The Obama campaign can redirect its negative advertising budget. All Obama needs to do is play Romney's offensive, elitist, dehumanizing fund-raising speech describing 47% of Americans as "they," "them," and "those people."
For those who missed it:
(Quick note to Governor Romney: I do pay income taxes.)
Romney's "other-izing" half of the country reflects a disturbing tendency to dehumanize our differences. While Romney dehumanizes 47% of Americans while pumping donors for cash, in the past decade, the government has increasingly "other-ized" minorities, particularly those of Arab or Muslim descent, in disturbingly bi-partisan fashion. The U.S. government has created an entire second-tier justice system for "them:" not prisoners, or prisoners of war, but "enemy combatants."
With dehumanizing and re-labeling people as "enemy combatants," the government has justified torturing "them", holding "those people" for years without charge, counsel or trial, and targeting "them" for assassination without due process. The message is eerily similar to and equally as offensive as Romney's: that "enemy combatants" are "others" who do not deserve the same rights that the rest of us enjoy, even those of us accused of crimes.
At times the courts have smacked down the erosion of rights for the class of people the government has labeled "enemy combatants." Recently, Judge Royce Lamberth sharply rejected the government's attempts to deprive Guantanamo prisoners of counsel and, most recently, Judge Katharine Forrest struck down the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Yet, the government continuously attempts to deprive "those people" of basic constitutional rights. (The Justice Department is appealing Judge Forrest's decision.)
In our completely justifiable outrage over Romney's "other-rizing" 47% percent of Americans, let us remember to be equally outraged when government officials from either party seek to create a dehumanizing category of "others" in order to further erode their liberties.
We don't have look very far for a more poetic expression of the dangers of "other-izing:"