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Letters: The meaning of the election

President Barack Obama delivers his victory speech after

President Barack Obama delivers his victory speech after being reelected for a second term at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. (Nov. 6, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Newsday is right in "End obstruction in Washington" [Editorial, Nov. 8]. That needs to be President Barack Obama's focus, coupled with a desire and an ability to negotiate and resolve. He has not had any interest in doing that for the past four miserable years.

Our country cannot afford four more years of division and economic disaster.

Jim Carollo, Amagansett

As a Muslim-American, I beam with pride that we not only successfully championed democracy, but also that we held another peaceful election ["GOP hints at a compromise," News, Nov. 8].

This is something that many people throughout history and throughout the world have tried and never witnessed. But we, as Americans, get to experience it firsthand.

I congratulate Obama on his re-election. I pray that our country works together to progress as a nation. I hope the president uses his role to promote justice and human rights here and abroad.

Salaam Bhatti, Bay Shore

I am certain that hundreds of pundits will have sound, logical reasons as to why former Gov. Mitt Romney lost the election. He was correctly perceived as the person who could best handle unemployment and the deficit. He looked like a president, walked like a president and talked like a president, but for a collective reason of their own, the American people rejected Romney. Why?

Like John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Romney was well off. Many resented him for this reason, although they did not resent Kennedy or Reagan. Why did Kennedy and Reagan get a free pass, but not Romney?

I think the key to this mystery rests with one word: perception. Even though he was rich, Kennedy was always perceived as one of us. He bravely served as a naval lieutenant during World War II.

When he announced his candidacy for president in 1979, Reagan connected with his audience by relating his experience as a young man during the Depression.

I have no doubt that his failure to be perceived as one of us prevented a good man like Romney from becoming president. But he should have known that he was not speaking to a roomful of Ivy League graduates or chief executives of large corporations.

Kenneth Heard, Smithtown

Thank you for your integrity and honest appraisal of the presidential campaign and your endorsement of Romney ["Mitt Romney for president," Editorial, Nov. 4]. I am saddened that he didn't win.

As difficult as domestic and foreign affairs are, America would have had a chance with Romney. Obama has made promises he cannot fulfill. The government is broke, we are in debt and people cannot accept that reality. That was Romney's message.

What is astounding is that half the country voted for Obama despite four years -- two with Democrats in control of Congress -- in which he accomplished little.

Obama's campaign epitomized his presidency: silly slogans, meaningless interviews, half-truths, class warfare, racial divide and absent leadership.

Let's hope Obama finally owns his presidency and stops blaming George W. Bush and Congress, though I doubt it will happen. We have lost our American way of life, and we can thank the people who voted for Obama.

Carol Florio, Setauket