There is great hope that Tuesday’s election will lead to demonstrable improvements in the country.

Now that the campaign is over, the president and federal legislators must focus immediately on urgent issues. There is no time for a lame duck session.

Dysfunction has gripped the nation’s capital for many years. The executive and legislative branches of the government must work together to resolve serious problems.

A major priority for public officials will be finally getting on top of this health care crisis. Parts of the country are experiencing another wave of COVID-19 infections, which will exacerbate the problems that medical personnel have been confronting for much of this year.

As of yet, we have no national programs for testing or contact tracing. The White House and Capitol Hill must use whatever resources they can to get the nation on track for these vital steps.

The president also should do more to encourage people to follow safety protocols. Obviously, there’s no way to persuade every individual to adhere to the same practices.

But the president can use the bully pulpit to advocate for a reasonable approach to remaining healthy. It’s far too chaotic to have some regions of the country with infection rates skyrocketing while others have the problem more under control.

Interstate travel has been plagued as a result. It’s important that we get as many Americans on the same page as possible when it comes to following scientifically sound measures to avoiding infection.

The failure of members of Congress to reach a deal among themselves about a second economic stimulus package is disappointing. Many people and businesses continue to be hurt by the financial strain they’re feeling due to the pandemic. Failing to make an agreement until Jan. 20 could be catastrophic.

Those in need of relief from Washington need it right away. Put politics to the side and reach a consensus on a practical bill. Conditions in the country will only continue to deteriorate if our elected leaders persist in doing nothing since it became clear there is no end to the pandemic in site.

The incoming administration also should respond to two tense situations: the concerns over how racial and ethnic minorities are treated by police officers and the growing rift between people of differing political ideologies. Both have generated civil unrest, and either could result in even more violence than we’ve already experienced.

Every municipality needs a reliable law enforcement agency, and we must fully support our police officers to ensure this occurs. But we also should acknowledge there are many documented instances where racial and ethnic minorities have been mistreated and abused by some within the police community.

The problems are complex, but cannot be avoided. The president must be part of the solution by balancing all interests involved and should help build a bridge between the two sides.

The same thing should be done for the severe political division that’s breaking our society apart. The president does not merely represent any base of supporters but rather serves all Americans and must strive toward achieving some sense of national unity.

The incredible number of people who voted early or cast absentee ballots in this year’s election is a very encouraging sign. We have long argued on this page that people must become more active in civic affairs, and engaging in the electoral process is essential. While we didn’t have access to numbers for overall voter turnout when we went to press, the early voting strongly indicates many parts of the country may well see historic participation.

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(17) comments

Airball55

I welcome the change. This election proved that at least some republicans were tired of trump. The constant tweets, the lashing out...all the things leaders don’t do. People still voted middleish...it appears the senate remains red (still undecided...wait, can they declare like Biden lol) and the “progressive” movement of hate, cancel culture and flat out violence will continue to be rejected. I certainly support the new president. Unity is a tricky task though. When a party pretty much calls 70000000 plus people racists, sexists, etc just because they support a different political party and then asks for “unity” lol, I don’t think those people will forget that too quickly. We have much bigger issues in New York. We have a renegade governor. We have no state legislature. They are useless. We actually need Biden more than ever...the alternative may be fatal.

KRobbins

When a party pretty much calls 70000000 plus people racists, sexists, etc

Some Trump supporters are fairly outspoken in their racism. “And some, I assume, are good people."

Airball55

That’s about right for you. When you talk like this you are the racist. You are the name caller. I have been researching a lot lately on exactly who is calling people what. I would say the left is just as bad as the right. But I get a different perspective being an independent and following as many perspectives as I can. You should try it.

KRobbins

I would say the left is just as bad as the right.

“Well, that’s just like your opinion, man.”

But seriously, I’m not sure what your point is. I didn’t say all Republicans are racists. I did say many are outspoken in their racism. Are you saying that’s incorrect? Do you think there were a lot of Dems among the Charlottesville crowd or among the other White nationalists in this country?

