The election battles are over. Now Americans will see whether our elected leaders can bridge the divisiveness and partisanship to solve our nation's problems.
We hope so because our nation faces many challenges from a sluggish economy and rising debt to fighting the threat from terrorists and moving closer to energy independence.
Tuesday's election confirmed that despite the name of our country, Americans are deeply divided when it comes to many issues. That's not new. At many times in our history, Americans have been at polar opposites on key issues.
But even with all of the baggage of the Civil War, Americans found a way to come together and build the greatest republic on Earth, a beacon to the world.
Today, our nation faces a political environment that might be even more challenging to find compromise than existed after the War Between the States.
The great advances in communications and technology which have benefited society also have given extremists on both sides of any issue a tremendous platform to spread their message and bring immense pressure on politicians to toe the organization's line.
Somehow, we must temper the pressure of the extremes to ensure our nation's leaders can find a middle ground on key issues. But that won't happen unless both sides cooperate.
True compromise means both sides giving ground so that what is gained by both far exceeds what each is losing. That's the type of attitude we need in Washington.
The upcoming lame-duck session of Congress will give an indication as to whether those in power want to be statesmen finding compromise to move the nation ahead or bickering politicians who leave the nation stuck in a morass.
While the electorate seems to be divided on almost every issue, we need our leaders in Washington to remind us that we share a goal to build a better America for ourselves and our children.
Our forefathers were able to come together after fighting with guns and cannons 150 years ago to build a better nation.
Today, we need that same leadership. And we hope that the president and Congress can deliver.