A chance for all Americans

As exciting and politically monumental a time as this is in our country, we should enjoy a brief celebration before we all roll up our sleeves and get on with the work of reinventing and restoring our American economy and our standing in the world community. Because this is something that President-elect Barack Obama cannot do by himself. Service and sacrifice is now required by all Americans âÄî especially those who have the most among us. Americans must forgo the bickering of the partisan divide. But acting as one America will not be any easy task because the modern political landscape has been polarized from organization around narrow interests. We can no longer afford to be two Americas divided by racial, ethnic, monetary, political, social or ideological fault lines. Good examples of this also come from Dr. Martin Luther KingâÄôs message and the Civil Rights movement. The key is in knowing what to positively take from that era and also knowing what we want to leave behind. It is true that ObamaâÄôs ascension to the highest office in the land and becoming leader of the free world is awe-inspiring. It has the potential to help dispel many of the negative feelings built up against America both from within and without. But in order to become a complete success, Obama is going to have to preside from the center while persuading the entire country to go along with him. Daunting challenges abound: the difficult economy, ushering in AmericaâÄôs oil independence, the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the home foreclosure crisis, a faltering education system, Medicare, Social Security, and threats from Iran and a resurging Russia. But with daunting challenges comes tremendous opportunities. Will we meet these issues with strength and resolve as a united nation? Or will we let that which separates the nation ultimately divide and conquer? I am praying for the former. Please send comments to [email protected]