With the presidential election just about upon us, I am in a state of real worry. If Obama wins, there are certainly profound dangers such as militarism abroad which sooner or later will revisit us in future 9/11’s, climate change, and continued concentration of power in a small, wealthy elite. But if Romney wins, the right is just going to punch the working and middle classes in the face. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would not only set back chances for bringing down health care costs for Americans, but would be a blow to future attempts to create social welfare policies. In a 1954 letter to his brother, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower said the following:
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things…Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
He was saying they were stupid because trying to end such welfare state programs would be political suicide, but times have changed and Republicans can wage blatant class warfare with little difficulty. Hence Romney/Ryan’s desire to make Medicare a voucher system and cut huge swaths of social spending. Progressives and leftists still have serious work to do if Obama is reelected, but that work will be much harder and the obstacles greater if Romney does.