Niagara Gazette

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November 11, 2012

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Niagara Gazette — The bands have played, the blizzard of confetti has blown, the streams of political commercials, robo-calls and pop-up ads have ceased, and another election year has finally come to an end.

The majority of this nation has spoken with its collective voice. Once again, the United States of America has voted for Barack Hussein Obama II to serve as its president for another four years. He now joins the presidents who have been elected to serve for two consecutive terms in office.

Now, after months and months of viciously battling one another, the political leaders, campaigners and citizens of opposing parties of this nation must find a way to accept the results, to co-exist, and work together in order to accomplish the things that will move our country forward.

Somehow, after the political smoke has cleared from the most hard-fought battle-ground states, we must find our way back to the things that unite us.

America is comprised of people from amazingly different backgrounds, and all walks of life. Part of finding our way to unity is learning to accept, appreciate and respect our immeasurable diversity.

It’s learning to co-operate, communicate and collaborate in working for the common good of all Americans, regardless of our differences.

Like so many Americans I am a product of ancestors from different nations who called America their home: Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and the Cherokee Native Americans. In this nation, no one group of people has the authority, the ability, or the right to define us all. We are the UNITED States of America, and we are honored and blessed to call this country our home.

In his victory speech on election night, President Obama spoke words that resonated with me, that I believe are worth repeating:

“The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America has never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government ...

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Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
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