My President Is… (I don’t care, do your job!)

I wrote a status in the early minutes of November 7th that I didn’t expect to get much play. In a sea of “My PrEzIdeNt iS bLackK” and “#gobama” status updates, mine was not nearly as charged – or as multi-level lettered. I woke up from my election night-induced sleep (nap), to a status with, well, lots of play. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get this kind of attention when I announced landing my new job, the passing of my thesis (Goose, this shout out is for you), or my college graduation.

Image via Facebook

37 ‘likes,’ 10 comments, some from people I talk to regularly (hi, Mom) and most from people I haven’t spoken to in a while. All of these commentators support different candidates, fall in a multitude of places on the political spectrum, and I know that some of these friends spent last night celebrating an American victory, while others logged on to Kayak and started planning their escape from a country sinking fast. But all of these people took a click out of their election night social media browsing to ‘like’ my hope, not for Obama, not for Romney, but for solutions to problems that so desperately need solving. Now, I’m not about to quit my day job and live on the love and ‘likes’ of Facebook friends after this one status, but this was an indicative moment for me. Something so simple as a generally-reviled political Facebook status shows that the American people – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Apathetics – all want to see real bipartisan action. They realize that the fiscal cliff is a big deal, even if they don’t know exactly what the fiscal cliff is, and they know that continued stubbornness on both sides is not helping anyone move any faster to fix it.

But I also laughed this morning at some of the people who chose to comment or ‘like’ this status, because I’m not sure they really understood that when I wrote “those we elect actually do their jobs” I was talking about incumbents. And I was including all incumbents – like President Obama. Just earned a couple ‘unlikes’ for that one, I’m sure. No one did their job when it came to a grand bargain to solve our nation’s budget problems, nor was much (or any) progress made on comprehensive immigration reform. These and other pressing and promised-to-be-solved issues have not been solved and that is the government’s main, over-simplified, purpose. Period. Whatever it takes. Government exists to serve, help, aid, and protect the people. We shouldn’t have to ask and even beg them to reach across the aisle – it’s in their (proverbial) job description. No one did their job: not the president, not Speaker Boehner, not Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, and definitely not Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s minority leader, who failed at his job and at his “top priority” of making Obama a one-term president. They were busy playing partisan, appealing to their bases, and trying to get re-elected from the second they settled into their offices. This election, in the words of Ron Reagan, is now “a mandate to govern.”

Nothing has changed. Barack Obama still sits in the Iron Throne, the Democrats still control the Senate, and the Republicans still maintain the House. The public is saying here’s your second term and your second chance. So use it. I beg you, both as someone who works in media and thus has to re-hash and over-analyze every failure and finger point when a deal fails to be reached, and as someone who is an informed American citizen that sees that this system of gridlock and partisanship is just not working. Please. If I’m willing to not skewer every politically charged Facebook post I see that I don’t agree with, then you guys need to reel in the egos and tuck away your pointer fingers and just try. Pretend to try! Just do something. President Obama told us Tuesday night: “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,” Mitt Romney mirrored that message of unity. So let’s do it. Let’s “remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth” and while we’re at it, why we call it the United States of America. Let’s go forward – and mean it.


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