No, this is not a Halloween post, but it’s scary nonetheless. The years of the Rove political doctrine of instilling fear in the voting public in order to win elections has now created a culture of hate and perhaps worse among the conservative faithful. In recent days the McCain-Palin campaign has so demonized Barack Obama that those in the crowds have taken up the call and added their own embellishments. The result are rallies that border on extremist shout outs calling Obama all sorts of names and worse. Even scarier, when McCain had the decency to try to calm the crazies with rationality and calm good sense, he was booed and openly challenged by his supporters who would have not of it.
As the Bible says, you reap what you sow, and McCain and Palin have no one to blame but themselves for running a campaign that has come down to blatant attacks on Obama and for feeding the frenzy of supporters who have bought into Rush Limbaugh’s attack mode. When John McCain referred to Obama as ” that one” at the Nashville debate and then refused to shake his hand at the end of the talk fest, it sent a signal to his crowd that it was OK to demean the Democrat and throw civility to the wind.
Now a few right wing crackpots does not make a campaign, but it does show that for many in the Republican Party and the conservative movement race is really the overarching issue and may still have enough energy to make the election close. No matter that it was the unregulated policies of the Bush administration that ruined the retirements of the fearmongers; no matter that the nationalization of the banks ( commonly termed socialism) was an idea of Wall Street Republican Hank Paulson; and no matter that the economic mess we are in is directly attributable to the failures of the conservative philosophy, the prospect of a liberal approach to governing is unacceptable.
The only thing that matters to these zealots is that Obama is black, has Muslim sounding names and talks convincingly about shifting the tax burden to the wealthy. These Limbaugh “ditto heads” have spent so many afternoons listening to the conservative mantra that any diversion from that playbook, especially coming from the mouth of a liberal African-American Democrat, is tantamount to the end of America as they know it.
What’s really scary about all these hate-filled outbursts at the McCain-Palin rallies is that should Obama win in November there will be a constant undercurrent of concern in the country for the personal safety of the President. Most Americans have it in the back of their minds that Obama’s race, name and liberal values could combine to trigger an attack on his life. The events of the last few weeks at the Republican rallies sadly only adds credence to this concern. Yes, it is indeed scary out there.