My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Assassinations Begin

At a recent rally in Lakeville, Minnesota, John McCain was openly booed for suggesting that Barack Obama is a “decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States”. Along with boos came the ferocious anger of many in the crowd. “Traitor,” “terrorist,” “treason,” “liar,” and “off with his head” all shot back at McCain, triggered by his outlandish suggestion that his opponent is a decent person.

This recent attempt to calm down a raucous rally comes after a week in which Sarah Palin suggested that Obama had been “palling around with terrorists” and the campaign’s political operatives and supporters have been encouraged to increase the hard line attacks. Both McCain and Palin have gone to great lengths lately to paint their opponent as someone who will lead the country into Socialism, and they have been encouraging their supporters to take the election personally by using inflammatory words from the stage. This latest outburst from one of the Republican candidate’s crowds is the second time in which someone has called for the death of the Democratic candidate. And this is hardly surprising considering that both McCain and Palin have spent the last couple of weeks fanning the flames of hatred and bigotry towards Obama.

It all started as the country came to grips with the reality of John McCain’s surprise pick for potential Vice President. Over time, the voting public realized that she was an extremely inexperienced, Christian extremist from Alaska, a state with .22% of the national population, and could easily be a heartbeat away from a position that could be occupied by a 72 year-old cancer survivor. So as the poll numbers started to collapse for the Republican ticket, the bitter and negative rhetoric has increased. Many of the Republican’s events consist of what John Weaver, John McCain's former top strategist, called “angry mobs”. He continued to explain his position on Anderson Cooper’s 360: “And we saw it to a considerable degree during the rescue package legislation. There is a free-floating sort of whipping-around anger that could really lead to some violence. And I think we're not far from that.”

And when John Lewis, the civil rights leader who became nationally known after his prominent role on the Selma to Montgomery marches, when police beat the nonviolently marching Lewis mercilessly in public, leaving head wounds that are still visible today and who is now the senator from Georgia’s 5th district, released a statement this Saturday that McCain and running mate Sarah Palin were “sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse” he too was echoing a growing major concern of many Americans.

In this statement he refers to the negative tone of the current Republican presidential campaign and states that it reminds him of the hateful atmosphere that segregationist Gov. George Wallace fostered in Alabama in the 1960s. “George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Lewis. “Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”

So with November 4th quickly approaching and John McCain’s campaign still losing ground to Barack Obama, we can expect that the Republican campaign will do everything possible to attempt to paint their adversary as unfit to lead. Whether or not that language is laced with not-to-subtle hate speech, comparing him to our enemies, and building him up as a scary black man, has yet to be decided. But one thing is still certain: if their campaigns continue with their current level of inflammatory words, you can expect that our first black president may not be our president for very long.

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