In the aftermath of a divisive election in which some campaigns devolved into harsh recriminations and ugly personal attacks, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement calling on political leaders in Washington, D.C. to strive for "a new day of civility and compromise" and to unite in order to benefit the common good.
ADL has long raised concern about the polarization and coarsening of the American political debate and divisive appeals to hatred and even bigotry.
"Yesterday, nearly 120 million Americans were participants in the grand democratic project of electing a president and other representatives," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Today we wake up as a nation facing significant challenges that we must address together. The popular vote shows that we remain a divided country. And so the message to our elected representatives is clear: the ability of our government to function depends on reasoned debate and compromise that rejects the temptation to score political points.”
"It is essential for our country – policymakers, media commentators, indeed all Americans -- to move beyond divisive polarizing politics and to participate in respectful debate without demanding we abandon our principles," Foxman added.
The League welcomed statements from both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney that they would work together to unify the nation in the aftermath of a bitter election year.
"It is heartening that both President Obama and Gov. Romney committed to lead the country forward by setting aside the partisanship and divisiveness that has riven our politics and society and to strive for a civil and respectful political process that embraces compromise," said Foxman. "We welcome their message and we will hold America's political leadership to the standard they have set."
In his acceptance speech President Obama stated, "We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."
Gov. Romney, too, said in his concession speech that "our leaders have to reach across the aisle" and called for the country to move beyond "partisan bickering and political posturing."