WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 -- The following is a statement from AFGE National President John Gage:
"Now that one of the most competitive and closely scrutinized presidential races in American history is over, American life will hopefully return to some semblance of normalcy. On Tuesday, November 2, Americans voted to re-elect President George Bush, siding against AFGE's supported candidate, Senator John F. Kerry. It is our hope that President Bush will not view his re-election as a mandate, but rather as a renewed opportunity to bring all Americans together."
"From AFGE's perspective, little will have changed. AFGE will continue to fight for 600,000 federal and DC government workers, but this would have been the case even in the event of a Kerry win. AFGE will continue to fight for the rights of government employees to be able to speak out against the wrongs that they come to witness, including in the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, which are in the process of developing new personnel systems that may weaken whistleblower protections. AFGE will continue to fight for a fair process by which jobs are competed for contracting out, striving to retain intellectual capital and workers with years of experience and institutional knowledge within the public sector. And AFGE will challenge President Bush with the idea that his second term does not have to mirror his first. AFGE will call on President Bush to honor the principles of representative government and to strive for a greater vision of himself and America."
"For months, the polls and the conventional wisdom indicated that American society was unusually polarized. Election Day results confirm that assessment and illustrate a marked change since the days of national unity following the September 11th attacks. The lines that divide Americans must be erased; the soul of America must be healed. It is our hope that President Bush's approach governance in his second term will be one of inclusion and healing."
"Many of the policies advanced by President Bush during his first term were far out of the mainstream in their conservatism. Conventional wisdom suggests that part of the reason for such partisan policies was to shore up support among his conservative voting base for the 2004 election. Now that the election has passed, President Bush need no longer pander to the extreme right."
"AFGE will continue to fight for government employees across our nation and the hard working Americans they serve. It is our hope that President Bush will get behind the American people as a whole, instead of holding aloft right-wing special interests and the most conservative segments of our society. Mr. President, your greatness will not be judged by your ability to govern in today's bitterly partisan society, but by your ability to heal our society and make America whole again."