To the Person Who Filmed the Now-Infamous Mitt Romney 47% Video:
I don't know who you are. I don't know if you're a woman or a man, or young or old, or what ethnicity you are, or anything about you. Almost nobody knows your identity, and I think that's a good thing. Even if I did know, I would keep your secret.
Because your name isn't important to me. Your courage, however, is.
It was a brave—and straight-up punk rock—thing to do to shoot that film of Mitt Romney yukking it up with his rich funders about how awesome it would be if he were Latino and how gross it is that people think they're entitled to food. During the last presidential election, there was all sorts of laughably ironic talk of "mavericks," but it was this presidential election in which an actual maverick showed up, video camera (or phone) in hand.
It wasn't just your job you risked taking that video and making it public. You risked your personal safety, should your identity have (or ever) become widely known. You risked being sued, losing your privacy, having your name and reputation inextricably tied to that video for the rest of your life.
These are not small things.
I want to acknowledge the risks you took, and I want to say that I believe you had a huge impact on this election. I don't think any one thing is ever responsible for deciding the outcome of a presidential race, not even Richard Nixon's sweaty mug, but lots of things. And among the things that made this race, your video was one of them—and a critical one, at that. Your video was, for many voters, the first glimpse they saw of the real Mitt Romney, and his real base.
And I want to say thank you. Whoever you are, and whatever your reasons for shooting and sharing that video, thank you.