Mountain of work ahead

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, November 7, 2012

As of this writing, the outcome of Tuesday’s election is still unknown.

What is known, however, is that whoever resides in the White House for the next four years will have a mountain of work when he takes office on Jan. 20.

The issues waiting for the new commander-in-chief, or the reelected commander-in chief, are serious and well documented. An exploding national debt, entitlement programs in dire need of reform, a real and meaningful solution to our country’s health care crisis and a military that is stretched dangerously thin and now being asked to do more with even less. All these and many other challenges await.

Perhaps no other problem, though, is more pressing than this; the toxic, dysfunctional, juvenile, nonproductive, vindictive and utterly embarrassing climate among our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., that stands in the way of any meaningful progress through the building of consensus.

If the next President is not fully prepared on day one to tackle this problem with every ounce of his energy and every fiber of his being, the next 1,460 days are unlikely to yield much in the way of positive results. He must build a positive working relationship with Capitol Hill. Anything less, and the next presidential term will be a catastrophic waste of time.

Regardless of who inherited this or created that, the issues of the day require our leaders’ full, serious attention. The days of drawing a political line in the sand by politicians and their constituents and refusing to cross it for fear of alienating the fringe elements of our political system have brought this nation to the brink of disaster.

It will take real grownups to pull us back from the edge. It will be up to the President to set the right tone. They’ve all talked the talk, but it’s been quite some time since we had a President that walked the walk. We badly need one now.