Obama will win in 2012 because of Charles Stone and people like him. We may also win back the House because of Charles Stone and the others. We may even - oh, great dream - actually pick up Senate seats. And then we can get a majority on the Supreme Court through Obama's second-term appointments.
All this rests on the shoulders of Charles Stone. Or, more aptly, on his feet.
For Charles Stone is a man in Wisconsin who is a great example to all the rest of us. He's one of those who walked precincts for Obama in 2008, decided he'd give it a miss in 2012, but has now resolved to once again "light the fires", to use his own words. You can read his odyssey from "never again" to back into the trenches in the comments we exchanged re two of my recent postings: "The GOP Has the Money But We Have the Feet" and "Retro Romney, 'Polyuska Pole!', and 'The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!' "
Charles is a brave man. He knows that precinct work can be a slog. Of 2008 he says, "I continued to trudge on." (The word "trudge" means a person is very tired.) But though Charles had some not-so-great moments in his 2008 precinct work, he is willing to set that aside now because he also remembers the high points. The good people he worked with. The help from the UAW. The excitement of get-out-the-vote on Election Day. Most of all he knows that the stakes in this year's election are enormous. And he's brave enough to change his mind right out in public, through our exchange of comments.
Arguably Charles Stone should not have to do one thing more for his country. Nor should he have felt compelled to contribute that "trudging" in 2008. He had already done plenty: "I sat nuclear alert as a crew member of a B-52 during the Cold War...."
That, my darlings, was very hairy-scarey duty! It tells us that Charles is indeed a gutsy guy. It also tells us that, far more than most of us, he understands how important our choice of a president is. Keep in mind that the president is the Commander-in-Chief and has the power to unleash hell.
We DON'T want Mitt Romney to have that power. Not THAT power! Bad enough that Romney's avowed economic policies would shove us right over into a Depression, as well as reward the rich and punish the rest of us. Bad enough that his anti-regulation stance is a welcome mat for global warming. Bad enough that he doesn't "get it" about women being equal beings. Etc. What is most terrifying is his ignorant and belligerent stance on foreign policy. He opposes virtually every move Obama has made to defuse bad situations abroad. He mistakes being intelligent for "weakness".
That way lies war.
And Romney doesn't get it that one of Obama's most important achievements has been the 2010 treaty with Russia to reduce the stockpile of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of the wrong people. Romney instead wants to be "tough" with everybody: Russia, China, Iran, and any other nation he can round up for his own version of the "Evil Axis". The price of this relaunching of the Cold War can be World War III. Or a terrorist attack with nuclear materials. Or a terrible war in the Middle East. We need Russia and China to help with Syria, North Korea and Iran. Obama is doing a masterful job of this. Romney would stomp on these relationships. And we would all suffer. Oh, boy, would we ever!
We don't want Charles Stone or your kids or your grandkids to be back in those B-52s, this time heading into the real Apocalypse. We don't even want lesser evils, such as gasoline prices sky-rocketing to $8 or $10 a gallon because of Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz. That would not just make a big dent in your paycheck. You probably wouldn't even be getting a paycheck any more because of the ensuing economic collapse!
The pundits say that Americans don't think about foreign policy, not even in elections. But we have to! Peace isn't passive. It has to be worked at, especially in this rapidly evolving world. And there can be no prosperity without peace. George W proved that. We need a president who is working for peace. Obama has been doing a good job of earning that Nobel Peace Prize.
And all of our rights as women or gays or just as private citizens mean nothing if we are dead or starving. Such things can't happen, you say. Don't tell that to an old gal who members the Great Depression and World War II. Don't tell that to Charles Stone, who sat watch in that B-52 to be sure that such things did not happen.
So the choice is yours: Walk a precinct for Obama? Or risk our lives and our daily bread with Romney?
The stakes in 2012 don't just rest on Charles Stone, good man that he is. They rest on you. I called Charles "a hero" in our comments exchange. Can you be a hero too?
Oh, yes, you can! Just walk that precinct! And save the world.