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Many of you know me. You know that my role on this site over the years (when I wasn't publishing poetry or philosophy) has been that of firebrand. Polemicist. Warrior. Life has knocked me down a lot of times. You know what? I GET OFF THE DAMN CANVAS and I ACT. And I WIN.

This year is no different. But what's at stake is much, much higher. Follow me beyond the Kos Croissant of Mystery and I'll tell you what's on my mind tonight

Yes, President Obama's oddly exhausted, defensive debate posture has put us in the hole.

Yes, we are now faced with the very real possibility of a Republican victory.

A victory that would have the most tragic consequences imaginable:

--Putting a man into the White House so dishonest and so devoid of any ethical center that he makes Nixon look like a nun.

--A Vice President governed by the philosophy of a misanthropic fanatic who wanted to see human society turned into a rat cage.

--A Congress dominated by a group of radical Right-wing extremists who spit on the poor, view women as inferior to men, worship the rich, and want to destroy the patient work of 80 years spent on establishing a social safety net.

--Almost certainly a war with Iran, one brought about by the same Chickenhawk Draft-Dodgers who were responsible for the Iraq tragedy.

--Tax cuts for the rich that would blow a monstrous hole in our deficit.

--The handing of power over to the Grover Norquists, David, Kochs, Michele Bachmanns, and David Bartons of the country--people dedicated to destroying the very idea of government itself.

--An ultra-Right-wing Supreme Court that guts civil liberties, strips women, gays, and minorities of hard-won rights, and serves as a bellhop for the big corporations.

--The victory of plutocracy at the top and theocracy for everyone else.

Now, I'm an old guy. Have two beautiful grandchildren. You think I'm gonna curl up in a GODDAMNED BALL and say, "Oh no! We're losing!"

THAT'S NOT HOW YOU GET OFF THE CANVAS.

You gather yourself up, and get up off the ground SWINGING.

You work TWICE AS HARD.

You dig down and you find more money to contribute.

You make MORE calls.

You do MORE canvassing.

You contact MORE apathetic friends.

And you say to yourself,

"I love this country too much to see it handed over to the likes of these Right-wing BASTARDS."

A little history note (I was a history teacher): When Rome suffered a crushing defeat in the Second Punic War at the Battle of Cannae, losing 80,000 men in one day, the Roman Senate FORBADE any display of mourning. Their response was DEFIANCE. They geared up for a remorseless war against the Carthaginians. And they won.

So no despair, do you hear me?

So no giving up, got that?

So no saying, "We're doomed"--understand?

Leave the despair to our opponents.

And get up off that canvas--

FIGHTING.

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