Don't get me wrong. I am feeling a lot better about Obama pulling this off. But it is my nature to worry--I thought there was no way Rick Scott could win either.
I am not fearful for myself personnally; I make good scratch and actually would do well under a Romney presidency. I do fear the devastation to the middle class Romney will certainly try to inflict, not to mention the rights he will try to destroy, but at least I am finally confident that our leadership in the Seante will stop him where they can. (Although it will suck that we will have to fight for our basic rights consistently-again).
What I fear about a Romney victory on Nov. 6 will be the devastation to our democracy. There will be 5 takeaways campaign strategists will use for future campaigns:
1. Outright lies will become a legitimate campaign strategy. Journalism, fact checkers, and even facts, will be attacked as partisan if they contradict a politician. I get that lies are part of politics, but in the past, if you were called on it, you were shamed and IT STOPPED! In the new environment? A candidate will literally make things up, and not only will there be no consequence, but there will be reward. As long as there is money to keep pushing the lie, and fake news sources (hello FOx) to ignore or stand by it, we will be bombarded with so many lies in future campaigns that our outrage over Romney's blatant, debunked lies about everything from welfare to Chrysler will be considered quaint.
2. Bigotry, even hate, will be used as just another election tool that can work. Questioning someone's Americanism, religion, patriotism, birth, intelligence, college transcripts, you name it, will become par for the course in a campaign. Especially if the candidate is "foreign" looking. But as disgusting as those tactics are, I promise you that after a Romney victory you will see more-- and worse.
3. Voter suppression tactics will be standardized in modern GOP campaigns. Romney is already training people to lie to voters to supress teh vote on election day. Here in Florida, people are getting phone calls and letters telling them the wrong dates and times, and I'm not even sure that is illegal here. (If it is I can say there are no consequences, because it keeps happening.) Our legislature worked overtime last year to make it as difficult as possible to register and allow voting for likely Democrats--from essentially banning third party registration outfits, shredding absentee ballots for fake "handwriting analysis", purging eligible voters, forcing provisional ballots on students and women, etc. These are tactics that make third-world dictators blush. A Romney victory, however, will mean refighting the Jim Crow laws that we thought we put to bed half a century ago.
4. Its all about money: Candidates will spend more time fighting over a billionaire's favor, not the public. Romney's entire campaign was financed with 32 billionaires. Obama primarily took in small donations and gave him a run for his money. The take-away from a Romney victory will be candidates running to billionaires and their SuperPACs to curry favor for votes.
5. Secrecy will be the new normal. Did we ever see Mitt's tax returns? Does anyone really know how he made his money? Never mind it has been the standard for 4 decades to release 10+ years of taxes. Putting that aside, has anyone EVER figured how what Romney is going to cut to reduce the deficit?? Somehow we are going to keep our popular deductions, the superrich will get a 20% tax break, and our defense budget will rise by 2 trillion. My now discredited Orlando Sentinel endorsement failed to say how in the hell any of that is going to happen... but it doesn't matter. They didn't ask and I guess its too much trouble for them or anyone else in the MSM to try to get answers.
With a Romney victory, you will see an immediate change under GOP campaigns from the national all the way down to the local level. I fear down the line that even non-GOP campaigns will feel they have to respond in kind.
Romney's campaign was the ugliest and slimiest in modern history... and if he is victorious, I fear that soon his campaign will be the standard, not the exception. Even worse, one day, his campaign will be considered "tame".
It doesn't have to be this way. Vote, then get others to vote, then volunteer, then rest. Thank you.