It's Time to Come Together

Paul Reuter, Founder and former CEO, CSP

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In the wake of the recent elections, I keep thinking that the country seems more polarized than any other time I can recall. I wonder if my impression is skewed because here in Phoenix the contest was so intense and the outcome was disappointing to so many. Is Arizona’s petition to secede from the union more political theater or another example of the deep divide we can expect in the years ahead? Some folks in the state of Arizona have col­lected the needed 25,000 signatures to be submitted to the Obama administration and acted upon by Dec. 10. The submis­sion will read, “We petition the Obama administration peacefully grant the state of Arizona to withdraw from the United States of America.” At last count there were about 45 petitions from other states where some residents also want out of the union.

These petitions base themselves on the words our founding fathers made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776: “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the government that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute new government.”

Seems extreme, especially considering President Obama won the Electoral Col­lege and the popular vote. But we live in a country based and founded on freedom. And people have chosen to exercise theirs, whether we like it or not.

Regardless of your political bent, the election is now history, and it’s time for all of us to make history and come together as serious citizens dealing with serious issues.

Does the electoral system itself need to improve? No doubt. Regardless, we live in a country that many risk their lives to get to. Countless numbers of folks want to cross our borders to experience the free­doms and opportunities most of us take for granted in this great country of ours.

This is a special time of the year, when in our messages to others in churches, the­ater, parties, our businesses and our family gatherings, a spirit of goodwill toward all comes forth. As I was reviewing this issue of CSP, I could not help but think about just how much goodness is in all of us, our country and our industry.

In Mitch Morrison’s column on Hurricane Sandy—“Our Jersey Shore Moment,” p. 14— he offers a thoughtful look at how partisan politics were put aside for at least a few days to help the East Coast start to heal from the wounds inflicted by a ferocious storm. On p. 36, Joe Vonder Haar’s “Good Business and Good Friends” talks about how his rela­tionships in our industry have enriched his personal life and his business. And finally, Angel Abcede’s cover story on p. 60 is about a leader and a company— Don Zietlow and Kwik Trip—that make us all proud of what we are capable of accomplishing in this great country, regardless of the political debate.

So as Mitch said in his closing com­ments, “May the national good trump political triumphalism.”

Allow me and all of my CSP Business Media colleagues to wish you the happi­est, healthiest and most reflective season ever. Let’s resolve to do our best to hold onto the goodwill of the season and this time, for all time.

We truly are blessed to live in this great country.

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