I victory by John McCain and Sarah Palin is a scary thought. The self-proclaimed maverick has long admitted that he shoots from the hip without little thought. McCain claims he tends to rely upon instinct, which for me translates to mean, he is governed by his emotion. His bent to tirades is renown on the Hill.
Palin, the proclaimed populous maverick governor, states she is a proud American who will help clean up America, set it on the right course and reform how politics are done in Washington. Yet, as governor of Alaska used her office for personal gain by charging back to the state nights she stays in her personal home rather than in the governor’s mansion. She talks about reforming politics in Washington yet as governor violated the ethical guidelines for public officials. What she states and her conduct has not matched her actions.
This election has exposed America’s ugly side, particularly the degree and nature of its bigotry.
The above is disconcerting but in of itself does not scare me. What scares me is that under the leadership of McCain and Palin the Republican party is drawing out its bigotry and its threads of intolerance. Day after day Palin talks about Obama being connected with a terrorist and that America really does not know him. McCain ads are run impugning Obama’s reputation. He addresses his opponent as “that man” and puts out advertisements that while talking about Wall Street corruption shows a picture of an African American businessman.
And then, McCain and Pailin are alarmed when some of their supporters at rallies cry out for Obama to be killed, call him godless, call him a terrorist who is out to destroy America, a Muslim and “an Arab”. McCain, mainly put the dots out there and when people draw the connections they act shocked. They have played with matches in a room filled with gas and act surprised that when a fire breaks out. Their alarm undermines their talk that they will govern thoughtfully.
Following the McCain lead, Elizabeth Dole, the Republican Senator in North Carolina who is in a very close race has run ads decrying her opponent Kay Hagan for visiting with a group of atheists. The advertisement is designed to inflame religious intolerance. The ad says, “In North Carolina, Kay Hagan says she shares our values. But, behind our backs she’s the guest of honor at a fundraiser hosted by the most vile, radical liberals in America.” The group is vile and radical because they are atheists. I have no idea what Hagan’s religious affiliation but it does not matter. A person should be able to meet with any citizens without incrimination or fear, but apparently Dole does not agree. By implication Dole is saying there are groups she will not meet with nor represent. Will she refuse to meet with and represent Hindus? About Muslims? Budhists? Agnostics? Gays? If she is willing to meet with all her constituents, then why the ad?
As mentioned a victory for McCain and Palin is a scary thought. A Republican victory will signal that the US is not as progressive on tolerance as the country wishes to believe and that it is acceptable behavior to draw it out. A McCain/Palin victory will mean that this country is not as religiously tolerant as its claims. It will mean that the country still is awash with bigotry, albeit more subtle and hidden than in the past.
Fortunately, and though things can change, current polls indicate they are not headed to the White House. I am an independent who has become convinced that the Republican party on the national level has lost its moral authority to govern.