In many ways this was a far tougher election than any in history. As a Democrat whose vote will not count, whose friends (if I have any left) are mostly Democrats, whose family are also almost exclusively Democrats, and whose son claims Mitt Romney will remove critical medical help, this election is especially tough.
However, I remain convinced that a second term for Barack Obama will be disastrous and that Mitt Romney has the skills to bring our fractured nation together for all of us. Perhaps the final evidence came yesterday from Obama's own mouth during his non-stop campaigning.
Unlike 2008, when the stakes were largely unknown, this election has much more meaning. It confronts those whose dreams and aspirations were so dramatically affected by Barack Obama with the reality of his term. It makes it necessary to excuse the man for lapses from economic, social and moral perspectives if you are a voter like me, or to stand up for our principles and vote for another Republican although many of their views are different from mine.
There are so many things that Obama could have done that he has not.
Instead, he has dramatically increased secrecy while continuing many Constitutional violations essential to our freedom and democracy. These actions make another term exceptionally critical in the flightpath of our country even without the other problems.
He adopted even more strict interpretations of "executive privilege" instead of providing the transparency he promised.
He prosecuted with a vengeance those who sought to open government up in ways like Daniel Ellsberg, whose "Pentagon Papers" published by the once heroic The New York Times provided insight into lies and corruption over Vietnam and whose fortieth anniversary passed by without a word.
He kept Guantanamo Bay alive and beefed up Afghanistan without firm evidence of any of the accomplishment he claims despite the evidence to the contrary.
He adopted lasting principles that would allow our president to be entirely above the law, to conduct activities outside the scrutiny of anyone, and to ignore laws not even with the claim that they invade the sole province of the executive because they plainly do not. The political expediency of executive orders in violation of law was sufficient reason to make them. They will increase in unknown scope and significance if he were reelected. We are told the number planned are exceptional.
When the chips were down, Obama refused to make public government papers dealing with two outrageous scandals, Fast and Furious and Benghazi. As to both, he chose to delay the investigations.
Fast and Furious has been going on for years, with a lie perpetrated for nine months.
Benghazi may never be understood if Obama is reelected. He appears to have delayed an ongoing FBI investigation of the scene of the crime until weeks after the attack, leaving all forensic evidence to whomever wanted to change it. He may have obstructed justice in doing so.
Yet, what he has done in the last days of his political career serves as a critical signpost of both the past and what he will do if reelected. He will have his way or you will have the highway. Only Romney offers compromise, an essential ingredient for moving a government forward to real reform.
Obama now uses dangerous rhetoric to accomplish his goal of reelection. It is no longer enough to attack Romney, a man whose integrity remains unsullied by any claim other than the fact that he changes his mind.
Obama now works hard at foisting his failures on all the "bad men and women" from the Right, including all Republicans in two ways that are dangerous and anti-American. Indeed, in his last fight of his political career, Obama has used two new concepts as far as I know unheard of in American politics that have stirred the pot that will make a loss potentially very dangerous.
He now wants his supporters to vote as "revenge" against Republicans.
And, worse, he wants to "convince [voters his supporters consider taking to the polls] to vote for me [Obama] before you drag them off to the polls."
These are tragic and essential reminders of who Barack Obama is and what he stands for.
If there ever was evidence of his intentions, they can be found in revenge. It was not enough to talk about revenge when discussing an election for president, even though he was the president for four years. This talk of revenge is designed to bring out the youth and minorities who could once again determine this election. And it is designed to continue the divide that has our country in two camps.
You are either for me or against me. And if you are against me, you are in the wrong.
For Obama, however, the ultimate statement came along with the word "revenge." He wants to deny voters the right to vote for Romney.
His effort to galvanize his troops to get the vote out is bearing fruit. In fact, some actions are already illegal.
As reported yesterday, the NAACP is said to have violated the law at one polling place in Houston, working inside the polling place. Their actions were overt, with the claim that they refusing to turn their jackets inside out so their identification did not show. They handed out bottle water and, if you were voting for Obama, you were moved to the front of the line.
Allegedly, no one in charge did anything all the way up the line in Houston.
Earlier, easily corrected touch screen errors on machines that were supposed to have been calibrated correctly were giving Obama votes intended for Romney. These are simply foisted off on simple errors. They should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by law.
These things are playing out in ways that will undoubtedly become far worse this Tuesday. We need to be very scared indeed about this, especially given Obama's use of "revenge," during voting on Tuesday, and even more so in the aftermath of a Obama loss.
Yet it is the problems that could arise during the vote for which his words are absolutely clear, not even spoken in code: "make sure they are voting for me before you take them to the polls."
If there are any of you still undecided and who believe the nonsense about Obama trying to work with Republicans after his call for revenge, consider this one very carefully.
Your president said that before you "drag them off to the polls" you should "convince them to vote for me." Exactly the mode of persuasion and the methodology of ensuring that this happens once they are "dragged" off to the polls is anyone's guess but subject to interpretation.
Unless you believe that this election is more important than even the right to vote, you could never utter these words. You would simply encourage people to vote, who ever you choose. But this is no ordinary man or president.
Your president goes even farther. He says that, if they have no ride and you are not certain that you have convinced them to vote for him, you need to leave them at home so they cannot vote for Mitt Romney.
The franchise to vote is not sufficiently important to Obama if he is not getting the vote.
From my perspective, there is no need to say anything else. Obama says it all.
Yet his power to organize includes the power to heal. He must do this if Romney wins or loses. Yet, sadly, there is no likelihood he can or will if reelected.
Mitt Romney has skills needed today. We need a great manager in government to begin to lead it toward efficiency, humanity, and service to all. And we need someone who has not used the language of revenge and hate while hiding government behind claims of imperial power.
If there ever were a time for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama it is now.
As for my son and all you who remain friends no matter my views, I pray for you to see some of the truth here. I pray that you do not falter, and that you understand I am voting for healing. I may be stupid. The future is uncertain. But I believe that Romney is a better choice.
And if by chance you may remain undecided until you pull the lever, call a Republican or an independent. They will not ask who you are voting for. They will just get you to the polls.