As the smoke clears from the electoral massacre that left Democrats reeling and Republicans exulting, neither party should lose sight of the fact that job creation remains the most significant bipartisan challenge facing the nation’s leaders.
Maybe President Obama and lawmakers from both parties should each carry around a piece of paper in their pockets with the relevant numbers and study it as often as possible: The national unemployment rate stands at 9.6 percent (12.4 percent in Florida), and considerably higher when under-employment is considered.
Exit polls both nationwide and in Florida confirm that voters believe “spending to create jobs” should be the government’s overriding concern.
If there is a message in the election results, that’s it — the American workforce desperately needs new jobs. Voters will continue to take out their anger and frustration on both parties until they see effective action.
Neither party can do this job alone, nor can either one dictate the country’s direction. Despite hearing leading Democrats and Republicans pay lip service to the idea of working together, a deep rift remains between the parties that will make it hard to reach agreement on anything significant.
This will remain the case as long as Republicans think the results represent a “mandate” to erase the accomplishments of the last two years and Democrats persist in the mistaken belief that the electorate is confused and just doesn’t get it.
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