Nothing unites our nation like shared purpose. For clear proof, look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, where the best parts of who we are have come out in full force. Across the Northeast, complete strangers are proving America’s strength is in its unique combination of individual determination and willingness to work together.
But with just a few days left in what seems like an eternal election cycle, why has neither presidential candidate been able to ignite the kind of unity provided by one freak storm?
The whole point of campaigning is supposed to to bring people together. It should be a time where we argue and debate the direction of our country, but do so in a way that leaves us ready to work together when it comes time to implement our decisions. Instead, the nearly $6 billion dollars spent on this campaign season seems to have left us more divided than we’ve ever been.
Despite endless debates, conventions, ads and speeches, neither President Obama nor Governor Romney have given Americans much of a reason to team up. If you believe half of what these guys say, anyone who doesn’t vote like you is trying to destroy all that is good in the universe.
With little real dialogue, candidates, pundits and political junkies spend most of their time laughing at meaningless distractions — like some drunkard pretending his problems don’t exist. There’s no avoiding, however, that we are a country with real challenges ahead and the long night of drinking is just about over.
Unfortunately, we are also about to wake up with a pounding headache. With mountains of personal and national debt, crippling unemployment, an environmental crisis, and a world fraught with uncertainty, we can either come together to fix our problems as one nation, or wait to be pummeled into submission by a storm of future turmoil.
It could be worse, I guess. Maybe a bit more of a beat down is actually what we need. After all, what drives the shared purpose of those living in the aftermath of a natural disaster is a humility that only comes with having lost it all.