The stakes in the 2012 election are immeasurably high–the Presidency and Senate and House elections. Commentators are beginning to compare this election with 1932 (Great Depression) and 1860 (Civil War) for deciding our country’s future direction.
We all know that the election will be hard fought through election day. Battleground states will shift and the challenge for Council for a Livable World is to apply our resources–expertise, knowledge and money– in ways that give us the highest yield to advance our agenda for a secure peace in a nuclear free world.
Our supported candidates are the strongest we have had in decades. Yes, President Obama has a strong record to run on for shifting us away from insularity and the fortress America psychology of Bush and Cheney to one that realistically moves us to a safer world and sheds our isolation. Winning that race is essential.
In the US system of governance the Senate and House are equally important. Let’s look at the Senate. We are experienced enough to know that Presidents do not govern alone. What happens in the Senate and House matters. They can starve arms control programs or fund them. The Senate is a constitutional partner in agreeing to treaties and it takes a 2/3 majority to get that agreement.
The Council comes to this election battle with real advantages. In my five decades of working in election campaigns, I have never seen such a strong set of candidates. We have vetted all our endorsed candidates and they stand with us, want to learn our issues more and will be ready to apply their energy if elected. Our candidates are all competitive. A few may win easily. Each has a real chance of winning, replacing irresponsible office holders or preventing irresponsible newcomers from getting elected.
These candidates are:
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Richard Carmona (D-AZ)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Bob Kerrey (D-NE)
Angus King (I-ME)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Click here to learn more about and contribute to our candidates.
Our advantages extend beyond the quality of our candidates. We have an organized expertise that now includes retired military officers who are experienced in combat, who personally know the risks and figurative minefields created by war. They know how to advocate for a secure world that prevents nuclear weapons and materials from getting into the hands of terrorists. They are credible spokespersons to independent voters who want security without recklessness.
We have built issue and political alliances with veterans, environmental and ethnic organizations that have values consistent with those of the Council and bring their own political skills to the table. Politics is about addition. Council constantly adds to its political strength
We also know what lies ahead. House Republicans have given us a sense of the future. It’s grim and certain. Restrict funding in ways that make the New Start treaty incapable of being implemented. Fund new missile sites on the east coast. Spend money on weapons that the armed services doesn’t want, can’t use and weaken our security. That’s accompanied by starving the social sector.
Goldwater said extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice. These officeholders believe extremism is a virtue no matter what the vice is, no matter how it harms our country. So far no Republican leader–Romney, Boehner, McConnell, Cantor– has challenged the vise the extremists hold the Republican Party in.
The Council research team is equipped to expose these political extremists.
Here’s what you can do:
Give money to as many of our Senate endorsed candidates as you can. Small states count as much as large ones. The Council made a difference for George McGovern in 1962, Joe Biden in 1972, George Mitchell in 1982 and Russ Feingold in 1992. They were eternally grateful and are great champions of our issues. Vice President Biden said so again at our 50th Anniversary celebration.
Volunteer for our Senate endorsed candidates in your state or a neighboring state. I do it regularly. It’s fun, it’s social, you meet interesting people. Find your way to make a contribution in addition to money.
Gather your friends and tell them why you are participating and ask them to. Politics is about getting more people involved.
Talk with people who are less active than you. They need to hear how extreme the Republicans are.
We know and feel that the stakes are so high that we must put forth efforts that we will be proud to tell about over the years.
Board member, former President of Common Cause and Professionals for Nuclear Arms Control
P.S. Click here to meet and contribute to our candidates.