Monday, June 9, 2008

A New Era

It's been a long struggle, but victory over the right wing political zealots whose tight grip on our government is well into its third decade (even during the Clinton years political initiative remained in the hands of the right) is clearly do-able in the fall elections - and by a landslide. This is not a new thought. Actually last fall I said that this year's election offers a unique opportunity to the American people to bring down the curtain on one era of right wing domination and to lift up the curtain on another era in which the struggle for a people's agenda would be on new and much more favorable ground.

Months later, I have no reason to change my thinking. In fact, I am more convinced that right wing extremism rests on even shakier ground.

On the one hand, Republican presidential nominee John McCain is off to a rocky start. He is weighed down by his association with the Bush administration and its policies, nearly all of which he still embraces. On the other hand, not only did Barck Obama win the presidential nomination a week ago, a historic first that should be celebrated by people across the political spectrum, but also Hillary Clinton, after some hesitation, extended her full support to Mr. Obama in a speech that was both profound and inspiring.

In doing so, she did her part to close the fissures in the Democratic Party (many of which were her own campaign's doing) and give, as did Obama's unprecedented victory, fresh momentum to the formation of the broadest people's election coalition ever seen in our nation's history. To find something similar, we would have to go back to the 1936 elections. During those elections, a broadly based coalition embedded in the labor movement sprung up to re-elect in a landslide Roosevelt and his supporters in Congress. That victory was instrumental in consolidating and continuing the New Deal.

This fall we could see a political realignment on this scale, and then some. And it would be none too soon. The long night of right wing rule has taken its toll in so many ways. The people of our country yearn for a just and united country at peace with its neighbors across the planet. Enough is enough!
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