[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH2iufUU1f4] The only thing is that these attacks seem silly to the well-reasoned, but it is these statements being repeated by many people on the right. I had an acquaintance, who must know where I stand politically - I've never made a secret of it - send me one of those nonsensical "Obama is a scary Muslim terrorist" emails. When I requested, nicely, that she not send me any more of this racist nonsense, she stated that she is not a racist because, and I quote, she is married to a black man. My sarcastic self reacted by saying, wow, that really puts me in my place. But my thinking self wanted to know, then, how she would not see what she just sent as racist. And this vitriolic attack is only getting worse.
A blogger from Ohio has been video taping rallies, and this makes me afraid.
I am from a small town in Wisconsin, and I thought that this kind of rhetoric wasn't possible from the reasoned people I grew up with. Well, this hate is appearing in the opinion section of my local newspaper, to the point where I no longer want to participate in what used to be a great way for me to see what people are thinking outside of the Beltway Bubble. Now these fights have turned into attacks and fear mongering instead of thoughtful disagreements. And they are getting meaner and meaner.
All of a sudden, it's a bad thing to be educated, and this I find this offensive. Education was the only way I could find to better my position in life, and it is clearly effective for many other kids raised in blue collar communities. Parents wanted their children to find a way to do better than they did, and I wonder if this is also coming to an end.
There is a rumble happening, among people who are distressed about the economy, fearful of someone who they perceive as not being like them, and can't find the opportunities to do something about these factors. It started as a few right-wing nut jobs, but it seems to be echoing in places I wouldn't have predicted.
I fear that it could be a dangerous few years if this intense hate continues to grow. Obama seems rational and to genuinely want to unite people in this nation in a way that hasn't ever occurred in my lifetime. This is going to be an enormous job, but I believe that someone who has worked himself up from food stamps to Harvard Law school will better understand this battle than anyone else.
UPDATE: List of stories that demonstrate what I'm talking about ("Borrowed" from Jezebel)
Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally [Washington Post] Panic Attacks: Voters Unload At GOP Rallies [Politico] How Ugly Is It? [Time] McCain Joins Attacks On Obama Over Radical [NY Times] Note To News Orgs: McCain And Palin Are Largely Responsible For Unhinged Tone At Their Rallies [Talking Points Memo] Obama Hatred At McCain-Palin Rallies: "Terrorist!" "Kill Him!" [Huffington Post] Sarah Palin to Protester - Bless Your Heart [You Tube] Sarah Palin: Rally 10/08/08 [YouTube] McCain Supporter Rants About "Hooligan" Obama And "Socialist" Takeover — And McCain Agrees [Talking Points Memo] Driving the Rally Story [Politico] Not About The Financial Crisis [NY Times] The Unthinkable [Ta-Nehisi Coates] An Open Letter To White Voters, Or What McCain Really Thinks Of You [Racialicious] McCain's Attacks Fuel Dangerous Hatred [Baltimore Sun] The Dangerous Panic On The Far Right [Andrew Sullivan]