Many people think America is standing at a fork in the road, trying to decide which of two completely different paths to take. Obama represents one; Romney the other. Both sides think that if America makes the wrong choice, all will be lost.
I think that's bullshit. Romney, the Tea Party, and conservatives lost the battle long ago. They just haven't noticed yet.
The United States is a progressive country and always has been. In some ways we haven’t kept up with other countries (for example, in providing universal health care), but we’ve always moved in the right direction. A Romney victory might slow that momentum down, but it won't stop it.
Romney and his Tea Party allies are desperately trying to keep us out of the 21st century—or perhaps even the 20th. We’ve faced such resistance before. When women fought for the right to vote; when we ended legal segregation; and now, in supporting same-sex marriage rights. In none of these cases were we at a “crossroads.” There was only forward movement, and futile efforts to stop it.
GOP resistance seems strong but it isn't sustainable—the contradictions in its thinking (if you can call it that) are ripping it up from the inside. You can’t trumpet individual rights and then restrict women’s choices about their own bodies; you can’t claim you know how to fix the economy when your policies triggered a global economic crisis; you can’t say you’re pro-life and then stand by and let the poor die from preventable medical conditions.
I believe Obama will slam Romney and slam him hard. Fox News will broadcast its sackcloth-and-ashes message far and wide, and the Tea Partiers will fill the airwaves with fire and brimstone.
But it's too late. Conservatives have already stretched themselves as far as they can, feeding from every last drop of Obama-hatred they can muster up. Now beaten, they can only retreat. Our fundamental belief in equal opportunity, our aversion to cruelty, and 5th grade-level math will unravel them.
This isn't a fork in the road, it's a milestone. Mitt Romney will step backwards into history, and the religious right will be left behind in a secular version of the Rapture. American values—and demographics—will see to that.