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Now we must come together

With the election of the first black president in the history of the United States of America, our country now embarks on an exciting period of its history. But this period will also be trying.

President-elect Barack Obama inherits a country in the middle of two wars, with a struggling economy, with a mess of a health care system, with an uncertain future for Social Security and without enough people willing to cross party lines in order to fix the problems. Obama promises to reach across the aisle, listen to those with differing views and enlist their help, but we all know talk is cheap.

Our only course of action, though, is to believe in and support our government. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with every decision made by Obama and the increasingly Democratic Congress, but our country needs us all to put aside petty partisan differences and unsubstantiated questions about others’ patriotism and faith.

Though Chilton County residents leaned heavily in favor of Obama’s opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, we had no trouble voting across party lines in other races. Democrat Rex Cleckler barely defeated Incumbent Republican Tom Powers for the tax assessor’s office, and the county commission will comprise three Democrats (Bobby Agee, Heedy Hayes and “Red” Turnipseed), three Republicans (Allen Caton, Joe Headley and Greg Moore) and one independent (Tim Mims).

Voters also decided to combine the offices of tax collector and tax assessor in our county and, unfortunately, to not allow our county’s rural fire departments to redistribute tax money, a measure that was supported by the very people (and the only people) it would have affected directly.

But no results of Tuesday’s election can be changed. We all must accept the decisions and work to build up our country, our state and our county instead of tearing them down.