"President Romney" -- Why Those Two Words Should Scare You into Action This Election
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The Republicans know this: that we, the majority, will have sex when we want and with whom we want, will read and watch whatever we want when we want, will use marijuana if we want and if we don't want to then we certainly don't want our friends who do to be throw into prison. We are sick and tired of being poisoned, by chemicals or propaganda, we think the Palestinians have been given a raw deal and we want our friggin' jobs back! The Christian Right (and their Wall Street funders) know this all too well – America has turned, and there's no going back to not loving someone because of the color of their skin or expecting women to cede control of their bodies to a bunch of Neanderthals.
So, what's a Rightie to do now that we've turned the joint into Sodom and G? They have to suppress the vote! They have to stop as many liberals from voting as possible. So they've passed many voter suppression laws to make it hard for the poor, the minorities, the disabled and students to vote. They honestly believe they can pull this off – and they just may. The only "positive" thing about this is that their need to have such laws in order to win the election is an admission on the part of the Republicans that they know the U.S. Is a liberal country and that the only way they can now win now is to cheat. Trust me, if they believed that America was a right-wing country they'd be passing laws making it so easy to vote you could do it in the checkout line at Walmart.
But the voting on November 6th will not take place at Walmart or on any potato's couch. It can only happen by going to a polling place – and, not to state the obvious, the side that gets the most people physically out to the polls that day, wins. We know the Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars to make sure this very thing happens. They have built a colossal get-out-the-vote machine for election day, and the sheer force of their tsunami of hate stands ready to overwhelm us like nothing we've ever seen before. Those of us in the Midwest got a taste of it in 2008. Traditionally Democratic states – all of which voted for Obama – saw our state legislatures and governor seats hijacked by this well-oiled machine. We didn't know what hit us, but these new Republicans wasted no time in dismantling some of the very basic thing we hold dear. Wisconsin fought back – but even that huge grassroots uprising was not enough to stop the governor bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. It was a wake up call, for sure – but have we really woken up?
It's been a great week in Charlotte. It's OK for us to take a couple days to high-five each other, but I cannot stress enough to you that unless you and I are doing something every day for the next 60 days to get people out to vote, then there is a chance we will all be saying "President Romney" come January. Don't think it can't happen. Hate, sad to say, at least in America these days, is a far greater motivator than love and feelin' groovy.
For those of us who believe that the history of the Democrats and the Republicans is to do the bidding of the 1% (Obama's #1 private contributor in '08 were the people at Goldman Sachs), and that while the Dems are a kinder/gentler bunch, they are also just as quick to want to take us to war and sell us out to the corporate interests (and, yes, Obamacare is a $$ gift to the insurance companies; only a single-payer system will stop that), this election is a bit of a bitter pill. We were hugely disappointed when President Obama didn't charge out of the gate after his inauguration and undo the damage that had been done (as FDR did in his first hundred days) – and only when Wall Street stopped writing him the big campaign checks this past year did he get his mojo back and start fighting the fight that needs to be fought. He's a good and decent person (when he's not sending in drones to kill Pakistani civilians or prosecuting government whistleblowers), and his election four years ago was a high point of such emotional intensity I just couldn't get over how hopeful I was that this country had changed and we had found our moral footing. Reality set in a few weeks later when he put Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of economic policy and then he changed his mind about closing Gitmo.
OK, so people like me, just once in our lifetime, would like to get our way all the time! Is that too much to ask? Of course, there is a different question that is in the air now — shall we give the country back to the crowd who gave the country to the 1%? I think not. So let's join in with our liberal majority and be fierce and relentless in these next two months. Let's spend this time educating people what we mean when we say things like "single-payer" and "Blackwater." Politics and the fate of the nation (and the world – sorry, world) are on the front burner and those of us who want to wrestle control of our society out of the hands of the few can take healthy advantage of these coming weeks. Don't sit it out. Don't try to convince anyone Obama has magically transformed us – just tell them four years is simply not enough time to undo all the hurt caused by biggest economic crash since the Great Depression and the biggest military blunder/lie in our history.
I'm going to go with my optimistic side here (sorry, cynics, you know I love you) and imagine a Second Term Obama (and a Democratically-controlled Congress) who will go after all the good that our people deserve and put the power of our democracy back in our hands. There's good reason why the Right is terrified of a Second Term Obama because that is exactly what they think he'll do: the real Obama will appear and take us down the road to social justice and tolerance and a leveling of the economic playing field. For once, I'd like to say I agree with the Right – and I sincerely hope their worst nightmare does come true.