Why We Fight

At this point, it almost goes without saying that this has been the nastiest, ugliest, most contentious election in recent memory. Few could be sad to see campaign season finally drawing to an end. Those who want this to continue, who feel the need to see one more ad, I don't want to meet.

But in the midst of all the slanders, distractions and lies that we've endured for well over a year, it's important to remember that, politicking aside, today's election offers all of us a profound choice for the direction of our nation.

Most importantly, today's election is about whether Americans will stand up against the right's decades-long agenda: narrowing the definition of what it means to be an American and transforming government into a tool to support the powerful at the expense of ordinary Americans.

On issue after issue, Mitt Romney has embraced the agenda of the most extreme elements of his party. He's promised to roll back women's rights -- not only at the doctor's office, but also on the job, where he's stood firm against laws that would protect equal pay. He's demonized Latinos and opposed common sense immigration reform, even going so far as to promise to veto the DREAM Act. He's placed right-wing activists in high positions in his campaign and pandered to extremists at Liberty University, CPAC and the Values Voter conference. He even named Robert Bork (yes, that Robert Bork) as the chair of his judicial advisory committee and pledged to nominate the kind of Supreme Court Justices who opened the floodgates of corporate money in elections while cracking down on the rights of women to sue for discrimination. And, of course, as his vice presidential nominee, he picked a Tea Party darling whose support for regressive social policies is only outstripped by his enthusiasm for shredding the social safety net and cutting taxes for the rich.

For those of us who believe that women should have the right to live their own lives, that our nation is enriched by its diversity, that bigotry has no place in our politics, that the courthouse should protect the rights of all Americans and that government can be a powerful force for good, that every eligible American has the right to vote, today's election is worth every dollar we've contributed, every ad we've endured, every conversation we've had and, most importantly, the vote we cast. It's a chance to make clear that we're not backing down on the values we hold dear.

By this time tomorrow, it's likely that President Obama will have won a second term and that progressives will win important victories all across the country. But no matter what happens, the fight to build an America that lives up to its promise will continue.

I'm so proud to be a part of it. And I'm proud of the millions of Americans who have worked so hard to defend the values that make this country great.