On the one hand, it is a little thrilling to have a general election where my vote actually matters. I'm not used to that in Illinois. Since 2002 or so, every general election in November has been largely a foregone conclusion with an unbroken streak of Democratic statewide victories for the last three general elections.
Not in 2010. We are now a purple state where almost every single statewide contest is a close one. Two two most important elections are for Governor and for U.S. Senator and they are both neck-and-neck.
The U.S. Senate race between Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk is particularly important, because it looks like it may be the decisive race that determines whether Democrats or Republicans will control the United States Senate. Democrats control 60 votes in the Senate today, and Republicans are going to win at least half a dozen seats. If Democratic voters in blue states don't show up and vote, then Republicans can win even more. And one of their high-water marks for the biggest victory for their agenda would be a win in Illinois of Mark Kirk over Alexi Giannoulias. That is a very real possibility. Today, polls show Kirk is ahead.
The federal Republican Party supports the agenda of corporate America and rich people. Bottom line. That's why they want the George Bush economy where the rich get richer, the corporations do whatever they want and the middle class get pummelled.
The Democratic Party is what makes the middle class. That's where affordable education comes from. That's where affordable health care comes from. That's where middle-class jobs come from. That's where upward mobility comes from. Government shapes our economy, like it or not. And when the Republicans run the government, they shape the economy to benefit the rich and powerful.
If we don't elect Alexi in Illinois by coming out to vote in the next few weeks, then we are likely handing control of the federal government to the rich and the powerful, guaranteeing that our standard of living will continue to stagnate while the rich will get richer.
It feels more like a chore than making history this time, but that's what work is. It is work to build a middle class. And the work for the next few weeks is getting you and a dozen others like you to vote Democratic.