As of two days before the Mid-Term Elections, Democrats are predicted to take back the House and Republicans to hold the Senate. Lots of state races of import. We’ll see soon.
In the meantime, keep encouraging everyone to VOTE!! Keep making phone calls. Knocking doors. Sending emails. We’ve set new records with early voting in Monroe County and also with days of canvassing and calls and contributions. Our community knows that turnout wins elections, and friends help friends vote. We have loads of great local, state and federal candidates to help over the finish line these next two days.
It is daunting to keep our footing after a string of recent terrible events: pipe bombs sent to maim Democratic leaders, an anti-Semitic slaughter at a Pittsburgh synagogue, a racist attack in Louisville that seemed a copycat attempt of Charleston, and a misogynist shooter at a yoga studio. Caustic, divisive, shocking rhetoric continues to pour out of the White House. Fear-mongering – including outrageous, racist, scurrilous attack ads – stirs up prejudice, resentment, hate speech and hate crimes.
A century ago, the great poet William Butler Yeats in The Second Comingwrote:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
No matter what happens on Election Day, we certainly are in for a long-haul effort to help the “centre” hold. I don’t mean the political center. I mean the human center, of decency, compassion, inclusion and respect that undergirds our society. Those values and behaviors are being eroded daily. For political purposes in my view – though of course these values should transcend partisan lines.
We local communities that constitute America must hold strong. We must daily reaffirm and nourish those values in our efforts and our interactions. I am so often so proud of how frequently the people of Bloomington do just that. So many do bring “all conviction.”
It’s going to take that and more over the coming years. Continued and deepened commitment to justice and peace and mutual respect. Starting locally and emanating outward. It’s a long-haul effort, a relay race of the generations – and the current relay leg is proving especially challenging, in part due to backlashagainst our historic election of Barack Obama and near-election (were it not for the electoral college) of our first woman president.
Yes, I believe like Dr. King that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice. But progress is neither consistent nor automatic. As so many of you do, we in Bloomington must keep our shoulders to that bending every day. No matter what happens on November 6th, we have a lot of work ahead of us to meet our challenges together.
Ps: So let’s all GOTV through Tuesday – and then consider joining Election Eve to watch returns come in with the Monroe County Dems at Rhino’s (331 S. Walnut Ave).