Friday, October 25, 2002

A Hero Falls

Those of us who choose to pursue social and economic justice lost one of our spokespeople and one of our heroes today. Senator Paul Wellstone, Progressive Democrat, was killed in a plane crash earlier today.

Senator Wellstone's political career was marked by challenging not only the GOP but those Democrats who have opted to follow the money that corporate and wealthy America put out in exchange for support. In 1991, he opposed the first Gulf War. In 1994 he was the lone voice to oppose the "Welfare Reform" legislation.

These and other acts of dissent, as well as Bush's desire to hand the government to the religious and free-market fundamentalists, put Wellstone's seat in the crosshairs. The GOP chose and backed a popular mayor to try and remove this thorn from the senate. Wellstone also found himself having to deal with a Green. Despite all of this, Wellstone was one of the courageous Democrats to stand against allowing Congress to abdicate thier Constitutional right to wage war and hand that power over to Bush. This act of conviction had the effect of opening a gap between him and his GOP rival. Alas, we will never know.

People often refer to others relative to those who came before, where is the next Paul Wellstone. Could this current situation reveal the person who will carry the progressive banner?