KRobbins

BTW, the Democratic Party is not calling 70 million people racists or sexists so that’s a strawman anyway.

KRobbins

When the Trump supporters in Michigan went to protest the state government there that was trying to take actions to save people’s lives they flew a varied banner. I’ve seen photos that included the usual Trump swag, but also Confederate flags and flags with swastikas.

Once again, I’m not saying all Trump supporters are racist and never did. I would suggest that Trump especially and others in the GOP are not doing enough to muck out the stables.

KRobbins

Oh, I’m sorry maybe the “pretty much” gives you wiggle room to say that the Democratic Party calls all Trump supporters whatever.

KRobbins

Credit where credit is due. The Republican Party did finally force Steve King out.

Pitbull

There is a slow motion theft in progress. What about the MI "glitch". Thank the Lord Trump is fighting this ripoff that started with press malfeasance, continued with poll incompetance or democrat complicity, and ended with outright cheating.

Eagle24

Had to be cheating...no way POTUS just lost... ... when you cite specifics... MICHIGAN?? 150,000 vote difference? at least pick a state where he lost by a few thousand... Down the ticket GOP did OK.... the top of the ticket was the issue..

KRobbins

I had a hard time finding anyone reporting on it other than rightwing propaganda sources.

KRobbins

Maybe they used sharpies.

KRobbins

What about the MI "glitch".

In the end they were correctly counted and Trump actually won that district. So, the electoral system worked as it should and is going to continue to.

KRobbins

"The erroneous reporting of unofficial results from Antrim County was a result of accidental error on the part of the Antrim County clerk," the state agency that oversees elections said in a news release.

"The equipment and software did not malfunction and all ballots were properly tabulated. However, the clerk accidentally did not update the software used to collect voting machine data and report unofficial results."

The county is now reporting Republican President Donald Trump beat Democrat Joe Biden by about 2,500 votes, with Trump receiving 56% of the slightly more than 17,000 votes cast for president and Biden receiving 42%. USA Today

The system works. We have over 200 years of experience holding elections. I work as an inspector myself. Of course, any anomaly is going to be turned into a conspiracy by Trump supporters.

Airball55

I respectfully disagree with the system working. We need to find a way with massive mail in voting to not have tabulations and counts at 4 in the morning. There has to be a better way. I am not accusing anything here, just stating the most obvious.

KRobbins

Not to point fingers, I say pointing fingers...

Wolf, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled Legislature are stuck in a logjam over the issue. Wolf this summer asked for counties to be allowed to start sorting mail-in ballots 15 days before Nov. 3. Republicans in the General Assembly have countered three days, but included that offer in a bill that would ban drop boxes throughout the state. NBC

Republicans haven’t exactly fallen all over themselves to making voting easier. In TX, Abbott wanted only one dropbox per county. One county had like a few hundred people and the county Houston is in had, I think, 5 million.

There’s no reason to not count ballots early. There’s no reason to not do mail in or early voting despite Trump’s constant trashing of it. I work as an election inspector. It makes our job on Election Day go a lot smoother if a number of people have already voted. Especially as busy as this one.

It’s indisputable that Democrats want to make it easier for people to vote. It may be self-serving because they think more voters is better for Dems. Enfranchising more people is just the democratic (small d) thing to do in any case.

KRobbins

A major priority for public officials will be finally getting on top of this health care crisis. Parts of the country are experiencing another wave of COVID-19 infections, which will exacerbate the problems that medical personnel have been confronting for much of this year.

If Trump is declared the winner he’s going to feel he has a mandate to do nothing about the coronavirus because that’s what he’s been given. All these red states that voted for him are and going to continue to “go through some things.” They’re going to have a choice between saving people or saving their hospitals, doctors and nurses. I see that the people choosing Trump did so because they’re concerned about the economy over their concern about the virus. To think you can do one without the other is some real magic thinking.

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