When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing!
— from a Quaker hymn
Yes, the neoconservatives are reading the writing on the wall. Polls show voters nationally and in battleground states rejecting the policies of the Bush administration and congressional Republicans, and growing awareness that the McCain-Palin ticket is a continuation of the same.
Many believe there is cause for singing, not lullabies or songs of triumph, but songs of struggle, determination, and yes, unity and hope: We Shall Overcome, Solidarity Forever, De Colores. Because their victory is not won yet. Tyrants are escalating their hatemongering to create fear and division so they can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Nevertheless, tens of millions have become engaged in the politics of change and hope and tens of millions more can be reached by Nov. 4.
For a year this newspaper has called for building for a landslide because it is a necessary step to reverse the damage we have suffered from 30 years of far-right dominance.
A landslide in the Electoral College and the popular vote will establish a mandate and the political leverage to make real change. A 60-vote Senate Democratic majority could prevent obstruction by filibuster. And there are 11 key Senate races that could make such a majority.
The damage cannot be undone all at once. It will take a change of direction with tangible gains that build greater engagement and unity for deeper transformations. The extreme right-wing backlash being promoted by the McCain-Palin campaign will not stop even with defeat at the polls. If defeated, it will try to frustrate any real change in policy by obstructionism or in the courts.
This newspaper has often said, “Every vote counts” and “Vote as if your life depended on it — because it does.” And so it is for this election.
As a labor leader recently urged, “Volunteer to phone bank, canvass neighborhoods, pass out fliers and bend the ears of your family members, friends and co-workers.” It’s all about turnout, turnout, turnout.
With such unity and struggle, tyrants cannot stand.