The mind is amazing. Who really knows why it remembers what it does and forgets the rest? This morning, the day after the U.S. presidential election, a song my parents taught my sisters and me when we were children sprang into my mind—totally out of the blue. (We saw a lot of blue and red last night on television, didn"t we? And how about those annoying maps that let even more annoying commentators zoom in to specific counties and compare their results to previous years over and over again? Can we say filler? But I digress.)
The little ditty I learned actually was a parody of the biggest hit of the 1890s—After the Ball. It went like this:
After the ball was over
Maggie took out her glass eye
Stood her peg leg in the corner
Corked up her bottle of rye
Put her false teeth in the basin
Hung up her wig on the wall
What was left did slumber
After the ball
Lest you think I've totally taken leave of my senses by writing this, you should know that my mind made the logical-to-me leap from that light-hearted ditty to where we are today. The ball—in this case, the hard-fought presidential race and ensuing celebration—is over. However, we can't afford to ease up on the extraordinary effort and commitment that went into this historic election. We need to redirect that same zeal and diligence toward solving our nation's problems.
Congratulating Obama, NAM President and CEO John Engler said, "This has been a long, hard-fought campaign. Now is the time to go to work for the country; we must come together to revitalize our economy. Our nation is in a financial crisis that is discouraging investment and consumption. Manufacturers are severely impacted by the credit squeeze. Companies with solid balance sheets, good credit histories, and order backlogs cannot obtain routine financing. There is no question that we face daunting challenges ahead. The NAM stands ready to work with President-elect Obama to overcome these challenges and move forward as a stronger, united nation.
"President-elect Obama's home state of Illinois is an industrial state with a formidable manufacturing base. President-elect Obama understands the importance of manufacturing and what's good for jobs and the economy overall. He has opposed unfair trade policies that have disadvantaged U.S. manufacturers and expressed support for key issues that are important for jobs creation, including trade, energy, and workforce training."
On behalf of the NAM, Engler presented the president-elect with an open letter of congratulations along with the NAM's agenda for strengthening manufacturing and the nation"s economy. "The manufacturers of America are optimistic about our future and we look forward to working with President-elect Obama," Engler said. (The open letter can be accessed at: www.nam.org/openletter.)
NAM is ready and willing to work with the new government. It has to be to help further its agenda. We have to be to solve our nation's problems. It's not your nation or my nation, your president or my president. It's our nation—our president. We are indivisible.
Whether we—especially our lawmakers—are reveling in the outcome of this historic election or nursing sore wounds, we need to get on with the pressing business before us. We can't afford to slumber.