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The Direction Of America46:17
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We’ll look at the big picture. What did we vote for?  And what now?

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds an American flag at a Romney campaign rally at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Golden, Colo., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP)
A supporter of Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds an American flag at a Romney campaign rally at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Golden, Colo., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP)

The Obama message was Forward.  That cast Mitt Romney as back.  The country voted Obama.  So what will forward mean?  The 2012 election was surely a contest over where the country stands, where it should stand, where it will stand.  So now what?  You can’t leave half the country behind.

Going forward divided is hard.  The President was conciliatory last night in victory.  Mitt Romney gracious in defeat.  But the passions and division are still there.

This hour, On Point:  Election 2012 and what it means, for the state, the spirit, the divide, the direction of the nation.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon.com. She's the author of What's the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was.

Charles Kesler, senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism. You can read his essay on the state of American liberalism here.

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom's Reading List

The Boston Globe "No matter whether President Obama or Mitt Romney claims victory on Tuesday, the winner will govern a nation that scholars say is remarkably split on political, economic, generational, racial, and social grounds. The next president also is likely to face a divided Congress, which in the last year seemed to prefer gridlock no matter the stakes."

Christian Science Monitor "On the eve of an election that everyone says involves two "stark" choices for America, people across the country have a simple plea for Washington: Work together. Get along. Whoever wins the White House, reach out to those across the aisle and solve the nation's problems."

This program aired on November 7, 2012.

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