Robert Reich: Regardless Of What Happens Today, We Are The Future Of America – OpEd


Obviously, I can’t tell you how today’s elections will turn out. But I do want to reassure you about one thing: Over the long term, we are winning. 

Ask yourself: Why are the election deniers, the monied interests, and the bigots and the haters fighting so hard to defeat us? Why are they telling such blatant lies? Why are they so desperate to suppress our votes? Why are they so willing to violate the Constitution, the rule of law, and common decency in order to claw their way to victory?

For one simple reason: They are afraid of us.

They know deep in their hearts that we are the future of America. 

We who call ourselves progressives. We who are people of color. We who are young. We who are women. We who are new immigrants to these shores. Wewho are LGBTQ people. We who are Muslim and Jewish and people of every faith, or no faith. We who are poor. We who are average working people who need and deserve better jobs and higher wages. We who believe in democracy and cherish the Constitution and the rule of law. 

They are afraid of us because we are gaining in numbers, gaining in strength. Our voices are growing louder. 

Regardless of what happens today — even if they regain control of the House or the Senate or both, even if they take over some governorships, even if they create veto-proof majorities in one state or another — they know that over the long term we are winning. 

It is inevitable. 

Not their filibusters, nor their gerrymanders, nor their suppression of votes, nor their attempts to rig electoral votes, nor their Trumpian Supreme Court majorities, nor their attempts to intimidate us — none of the obstacles and barriers they’re putting in our path will stop our inevitable rise. 

Which is why they are so desperate.

I’ve been at this game for almost three-quarters of a century. America still has a long way to go. But it is far better and stronger now — more inclusive, more tolerant, more diverse, more accepting, more dynamic — than it has ever been. And it will be ever better and stronger years from now. Because we are rising. 

Which scares the hell out of them. 

Sure, we can and must do better organizing, mobilizing, and energizing. Yes, the Democratic Party must be bolder at countering the power of big corporations and big money. Of course we must do far more to get a Supreme Court that reflects our beliefs and values. And at recruiting a new generation of leaders into electoral politics. 

We can and must do all of this. And we will. It is part of the long game. 

I hope we win every contest today. But regardless of the outcomes of today’s elections, have no doubt: we are the future.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

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