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When election over, time for all to seek common ground

Believe it or not, regardless of who wins Tuesday, the worldwill not end.

Right-leaning political observers have been forecastingsocialistic doom and gloom should Democratic contender Barack Obamabe elected to the White House. In contrast, those on the Leftproclaim continued calamities on the economic front should JohnMcCain be chosen to succeed fellow Republican George Bush aspresident.

Neither predicted scenario is likely.

In reality, the U.S. is not alone in feeling the effects of aworldwide economic downturn. And it is highly unlikely that one manalone can further harm or turn around world fortunes.

Similarly, fears of a societal upheaval under a Democraticpresident are unfounded. Much will depend on the size of thesame-party majority in the U.S. Senate and House ofRepresentatives, and even then four years is relatively brief interms of trying to effect a major society shakeup.

While the world will not end, ideally what does need to end isthe rancor, bitterness and anxiety to which this year’s electionprocess has contributed.

Political passions, many engendered by Obama’s historic run,have been running high. Quite honestly, their intensity isunsustainable.

After the votes are counted and the hoopla – either over thecountry’s first black president or its first female vice president- has died down, it will be time to get back to restoring theUnited States’ reputation as the greatest country in the world.

To do that will require us to understand that we are allAmericans first. Whether we are male or female, white or black,rich or poor, we need to remember that we all have a stake in thefate of our country.

This is not an endorsement of McCain, who has chanted the”Country First” mantra during his campaign. Indeed, in some oftheir criticism of Obama, McCain supporters have played on the samelevel as Democrats have done during their distasteful denunciationsof President Bush.

Political, philosophical and personal differences among peopleforever will be a part of society. What does not have to be part ofthe equation, though, is the “winner-take-all” mentality andvitriol that have been displayed by parties on both sides of thepolitical fence.

Common ground is the firmest foundation upon which to stand.After Tuesday, all Americans will do well to seek that footing thathas been lost during the pursuit of political power.