Monday, October 13, 2008

Dangerous Rhetoric May Provide Answers to the Wrong People.

John McCain poses the rhetorical question, "Who is the real Barack Obama?". Rhetorical, because Sarah Palin eagerly provides the answer...he is a terrorist! What else could Sarah Palin mean when she accuses Obama of "palling around with terrorists".

Enough's been said about Obama's supposed Muslim affinity that even "Joe six-pack" can visualize the graphic image the republicans are trying to paint. Being black isn't enough to scare the voters away any more. However, an African-American, Muslim terrorist should be enough to send all the red-blooded, patriotic, apple-pie and mom loving Americans running to fetch their six-shooter. Doggoneit!

This type of emotionally manipulative rhetoric - Sarah Palin's first and only language -

"For me, the heels are on, the gloves are off." -- Sarah Palin telling a group of Republican donors in Naples, Fla.
is dangerous at a time when society is caught up in a maelstrom of political, economic, social and technological change. People feel angry, desperate and abandoned. Confused and anxious, they search out simplistic explanations and are actively searching for someone to blame...the evildoer, who is responsible for causing their pain. Nine times out of ten, a scapegoat is targeted instead, and nine times out of ten, that scapegoat is of a different race religion, sexuality etc.

While this type of rhetoric will not cause anyone to make an attempt on Obama's life, it certainly could provide the final justification. After years of listening to "evildoers", "axis of evil", "you're either with us or against us" and "we can either fight the terrorists here or over there", is there anything worse than a terrorist? Is there anything worse than a Muslim? Is there anything worse than a black man running for President of the United States?
At a rally Monday in Albuquerque, when McCain asked, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" one supporter yelled back, "Terrorist!" Across the country in Florida that day, Palin's criticism of Obama and Ayers drew resounding boos and prompted one person, according to the Washington Post, to shout out, "Kill him!"
Who is the real John McCain? I've asked myself that many times. No, not because I think he is a terrorist, far from it...however, John McCain, the "Maverick" the man we knew at the beginning of the decade disappeared completely. The John McCain running for President, although he looks the same and sounds the same, is not the same.

2 comments:

What do you expect?,  18:19  

It's down the wire. All gloves are off. Do or die.
What don't you understand about that?

check this out 21:28  

I read what you had to say and than found this from the blog Simple Justice. Kind of scary.

"When I was a young criminal defense lawyer, I already had a fairly dedicated groups of clients who felt a sense of loyalty to me. It was a good feeling, but one that I really didn't appreciate as my influenced spanned the lawyer world into the criminal world. I learned a very scary lesson. I think John McCain may be learning that lesson too.

With a particularly loyal client sitting in my office chair, a nice maroon leather Chesterfield chair, I took a phone call. The call was from a person with whom I was having some difficulties, and who was acting like a real jerk. It was clear to anyone listening to my end of the call that I was getting increasingly angry with the other person, ultimately hanging up the phone in disgust. As I did so, I uttered aloud that this person was someone who shouldn't exist.

I then went on to discuss the case with my client. At the end of the meeting, he was pleased with my efforts and we shook hands. He had a broad smile on his face. As he prepared to leave my office, he said, almost as an aside, "and don't worry about that guy. We'll take care of him."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, I was angry with this person, but never did I mean him any harm. My client, on the other hand, understood such anger to mean that extreme action was warranted, and as a favor to me, he was happy to do so. There was a monumental gap in understanding my intentions, and it was entirely my fault.

I explained to my client, clearly and unequivocally, that no matter how angry I was with someone, I would not wish harm to come to him. Harm was never a solution to my problem, and I explained in excruciating detail that he was not to "take care of him" in any way whatsoever.

Had my client not said something on the way out the door, something very bad might have happened as a result of my thoughtlessness. I understood then how cautious I had to be about what I said, and how horrible the consequences of my carelessness could be.

As the electoral race has devolved to inflammatory rhetoric and accusations that some will hear, regardless of what is intended, that Barak Obama (or Osama in some parts of New York), is the embodiment of evil, some people will react with a visceral hatred that they truly believe should be translated into action. When one hears screams of "kill him" and "terrorist" from members of the crowd, it's clear that the wrong message has been sent. When others tell the candidate that Obama is an "Arab" and "Muslim" in an age where these words are tantamount to the murderous enemies in an ongoing war, it is no longer the whispered joke from Florida's elderly counties.

Like it or not, there are people out there, often believing themselves to be ultra-patriotic and thus prepared to do anything, anything, for the good of the nation, who will do harm. When John McCain stopped the woman who told him that Barak Obama was an Arab and took the microphone away from him, it seemed that he had the epiphany. The joke had gone too far."

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