The election is over. Politicians need to forget differences and engage in serious cooperation to solve pressing national problems. The 332 electoral votes received by Democrats versus 206 for Republicans are quite conclusive; however, the popular vote, 60 million for Democrats versus 58 million for Republicans, puts things into perspective. This is an almost even split. Therefore, the needs and concerns of 58 million voters can't be overlooked.
To avert the “fiscal cliff,” time is of the essence. Democrats should compromise on the size of the tax increase for the rich, offering Republicans a less painful option. Republicans should provide their proposal to revamp the economy instead of waiting to see the Democrats'. Direct comparison of both proposals should identify points of agreement and stimulate responsible discussion on points of contention.
The health care crisis is complex because it impacts medical, economic and religious issues. Unless everybody has health coverage, indigents will continue to use emergency rooms and their unpaid bills will escalate emergency room rates, eventually affecting insurance premiums. Obamacare can't be repealed but needs fixing. Romney was able to pass, with bipartisan support, a successful health plan in Massachusetts. His input is essential.
The U.S. Health and Human Services mandate that attempts to force church-affiliated institutions and faith-based enterprises to provide contraceptives and potentially abortive drugs in their health insurance plans should allow meaningful exceptions. Nobody can be coerced to act against their beliefs; this constitutes a violation of religious liberty protected by the First Amendment.
Raoul Carubelli, Oklahoma City
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