We had to destroy the village to save it. -- Unidentified American military officer about the leveling of a village during the Vietnam War.
Almost every election in the last 20 years has been considered "the most important election in our lifetime." Perhaps, at the time, each was.
But, 2012 is different for several reasons. The first is its apocalyptic promise -- elect Romney and Medicare's guaranteed care in old age is gone. Forever.
Turning Medicare into VoucherCare is, besides tax cuts for the wealthy and repealing ObamaCare, the only policy about which the Romney/Ryan ticket has remained consistent.
Unlike deciding not to build an additional B-1 bomber, which indeed saves its cost in the budget and society as a whole, medical costs are just transferred from one place to another.
If you are, say, 29 years old today, and have to face not only a more competitive economic future and, at the same time, figure out how to squirrel an extra $331,000 away to pay for health care in your old age, you may want to think more than twice before staying at home on election day or voting these pathological liars into office.
Because Medicare will be gone, never to return.
Because, once elected, this right-wing crowd, that has shown no respect for our democratic institutions such as the right to vote, and no respect whatsoever for the truth, will use its political power to ensure that it is never defeated.
Because it took two decades, the assassination of a beloved president, and huge majorities in both the House and Senate that followed, to enact Medicare in the first place.
Because, once gone, the political calculus shifts from taking away a benefit to providing a new one, and paying for it.
Vote as if your life depended on it.
Because it does.
Follow Paul Abrams on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pabrams2001