Many voters say this presidential election comes down to the economy. Others say they’re voting on social issues like abortion, or foreign policy and America's role in the world.
But Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliot believe it's about much more. Economic recovery and foreign policy, they say, are only pieces of a much larger issue at stake: liberty.
"The danger is that 2012 may not only the most important election of our lifetimes, but that it will be the last chance we have to save liberty as Americans have known it since 1776," they write in their recently released book, "Fool Me Twice: Obama's Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed."
In his now-infamous "flexibility" comments to Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this year, President Obama revealed that he has a hidden agenda ready to implement after re-election.
Mr. Klein and Ms. Elliot delved into the policies that shaped Mr. Obama's first term to see if they could uncover his plans for a second.
Their book, intended to be a sort of blueprint for the next four years of an Obama presidency, lays out his plans for the military, a new green stimulus, immigration and amnesty, health care, jobs and wages, and the economy.
“Fool Me Twice” is intended simply to inform voters by divulging what the president won’t say, Mr. Klein told Times247 in an interview last week. Mr. Obama's "ultimate aim," he said, "is to implement a progressive utopia."
Because the president has had to fight for re-election, he has kept many aspects of his progressive policies quiet, or repackaged them to lull the public into complacency: wealth redistribution becomes “paying a fair share,” amnesty becomes “a path to citizenship.”
But the danger is that, if he’s elected to a second term, the president won’t have to worry about voters’ approval. For the next four years, he will be free to implement as many progressive policies as he can ram through Congress or deem into existence through executive orders.
For those who doubt the revelation of a progressive agenda, Mr. Klein noted that the president has been closely associated with socialist groups since the beginning of his political career, and he himself said his goal is "to fundamentally change America." While not all progressive ideas coming through Mr. Obama's administration originate with him, he is the vehicle for socialist groups like the Center for American Progress and the Institute for Policy Studies to turn their proposals into law, Mr. Klein said.
"He is one of them. He is them," he said.
The most immediate danger if Mr. Obama is re-elected is the economy.
"We're on the cusp of an economic emergency," Mr. Klein said. "We have such great debt we can't afford these plans."
Whether it’s higher taxes, expanded welfare rolls, “paycheck fairness” legislation or unchecked deficit spending, each bullet point of the president’s economic plan leads to more dependency and debt, Mr. Klein said.
"They all translate to, number one, more government intervention, but number two, a lot more spending," Mr. Klein said. "I believe this second-term agenda will bankrupt the country."
Welfare, wealth redistribution, amnesty and stimulus after stimulus all contribute to creating a society dependent on the left for survival, ensuring that the left has support from a majority of voters.
And that's not just a side-effect: Mr. Klein said he believes it's a key part of the Obama administration's strategy to ensure the Democratic Party remains in power. Less obvious, but no less dangerous, is the president’s strategy to enforce "fairness," both domestically and internationally.
This strategy begins at home with the defense budget, which siphons money from the military into more "green" energy projects like the wind farms and electric cars that have failed to gain public acceptance despite billions of dollars of Energy Department subsidies and loan guarantees.
Defense spending would be redirected to the United Nations as a “penalty” for America’s large carbon footprint on the world and as humanitarian aid to such friendly allies as the Hamas-backed Palestinian Authority and Egypt’s Islamist government.
Our pared-down military would then be rebranded as a peacekeeping force, working closely with the U.N. to enforce "justice" around the world. And when it does go to war, it won’t be called war, Mr. Klein added: it will be disguised as a humanitarian mission that doesn’t need approval of Congress.
Which leads to another serious threat: Mr. Obama’s apparent determination to implement his agenda by expanding the power of the executive branch. He has already demonstrated a willingness to do that, from granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants to invoking executive privilege over documents related to the Justice Departmen's Fast and Furious gunwalking operation.
"Absolutely, I think part of the strategy is to bypass Congress," Mr. Klein said. "Imagine what he might attempt if he doesn't have to face voters again."
But Mr. Klein stressed that the single biggest danger of a second Obama term is a permanent loss of liberty. The president’s “progressive utopia” is a world in which the government controls every aspect of the individual’s life.
“Julia,” the Obama re-election campaign’s imaginary example of cradle-to-grave dependency on government, is really the prototype: She represents what the progressive left wants for every American.
Government intervention, Mr. Klein warned, is shrinking individual freedom.
"By increasing the government in our lives, it decreases our choice, our freedom," he said.