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Jon (Bowzer) Bauman Headshot

Defeat of a Salesman

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I can't imagine why anyone would vote for Willard "Mitt" Romney. He has run the most cynical campaign in my long lifetime, positing that voters are just so inattentive and driven by emotion rather than reason that they simply don't care that most of his ads are based on blatant lies. Or that on every major issue he's taken more positions than a porn star. Or that there's something that would be fatal to his candidacy in all his tax returns before 2010. Or that he insults half the population when he's behind closed doors talking to his fancy blue blood donor peers. Or that he's another chicken hawk surrounded by Bush's neocon foreign policy advisers who are as always itching for another pointless war. Or that he intends to voucherize and privatize the two greatest programs for the independence and dignity of seniors in our nation's history, adding greater cost burden and uncertainty to their lives. Or that he preaches "smaller government" but endorses and runs with those who would impose government-forced maternity on rape victims. Or that he couldn't seem to care less about any of the other hard-fought rights of women, including equal pay for equal work. Or that he has practiced the worst kind of "vulture capitalism" as a businessman, costing and outsourcing way more jobs than he's "created." Or that he was completely disengaged as governor of Massachusetts, leaving office with a pitiful 34% approval rating, third worst in the country, and only one accomplishment, an accomplishment which he insults and repudiates daily. Or that he is so mendacious that he claims a "bipartisan" governorship when he vetoed 844 bills and was overridden more than 700 times. Or that, in that Bay State which knows him best, the only place he has ever held public office, he is trailing President Obama in some polls by 27 points! Doesn't that tell you something? In the only state that has ever known him as a public official, he is trailing by over 20 points!

I can't imagine why anyone would vote for Willard "Mitt" Romney.

But millions will, because they can't see through this core-less salesman's strategy to get ahead by sequentially selling everybody whatever he thinks they want to buy. In Arthur Miller's classic drama, Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman was a small cog in a corporate machine, a vivid symbol of the struggles of America's middle class, a guy just trying to feed his family only to find himself crushed by the system. Mitt Romney is the system. A wholly different kind of salesman. The kind who sells only the biggest deals without concern for their human consequences. The crusher, not the crushee. The kind who says "corporations are people, my friend" because he's more a corporation than a person. The kind who's made so many millions by pushing money around in that alley between 3rd base and home plate where he was born that he really has nothing better left to do than to sell you on why he's entitled to run your country like he'd run a business -- with no concern for anybody but his biggest investors.

So we just have to defeat him. Listen up! No more hand-wringing, no more kvetching and whining, no more "why don't they?" second-guessing of Obama campaign strategies (which have been pretty damn good, by the way). Just work! Just getting out every vote there is for a positive vision of America's future moving forward. I love the all-embracing music of the 1950s partly because it helped change an America that needed changing. I do not want to relive the struggles of my parents and the struggles of my youth. I do not want to go back to a time before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Medicare. There are innumerable other advances that Romney/Ryan want to undo in exchange for massive campaign contributions from the insurance lobby, or Wall Street, or various other corporate interests. And we just can't let them.

I'm a volunteer who's campaigned in 12 states so far, for the president and for my favorite House and Senate candidates who are in tough races. I'm also a volunteer spokesperson for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. I have put my time and my effort where my mouth is, slugging through OH, FL, NV, VA, WI, IA, MN, PA, MA, NH and NY, several of them multiple times, as well as my home state of CA, since early September. I'm just not going to let Bush Redux on Steroids take over without a colossal fight.

And neither should you. At the age of 65, I've had an incredible life. I've got plenty of reasons to give back to my beloved country, and I've got loads of flexible time and resources to do it with. Not everyone's so fortunate, but we all need to do what we can. We have a simple task and a single focus. We have a big edge in "registered voters," but are much closer with "likely voters." All we have to do is to turn those "registered voters" into actual voters by the end of Tuesday. Wherever you are, get yourself to a campaign office and go out knocking on doors (most recommended), or get on the phone (next best) and become a soldier in the greatest political army ever amassed to Get Out The Vote. If you're in a safe state and can get to a swing state to work, do it! There are only a few days left, and you can sleep on November 7th. This is audience participation at its finest. You'll feel so much better about yourself if you can take a deep breath on November 7th having played a role. You'll be feeling good and proud in a country where you still want to live.

As the president has said of the true, profound nature of the great experiment that is America: We're All In This Together. And together on Tuesday we can and will accomplish the Defeat of a Salesman.