There was a time when I respected, even admired, Sen. John McCain. There have been times when he has reached across party lines, authoring or co-authoring legislation for the betterment of the country. During the primaries, I knew many people – lifelong democrats – who were upset with the tone of the debate among the Democrats and began to seriously consider voting for McCain because of his affability and candor.
That time has passed, as it becomes more and more apparent that McCain will sell his beliefs, his soul and his country, just for the sake of getting elected. Consider the recent surge in attacks on Sen. Barack Obama from McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin.
Obama “launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist.”
“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”
“Barack Obama’s friend tried to kill my family.
I don’t really care about smears or attacks on an opponent during a political campaign: both sides do it. I don’t care that the Republican Party is playing the race card – they’ve been doing it for decades. Negativity and politics are synonymous, and I think everyone has accepted that.
But as Frank Rich this past Sunday, a dangerous line is being crossed. Attendees at McCain and Palin rallies, in response to these ludicrous accusations, have shouted “Terrorist!, “Treason,” “Kill Him!” and “Off With His Head.” In a country where racism still exists, and where a constant concern over an Obama candidacy has been that someone would assassinate him, any language or verbal attack that makes this more likely – without any actions by the McCain campaign to condemn such inflammatory outbursts from their supporters – is despicable.
There may be negativity coming from both sides of the campaign, but I haven’t heard Obama or Joe Biden say things about McCain that cause their supporters to yell that McCain should be killed.