To Those Who've Fail'd
by Texas Nate, Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 01:50:22 PM EST
On this day of relief and celebration, I'd like to take a moment to remember all those in the progressive movement who didn't make it across the finish line yesterday.
All the candidates and campaigns who didn't quite make it, or in some cases didn't even come close despite pouring their blood and treasure into the fight. Being from Texas, I'm painfully aware that not all Democrats won big in 2008.
For those of us who've been involved in progressive politics for awhile it seemed like the interminable Bush years would never end. The bitter losses of 2000, 2002 and 2004 building up layers of scars and heartbreak. But we fought through it and damn I'm proud of my country and my party today.
But there were millions of Americans who didn't live to see the repudiation of the Bush era, despite working so hard to achieve it.
Let's take a moment to remember our fallen comrades and especially to all those lost on 9/11, in Afghanistan and Iraq, to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike and every other disaster of the Bush/Cheney era.
And let's remember those whose loving marriages were suddenly declared illegal in California by Prop 8 and every other state where bigotry has been written into the law. That fight isn't over, we will not forget. We shall overcome.
I'd especially like to remember three people:
Madelyn Dunham, the grandmother of the President-Elect who didn't live to see it, but who did get to vote for him. We all owe her a big debt of gratitude.
Fred Baron, a legendary trial lawyer who won many victories for the little guy in the court room and poured millions of his own dollars into the Texas Democratic Party in the last few years, pretty much single-handedly keeping it alive. He passed away on October 30th.
And Dr. Andy Miracle, a friend of mine who wasn't any kind of big political player but whose passion to end our national nightmare inspired me greatly. Andy had a cerebral hemorrhage just before the 2004 election and never got to vote that year. I think of Andy every election day as I vote.
I'd like to share one of my favorite poems "To those who've fail'd" by Walt Whitman:
To those who've fail'd, in aspiration vast,
To unnam'd soldiers fallen in front on the lead,
To calm, devoted engineers--to over-ardent travelers--to pilots on
To many a lofty song and picture without recognition--I'd rear
High, high above the rest--To all cut off before their time,
Possess'd by some strange spirit of fire,
Quench'd by an early death.
And for those of us who only died political deaths this year, you'll be back.
To end on a happy note of political resurrection, my good friend Richard Morrison, whose long-shot 2004 campaign against Tom DeLay was one of the first netroots campaigns waged on the national level got his first electoral victory yesterday. Richard, an environmental trial lawyer who's been representing those that the big developers have paved over, flooded out, and ripped off for more than a decade now has been elected to the County Commission of Fort Bend County , Texas. I have a feeling that there will be a lot less irresponsible development going on during his term. Congratulations, Richard.
Take a moment to make your dedications to fallen comrades and second place candidates in the comments.