And now, we all can rest.
We can turn our televisions on again, collect our mail and answer our telephone.
Election Day has come and gone.
No more hate-laden, mudslinging campaign ads. No more slick mailers that push truthfulness to the brink. No more robocalls attempting to stir up fear and loathing.
Yet, we wake up to haze on the battlefield. We can barely see a few feet in front of us. While we know who will occupy the White House - President-elect Barack Obama - we're still dazed and confused about what specifically will be done with taxes, the war in Iraq, energy policy, and what should be done to get our economy back on track.
As in past campaigns, editorial pages have pleaded for forthright policy discussions with illuminating details. As in past presidential elections, those pleadings were ignored, with the man who for much of the race led in the polls obfuscating, and the challenger launching one character attack after another. But the war games, at last, are over.
The nation still faces a recession that is going to put too many hard-working people out of work. Our energy future is still in the hands of foreign cartels. Future generations of Americans still face crushing debt. And there are still American armies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yes, we voters can finally rest from the nonsense. But there will be no more hiding in the haze of campaign rhetoric for the politicians, from Washington, D.C., to Scottsdale's D.C. Ranch. On the federal, state and local levels, elected officials must understand the need for leadership on the important and complex issues before us. And with the White House and Congress all being led by Democrats, it will be important for Republicans not to shrink from the fray. As conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic wrote Wednesday: "We need a healthy right to oppose Obama when necessary, and keep him honest, and challenge him intellectually. It would be good for him; and good for us."
This country is in trouble, and there will be hell to pay in the next election if the politicians don't stop just talking and fail to do something about it.