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EDITORIAL: Pitching in to do our part

When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast last week, the nation scrambled to do its part to help.

While donations flooded in to such organizations as the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross to aid in the relief effort, scores of individuals also headed east to assist with the clean-up and restoration of normal life.

Among those now helping out are city utilities crews from New Richmond and River Falls, along with utilities crews from other Wisconsin municipalities. Additional help in the form of money and workers streamed in from all other parts of the country as well.

There's nothing like a major disaster to bring the nation together in one accord. Helping out those affected by a tragedy is one thing we can all agree on, whether we're Democrats or Republicans.

With the 2012 election now behind us, we wonder if our country's political leaders can learn from the cooperative spirit displayed in recent days on the East Coast. That spirit serves as a stark contrast to the political posturing that has dominated our airwaves for months.

Really, when push comes to shove, it's apparent that no individual or political party has all the answers to the challenges facing this country. Only with a commitment to cooperation and compromise will the gridlock in Washington, D.C. be broken up.

Whoever leads our country from the White House, along with the congressional officials who meet down the road from the president, have a huge task before them. Things need to start turning around in this country on a number of fronts and a more bi-partisan effort will be required to foster significant change.

Americans know that a brighter future is possible, and they know that needed progress will not be accomplished by standing still.

Let's hope our newly elected officials recognize the need to work together and come out of the chute with hands stretched across the aisle in an effort to find common ground and innovative solutions to our nation's ills.