In these critical midterm elections – with so much on the line – a disastrous war in Iraq; the continuing erosion of our bedrock rights and liberties; and deepening economic inequality…. the great singer and activist Pete Seeger has written a powerful letter on behalf of the Working Families Party (WFP) and its slate of candidates on the ballot in New York.
The WFP aims to send a strong antiwar message to the politicians, and it has updated and re-recorded Seeger’s Vietnam-era classic, Bring ’em Home as part of its “Bring Them Home” campaign.
In his letter Seeger writes, “Here in New York, voting on the Working Families line is the best way to tell the politicians, bring them home, bring them home.” Seeger quotes a key verse of his song to capture the spirit of the WFP message: “the world needs teachers, books and schools … And learning a few universal rules.”
In addition to ending the war, the WFP agenda calls for universal healthcare, affordable housing, a living wage and closing the income gap through progressive taxation. The WFP claims an organized and diverse bloc of voters committed to economic populism, and it uses its electoral power to push major-party politicians to follow its agenda. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Eliot Spitzer, solicited Working Families as his first endorsement.
There are eight states in the nation that allow “fusion” voting (where a candidate can appear on the ballot as the nominee for more than one party), and Spitzer will be listed separately as the nominee of both Democrats and the WFP–as will Senator Hillary Clinton. (For those who believe the WFP should have stayed neutral in the Clinton race–or, better, endorsed her opponent Jonathan Tasini–just vote for Spitzer and WFP candidates in down ballot races.) By pulling the lever for the WFP (Row E on the ballot), voters can support a candidate while also making a clear statement that the WFP and its antiwar stance represent their values.
“When you vote on the Working Families Party line, your vote carries a distinctive message. Start bringing American men and women serving in Iraq back home. Right now,” said WFP Executive Director, Dan Cantor.
With Spitzer far ahead in the polls, and real and justified disappointment among progressives about Clinton’s position on the war, there is a concern that New York’s voter turnout might be low. But for those committed to ending this war, and sending that message loud and clear to Clinton and her fellow-Democrats – show up for this election and vote for Spitzer and WFP candidates in down ballot races.
As Seeger reminds in the close of his inspiring letter, “Our votes do count. And if we vote to bring the troops home, they count even more.”