In Paul Ryan, Mr. Romney has chosen a guy who shares his commitment to further — insane — tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on everyone else. Somehow, this will get the economy moving? Ryan’s House budget calls for deep cuts in education, from Head Start to college aid, and for shifting thousands of dollars in Medicare costs to seniors. Romney’s choice Saturday just confirms the gravity of our own 85 days from now. (Or sooner, if your state has early voting.)
MARS, SHMARZ — WHAT ABOUT THE COMET?
Usually, I just write fundraising pitches and click SEND — for better or worse.
The most recent one I planned to send my list I thought might be too shrill, so I asked a wise donor — who had had nothing more to drink than a soda water with pomegranate juice — if I could test it out on her.
(We had been discussing our prospects for the election.)
She said: “Sure.”
So I explained that there was a comet hurtling our way with a 70% chance of missing Earth — so we would likely barely notice — but a 30% chance it would blow us to smithereens . . . except that a new kind of force field had been developed that could almost surely divert the comet if we all just pooled our energy into doing so.
“Really?” her eyes widened.
Whether they were widening more at the comet or at the invention of the force field I do not know.
“Well, no, of course not!” I said, confused that she could be taking this literally. (As the Ugandan woman so marvelously explains to the disillusioned missionary near the end of THE BOOK OF MORMON: “Eeet . . . eeez . . . a . . . METAPHOR!”)
And then she got it.
“Oh,” she said.
And that’s the thing. The President will probably be reelected — in which case we’ll continue to make progress and will barely notice the catastrophe we dodged . . . but there’s a 30% chance Mr. Romney will win (intrade actually puts it at more like 41%), which will mean we failed to turn out enough votes to hold the White House OR the Senate, let alone take back the House, in which case Rush Limbaugh / Karl Rove, et al, will have a complete lock on all three branches of government. We will lose the Supreme Court for 20 years, democracy will give way to oligarchy, we will have a global depression (as the Republican austerity budget sucks hundreds of billions of dollars of demand OUT of the economy at exactly the time we should be putting hundreds of billions IN, to modernize our infrastructure), with all the war and horror global depressions are all too prone to lead to.
And all we have to do to avert it –- like the comet –- is pool our energy. Our votes, our voices, our Visa cards.
“It’s actually worse than the comet,” said my pal, warming to the analogy.
(It is usually I, not my donors, who flirt with hyperbole. How could a Romney win be worse than the planet being blown to smithereens?)
“With the comet,” she explained, “we’d experience no pain. We’d just die instantly. We’d be living with the election for decades.”
Just as we are living now with the fall-out from the President’s predecessor.
We have 85 days. Fewer, really, because early voting starts in just a few weeks — and because it doesn’t really help to send a check the day before the election, when the comet is moments from impact. NOW is the time to bend its course.
Blame this pitch, if it’s too shrill, on my pal with the pomegranate and soda. She said I should go with it. But if you know folks who’ve not yet done all they can . . . because they “don’t do political giving” (time to make an exception!) . . . or because “Obama’s going to win” (not if we stand by as they outspend us by a billion dollars of superPAC money) . . . or because they “have another engagement that day” (truthfully, I don’t CARE if they come shoot hoops with the NBA stars –- it’s not about attending an event, it’s about climate change and stem cell research and the separation of church and state and what kind of country we’re going to be) . . .
. . . if you know folks like that, who are with us but have not yet done all they can, please tell them, with love but with urgency, that a comet is headed our way, and that all we have to do to divert it is make a modest but meaningful sacrifice. Like, say, 1% of our net worth.
As always, I’ll see the $$$ the minute it comes through, to say thanks.
[Or — if you’re not a part of QuickDonate yet — you should know that you can donate to the campaign with a single click in emails, online, or on your smartphone. All you need to do is securely save your payment info: here.]
Tomorrow: Evolution of the Human Race v. Evolution of the E. Coli Bacterium . . . Solar v. Fossil . . . And More.
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I went to buy carpeting and it's $15 a square yard. I'm not going to pay that for carpeting. So I bought two square yards, and when I get home I strap them to my feet.~Comedian Steven Wright
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