President and not against him. To do this, we need the support of those rational and patriotic Republicans, who did not vote for Barack Obama.

As such, it is not the time to be too self-congratulatory. It is not right to run the victory lap when there is still high unemployment, soldiers abroad, veterans suffering, rising homelessness, and an over-burdened education system.

It is time to reach out to our neighbors and harness the energy and commitment by activists of both sides, so that we can move this country forward together. Four more years yes…but together.

——————————————————————————————————

Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. His next novel, Unwanted Heroes, is due out in early 2013. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

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