7 Nightmare Scenarios for Right-Wingers If Obama Wins a Second Term

A future that freaks out prominent conservatives, and the stuff of progressive dreams.

The Right’s propaganda machine has been on overdrive during the Republican National Convention trying desperately to repackage the Romney-Ryan team as "compassionate conservatives." But there is a curious counterpoint to the nonsense we’ve heard from the podium coming from another slice of the Right’s noise machine—an emphasis on how scary a second Obama term would be.

Some right-wing authors and filmmakers are making the argument that Obama would be a modern-day Moses, coming down from the mountain and commanding government to institute every imaginable liberal or progressive good idea—regardless of who controls Congress. Let’s forget for a few minutes how disappointed many liberals have been with Obama, and we sadly know better.

Instead, let’s indulge in their fantasy, as put forth in a new movie, 2016,  by Dinesh D’Souza and authors Aaron Klein (who doesn’t even live in the U.S.) and Brenda J. Elliott. Let’s hope they’re correct for just this once. Just for a moment, forget everything you know about Obama’s centrism and imagine that a second Obama term would deliver these simply terrible results.

1. Drastically Reduce U.S. Nuclear Weapons

According to D’Souza’s new film, 2016: Obama's America, Obama is planning to reduce the nuclear stockpile to a few hundred missiles. This is utter foolery, he posits, because Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan and North Korea are feverishly working to become new or even bigger military powers and they wouldn't feel threatened by us anymore. Worse, our nuclear weapons stockpile is aging and the president is not seeking to replace it, he says.

All this supposedly would leave America and its allies, meaning Israel, vulnerable to nuclear attack, we are told, and undermine the Cold War doctrine of mutually assured destruction. The president is working toward a “world without nuclear weapons.” (Too bad that’s actually not the case.)

2. Reorient the Military Toward Global Solutions

According to Klein and Elliott’s new book, the vastly downsized Pentagon would be ordered to help in international peacekeeping, fighting global poverty, combating global warming and remedying injustice. That’s all part of a strategy where the U.S. is not first among nations, but where economic, political and military power is shared—which is surely a reprehensible development (leading to, for example, operations such as the overthrow of Kadaffi in Libya). Never mind that Obama has been severely criticized by civil libertarians for his unilateral drone strikes, targeted assassinations and expansion of the Bush era war on terrorism. Another term, they say, will give peace a chance.

3. Move U.S. To Single-Payer Healthcare

Of course, if Obama is reelected then Obamacare will be impossible to reverse, we are told. But what’s even worse than what they call “government-controled healthcare” is that Obama will open up Medicare for anyone who wants to get coverage that way. And it’s not only Medicare, but other state-run healthcare too. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program also will be made available—all without a private insurer standing between you and your doctors. All this would move us toward a single-payer system. The horrors!

4. Resurrect New Deal Programs That Actually Create Jobs

Apparently progressive calls for more federal economic stimulus spending will be answered after all. In Obama’s second term, not only will there be a 21st-century version of FDR’s Works Progress Administration, but, according to Klein and Elliott’s book, the Department of Labor would oversee this effort to potentially create millions of new jobs. They also believe that Obama would impose wage controls industry by industry, which would force employers to pay their employees more than they otherwise might.

5. Make It Easier To Join Unions

Now here is a truly dangerous idea—make it easier for people to join unions. Apparently some progressive think-tanks have suggested that tax breaks be given to businesses that don’t fight unionization. The Obama administration is not just on board with that, we’re told, but would bar some current forms of union busting.

And Obama's pro-labor policies would not stop there. We would see a higher minimum wage, and all employers would be required to pay a living wage, which might be higher still. Worse yet, employers might be forced to grant longer paid family leaves for the absolutely flimsy excuse of caring for newborns, a sick family member or even themselves! It’s just a small step away from tyranny.

6. Grant Immigration Amnesty

The right also believes that Obama will use his executive authority in a second term to decree that all illegal immigrants become documented and be granted legal presence rights. Never mind that the executive has no such power. In addition to doing this, Obama would order federal agencies to stop policing America’s borders, stop deportations that split up families and open up public healthcare and schools to formerly undocumented immigrants. All of this would soon be followed by granting formerly undocumented individuals voting rights—to ensure a permanent Democratic majority.

7. Break the Fossil Fuel Addiction

Only a president like Obama cares that the planet’s climate is changing when there’s still big money to be made in gas and oil, we’re told. Obama will use federal funds to help businesses develop alternatives to fossil fuels, including getting the Treasury Department to lend money for this purpose. Similarly, a second term would see the administration seeking to improve the nation’s clean water supply, and energy and telecommunications infrastructure. For conservatives, this is the stuff of nightmares.

We are told that Obama is a master in circumventing Congress to get whatever he wants, purely by executive orders. America would never be the same nation that it now is, these flag-waving Republicans declare. Imagine that! Fewer nukes, a smaller military, different international posture, single-payer healthcare, community-creating federal jobs, new workplace and employee rights, humane immigration policies, and a new energy and infrastructure strategy to foster local self-reliance. If only this wasn’t a dream!

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America's retirement crisis, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of "Count My Vote: A Citizen's Guide to Voting" (AlterNet Books, 2008).