It's been a long, ugly grind. I am grateful that Michele Bachman, Rick Perry and Herman Cain didn't hang around for the long haul. Mitt Romney's presence has more than filled the void they left. My tolerance for posturing and outright lies seems to be decreasing with age.
Yet, the largest part of me is worried sick about the potential result of Republican "Block the Vote" efforts to steal the White House and the Congress.
Suppressing the vote is not how America likes to think of itself, even though it is deeply rooted in the country's DNA.
Back when "our" Founding Fathers were founding this Republic, and spoke of man's inalienable rights, they didn't even feel it necessary to mention that they only meant "white , male, property owners." White men with jobs, who might be saving up to buy property, couldn't vote. White women didn't have inalienable rights either. I need not mention people of color.
Mitt, and his Tea Party friends look back upon those days wistfully. In fact, the Electoral College allowed those two groups, white women & landless white men, to be counted as part of the population that determined how many Electoral College votes the southern, (read "slave states") states got. Five-eighths of every Negro, slave or free, was also counted as part of a state's population. This compromise leveled the playing field between the more sparsely populated, agricultural South and the more heavily populated, industrial North.
But, I digress. A scary part of the last debate, and this campaign as a whole, is that Republicans feel comfortable lying and changing their stated positions from day to day without fear that a knowledgeable, alert public and media will laugh them off the stage.
Folks seem focused on how a candidate looked – did he blush, smile or frown – rather than what he said and how that squares with what he said yesterday.
In the last debate, Mitt lamented the fact that our Navy has fewer ships than at any time since 1916. True, but, in 1916 the U.S. had 11 percent of the world's naval strength. Today it boasts more than 50 percent of the world's naval strength. Mitt said Syria was Iran's path to the sea. Way wrong. First, the two countries don't share a border and second, Iran has its own coastline. How can a candidate, in this day and age, agree to a debate on foreign policy, and not familiarize himself with a map of the world? He can do it because large portions of the American public pay attention to fluff instead of substance and, should he ever become president, someone – not Dick Chaney this time – will tell him what his next lie should be.
Today, Mitt's masters are more than willing to have him say whatever they think women, gays and Latinos want to hear; even if it is diametrically opposed to their own views. Later, he can be directed to say he didn't say it, or, the situation has changed or whatever.
Please make sure you're registered and vote. I fully expect the Nov. 7 news to be full of stories of vote blocking, stealing, losing, miscounting and worse. We may not even have a result when we awake on Wednesday. What state will be the Florida of 2000 this year?