It must also be noted, however, that Bush?s victory was hardly a mandate. The country remains polarized. These divisions run to the core of our society. Is it a mistake that CBS rushed to air a story falsely disparaging the president?s National Guard service? Is it a coincidence that The New York Times reported that tons of explosives were missing, when In fact they were not? Is it just a quirk that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and The Associated Press reported exit polling results that showed an initial surge for John Kerry, when in fact the oposite was true? Perhaps, but I am skeptical. At very least, there should be an investigation. Their were strong repercussions when reporters at the New York Times (Jason Blair), USA Today (Jack Kelly), The Washington Post (Janet Cook) and The New Republic(Steven Glass), were found to be disseminating false information. But for some reason, everyone got a free pass for broadcasting misleading information on the election. If nothing else, this suggests that these polarizing differences in our culture go to the very structure of our society?to the very instruments that provide us our information about the world we live in.
This divide is Balkanizing the country and deadlocking Congress. Too much important legislation falls by the wayside because House and Senate are so closely divided. With a Supreme Court battle looming, this will probably get worse rather than better. But it doesn?t have to be that way. Kerry?s concession speech showed the sort of generous, bipartisan spirit that is so desperately needed. Despite the fact that Edwards was encouraging him to utilize lawyers to fight in Ohio and prolong the election, Kerry refused to drag the country through another election debacle. In the end, he cared more about his country than political maneuvering. His concession speech was one of healing and unity.
Now it is time for President Bush to reciprocate. He needs to create a bi-partisan commission to work on tax and healthcare reform. Maybe we cannot heal all the old wounds. But we must at least attempt to make this country a stronger union.