Mitt Romney hates porn. Or, if he’s like a remarkable number of politicians, when he says he hates something he secretly partakes in it. Regardless, if he is elected president, his impact on “obscenities” could reach much further than simply shutting down a few BDSM sites or lowering the production value for Naughty Ninnies 12.

According to Patrick Trueman, one of the former heads of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Romney promised him that “fighting porn would be a top priority.” Romney has already cut ties with companies that fund pornography; he’s clearly ruffled some feathers as even Hustler titan Larry Flynt has offered $1 million for Romney’s tax returns. And Mitt’s foreign and legal policy director Alex Wong also apparently told Truman that Romney is “convinced this has now had a terrible effect on society, and he will enforce the law.”

One day, all porn will be cello porn.

But where does “the law” come in regarding porn? What counts as “obscene”?

Potter Stewart, a judge who ruled on a 1964 pornography-related obscenity case, famously said, “I know it when I see it.” According to Forbes,  “To be found obscene…a work must appeal to prurient interests according to community standards, depict sexual activity in an offensive way, and be wholly lacking in scientific, artistic, political or literary value.”

And if somebody decides that a work is obscene because they just “know it,” then it’s no longer protected by the First Amendment.

Whether or not you participate in the viewing of porn doesn’t matter, however. What that vague “obscenity” guideline up there means is that anything a person creates that a judge or jury doesn’t find value in can therefore be declared “obscene” and the creator can be prosecuted. Mitt Romney’s camp believes that these laws need to be more strictly enforced, meaning the producers of so-called obscenity should be sent to jail.

What happens when an artist creates works using menstruation blood? After all, the Republican party is almost comedic in their disdain for feminist discourse. Or, what if an experimental film is created, deemed worthless by somebody who decides to take them to court? Sure, the artists could combat it and perhaps they will win, but they’ll be forced to spend time and money fighting against a charges for actions that didn’t actually hurt anybody.

Believe me, I get the obscenity thing when it applies to animals or any other being that can’t consent (children, heavily intoxicated people, etc.); that makes total sense. However, if you and your buddy decide to make a recording or video or avant-garde painting of yourselves talking about or doing things that aren’t applicable to the “prurient interests according to community standards” — i.e. anything outside of a heterosexual marriage, according to the wildly out-of-touch world that many Republicans live in — then you might find yourself in a courtroom. If they don’t find any value in your creation, ta-da! You’re obscene.

After all, as Trueman says, porn is “eroding the very fiber that holds America together: ruining marriages, altering brains, breaking down inhibitions.” Clearly, the man’s never heard of bath salts.

So, fellow ruined, altered and inhibition-free harlots: this is just one more reason not to vote for Romney! As if you really needed another.

Images via Rollitup/SFWporn