Published on Friday, October 25, 2002 by CommonDreams.org
Paul Wellstone Lives!
by Dennis Rahkonen
A woman dressed in black, holding a matching umbrella, stood before an impromptu wall of honor that had been hastily erected out of connected white cardboard on the front window of the Duluth Democratic Farmer-Labor Party headquarters.
She silently read the brief, heartfelt messages of grief and love, penciled in with red and blue markers...then added her own words.
Like the others, they were sentiments of ongoing commitment to the unwavering populist/progressive ideals that made Paul Wellstone the best senator this nation had.
Paul's indomitable status came from being harmoniously in tune with the magnificent empowerment impulse that drives common people everywhere to take democratic control of their lives, from unconscionable usurpers who use politics as a tool against the masses, for special-interest gain.
Paul would tell us not to mourn, but organize.
The beauty that backs the sad side of this great tragedy is that we're already organized, and devoted to even more of the same.
Tomorrow we'll put half a million souls into America's streets, effectively negating Bush's possibility to wage war against Iraq.
Paul Wellstone's name, and spirit, will be evoked by many who'll passionately speak.
The following day, Brazil will experience the most momentous popular upsurge since Nelson Mandela rose to head South Africa's abolition of apartheid.
The spirit of Paul Wellstone will be there, rejoicing among the jubilant throngs in Sao Paulo and Belo Horizente.
The cause of justice cannot be defeated.
It is universal, and perpetually regenerating.
It derives decisive strength from unfairly imposed hardship and suffering, and ultimately triumphs over even the most mighty, oppressive adversaries.
We make choices about our lives.
Will we live for ourselves, and narrow indulgence, or for the public welfare and the common good?
Will our helpful impact on those around us be that of a feather...or of a mountain?
There is no question in working class ranks about the loyalties and consequence of Paul Wellstone's exemplary existence.
He was us; we were him.
We are the future.
Dennis Rahkonen lives in Superior, Wisconsin, two miles by bridge from Minnesota. One of his greatest regrets is having been geographically unable to vote for Paul Wellstone, a personal hero. He can be reached at email@example.com