Monday, October 27, 2008

Haters, Arise!

I can still remember (said the old guy) when major candidates for president refrained from nastiness when describing their opponents. Of course, this, like many things, tends to go in cycles. Right now we're in a cycle that seems to allow more of the personal stuff, partly because of the internet, and partly because talk radio seems to have made us more used to hearing some bizarre things. The "celebrity culture" enters into this, too. We all want to know (myself included) what Mr./Ms. Candidate is REALLY like. Certain sources want to give us bits and pieces that lead us to think that the candidates are really just like us, only more so - nasty people we'd have figured out if they ever came to church.
Past incidents are frequently cited. How could Obama have sat in that pew all those years and NOT objected to the Rev. Wright's anti-American rants? He must hate - America! - and he only wants to be elected to ruin our country. Is it true that Navy pilot McCain wrecked a handful of fighters, each at a cost of many millions of dollars? Did you know Biden was caught...plagiarizing? And Sarah Palin, newest on the scene here, well, there's a new little bit on her almost every day. We don't know her well, but want to connect her to someone we DO.
What's really worse is the prediction you hear declared as something that's a near certainty. Of course, no one would have believed the things that actually HAVE happened in the last 7 plus years under Bush, but the GOP never stops imagining: under Obama, we'd be individually broke within two years, the sick elderly will be euthanized to maske room for illegal immigrants in hospitals, the (name your potential enemy here) would march against a weakened US, the Boy Scouts would disband forever rather than be forced to make room for gay leaders, the Cabinet would be stuffed with white-hating toughs (in other words, Jackson and Sharpton), while prisons would be forced to dump multiple offenders on the streets. Worst of all - talk radio could lose its 10-1 conservative tilt. It would be the great day of all who "hate America", and we all know who "they" are. Almost the entire GOP campaign is now given over to this kind of gabage.
But the Democrats aren't entirely innocent. It's mean to pick on your elders, so Palin has been the target designate here. The specter of her as president has no doubt turned a great many votes, most, I am guessing, away from that possibility. To whom would she go for advice? We'd rather not think about it, but since you asked, the names Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (Jr.) come to mind. Cheney will be out of a paying job, but just a local phone call away. After all, he's been so helpful in the past.
I haven't even scratched the surface of tiny accusations that hint at something grave about Obama: the use or non use of American flag lapel pins, his birth certificate or lack of it, his grades (though they could not have been lower than McCain's), Mrs. O's bill for hotel lobster (a newspaper accusation withdrawn a day later, since she was hundreds of miles away when the pricey crustacean was supposedly served), his home deal, chumminess with a domestic terrorist turned professor, his hookup with a Chicago gangster, his legal wipeout of his opponents in his first election, and the man's posture during the Pledge of Allegiance! They don't necessarily start with McCain, but with someone no doubt who feels strongly about voting (R). And, as the man said, there's one born every minute. You just need to find the right button to push. Gosh knows we don't want to talk about REAL issues.
Hate, I have said before is and SHOULD BE legal, as long as no one is hurt. But hurting is the sole object of these character assassins, from whichever side they come. So can't we, as Rodney King asked, all just get along? Could we bring back the days (the old guy said, his eyes filling with tears) when Kennedy and Nixon treated each other with respect?


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