Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Nobody likes to lose. But defeats can prove advantageous if used as a learning tool. Newt Gingrich lost his first two congressional campaigns, but won his third. Twenty years after his first defeat, he changed the nation with the Contract With America.

Those who may be disheartened and dismayed over Tuesday's election results might want to consider this: Our nation is strong and resilient, and the results must be used as an opportunity to learn rather than an opportunity to lay blame.

President Obama won. A sitting president always has an advantage, but with a listing economy, high unemployment and Obama's debilitating debate performance, Republican nominee Mitt Romany looked as if he had a real chance -- and he did.

Two short campaign takeaways:

Liberals' feelings beat conservative facts.

Obama's emotional appeal that he cares about people trumps conservative facts. Obama says he cares, and people believe.

Republicans can talk about the 23 million people who are underemployed or unemployed, about the 60 percent rise in debt since Obama took office, about the regulations that are strangling business, but if voters do not believe they are cared about, they can't listen.

Takeaway: If people don't believe you care about them, they can't listen to you and process facts. To test, try this with people you love: Tell them you don't care about them, and then try to have a facts-based conversation. They will focus not on the facts but on why you don't love them.

Republicans are terrible communicators. They busily compile facts but forget to reach out to women and minorities. Then they wonder why those groups won't listen to or accept their facts.

Republicans should include women and minorities in their policy discussions and then ask them how best to communicate to their communities that they do care. Only after that would it help to point out how Republican policies would benefit those groups.

Takeaway: Inclusion is the solution.

Where are we after the elections?

Obama managed to grind out a re-election victory.

The House of Representatives has remained in solid Republican control and will be led by Speaker John Boehner.

The Democrats have retained the Senate and will be led by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Our national government remains split between Republicans and Democrats. This means that, to make progress, the two parties must work with one another.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.