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Americans must work together

Interwoven themes from the concession speech of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the acceptance speech of a now re-elected President Barack Obama capture the need for all Americans to put down their divisive politicking and come together to tackle important issues.

The advent of social media in everyday conversations has brought this divisiveness to the forefront between family members, friends and Internet acquaintances.

In his speech early Wednesday morning, Obama suggested the way forward: “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest … we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.”

In a couple of months, the U.S. faces a fiscal cliff situation where a series of tax cuts passed under Obama and former President George W. Bush will end and automatic spending cuts will take effect, potentially putting the country in a fiscally challenging position with its credit rating.

With the economy still struggling to find its footing, such measures could suspend its forward movement, sending businesses and investors back into regression, thus pushing the nation closer to another recession.

It will be important for both Congress and Obama to reach across the Democrat vs. Republican aisles to find solutions that serve everyone — something Romney strongly suggested in his concession speech: “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work, and we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”

The just-concluded presidential race also highlights the need for finding answers to other key issues ranging from immigration to health care reform to foreign policies.

In these precarious times, divisiveness could prove particularly destructive.

We commend Romney for a hard-fought campaign and for bringing many good suggestions for improving the economy. We hope Obama and others in government took note.

But we also know the time is nigh to come together in support of President Obama as he plans for the next four years — years that will play a critical role in the future of our country and our collective lives.