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Some of my peers called me an optimist because I would take on tasks that seemed nearly impossible to achieve. There were others who called me a pessimist because I was honest enough to tell them when a project was doomed to failure.

However, I tend to think of myself as a realist because I analyze a situation and draw a reasonable conclusion from life experience and reliable historical data gleaned from others’ lessons learned.

The reality I see now is that the presidential election is over and nothing has changed politically. We have the same president with the same values; we have the same Senate and House of Representatives that we had, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that unless there is some cooperation in Washington, we will still be a country in decline.

The recent election has urged me to take some bold steps in the management of my financial resources because I am a senior citizen of 73 years and I do not see an improvement in the country’s economy in the near future.

I have seen this country go through several recessions in my lifetime, and some years, the cost of living was increasing by 10 to 12 percent. But each time our economy began to decline, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and improved our condition to the point that we lived in a world of prosperity again. We all worked together to achieve this, and many of us made financial sacrifices so that others could realize the American dream.

Now, it seems that the people and politicians are so divided by their personal agendas that a country “by the people” no longer exists. These people do not recognize the meaning of give and take or understand that sometimes you have to compromise to achieve the ultimate goal that is best for everyone.

Now is the time for brotherhood, not personal gain. Now is the time to “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Those famous words are still ringing in my ears after 52 years, and they were spoken by a great leader and a great president.

This doctrine needs to be accepted today by every American from the president on down to the working men and women in the trenches.

What we desperately need now is a true spirit of cooperation. I pray to God that the people of this country awaken from these dismal times to a world where everyone is an American and not divided by apathy and petty political values.

God bless America.

Samuel R. Pistachio, Mechanicsville