McCain Whips Supporters Into Frenzy, Then Urges Respect

October 11, 2008 · Leave a Comment

McCain, to his credit, has recently been urging the bloodthirsty in his audience to exercise restraint and respect.

Perhaps you heard some of the horrifying sound bites of his crowds shouting “kill him” when John was whipping them into a frenzy at his rallies.  I felt a cold hard knot form in the base of my stomach when I heard that. We are not that far from the tyranny of the mob in this country, especially where race is concerned.  Compound that with the worst economic crisis the country has seen in generations, and you have the volatile ingredients for hatred and persecution to rear its ugly head.

Palin, in her role as the “attack dog” of the campaign, was a prime mover in inspiring the baser instincts in campaign supporters.  It is not surprising that racists would flock to a campaign that is opposing the first African-American in history with a real chance at becoming President.  It is surprising that the campaign inflamed their misplaced passion with irresponsible rhetoric.  But I have to give McCain his due, when he realized how dangerous this situation was, or more cynically perhaps, when he realized that he would lose non-racist moderates in droves if he didn’t speak out against the lynch mob, he did speak out clearly.  So kudos to McCain for his recent action.

Now you may find it funny that I talk about hatred on a site called “hatepalin.com.”  Several have chided me for using this URL.  As I’ve tried to make clear on my “about” page I don’t hate Sarah Palin.  I do hate many of her policies, and think she would be disastrous in a national leadership role.  I just thought that “www.sarahpalinisdangerousandihateherpoliciesandshewouldbedisastrous.com” was less catchy.  But if you’ve read my posts, I’ve veered away from criticizing her family (except where it reflects on her suitability for office, like when her husband improperly used the office and power of the Governor in Troopergate, or where her own statements contradict her policies, like her praise of her daughters “choice” to keep her baby while wanting to deny other girls that choice), and I’ve never tried to demonize the woman.  That’s more than I can say about the McCain-Palin campaign and their rhetoric about Obama.

This is the time for the country to demonstrate real unity to solve our common problems.  I have had enough of the politics of triangulation and division that have dominated our landscape for the last five terms.  This is a time to show our better selves, our more educated selves, to reveal the benefits of all those years of increasing respect for diversity and humanity.

So thank you John McCain for calling off your most virulent and disgraceful supporters.  Let’s hope you quelled the angry mob before it has lost all reason and through its speech and actions leads us to a place we should not go, and ought to have left far behind a long time ago.

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