If you read last Wednesday’s post, you’re probably expecting the Wellbutrin post today. It seems more timely to cover this important topic. Maybe next week I’ll get to Wellbutrin, but we’ll see how the election goes.
The front page of today’s Boston Globe had this subtitle: “McCain: Liberals a threat to the economy.” They quoted McCain saying this (my emphasis):
Now this election comes down to how you want your hard-earned money spent. Do you want to keep it and invest it in your future, or have it taken by the most liberal person to ever run for the presidency and the Democratic leaders – the most liberal, who have been running Congress for the past two years, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?” McCain went on, to boos. “You know, my friends, this is a dangerous threesome.
(The problem with writing a post like this is that I have a temper, and I want to get all kinds of undignified. That kind of talk doesn’t do much to help the cause, though, so I’ll try to, um, temper my temper.)
How McCain can have the gall to say this when the current disaster happened under a Republican administration is beyond me. The only liberal of the type he is describing we have had as President since 1968 was Jimmy Carter. Four years out of the last forty have featured a liberal Democrat. The other Democrat in office since that time was eight years of Clinton, and if memory serves he left the economy in pretty good shape. McCain is showing his age. The tax-and-spend liberal doesn’t exist anymore. He’s just the boogie-man they like to pull out when they run out of ideas.
(In deference to a reader who has seriously questioned my judgment on the economy [and with facts, yet], let’s assume that both parties have their flaws economically, and they equally share the blame for the overall weak state of this nation. Even so, I think McCain’s “he’s going to take your money” line is not a representation of what Obama has been saying and it’s a fear tactic. Suppose Obama’s plan is wrong-headed. Suppose it will amount to “soak the rich.” I still think the argument about negative campaigning that follows holds. But I will allow that it’s possible that Obama would be the worst thing for this country, just to keep the argument on track. It’s possible McCain would be too. We just don’t know.)
But what upsets me most about this quote is that it shows how McCain is willing to use fear in his campaign to win. After hearing something such as the above, or the innuendos about socialism, or the suggestions that there is “more to know” about Obama and his various ties—how could those who believe it ever accept Obama as president? Not only do they hate his politics, they are being trained to hate and fear the man, and that’s both dangerous and bad for this country.
I would like McCain to remember that this man who they are smearing, who they are stirring up so much hate against, could be president. And they’ve “educated” their constituents to explicitly distrust him. As if they need to stir up more hatred against a black man.
McCain can disagree with Obama’s policies. He can say, “I don’t think it will work.” But there’s no reason to scare people that he’s going to take their money. Tell us why your plan is better. Show us that you will lead with dignity. There is no dignity in this.
Two debates ago, I thought McCain did pretty well. He didn’t say anything that made me want to bonk him on the head with a shoe, and for a Republican presidential candidate, that’s pretty good. I figured, if he won, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But the way he’s conducted his campaign since then has shown me he is not fit to lead. He and Palin are tearing this country apart.
Agree to disagree. Be pro-life. Be pro-choice. Be trickle-down, or trickle-up. Five-thousand dollar tax credit for health insurance (please tell me how we’re going to pay for that, BTW, especially with McCain’s proposed moratorium on spending), or allowing citizens to buy into the federal government’s generous health plan. Whatever makes sense to you, that’s just peachy. Vote for your candidate. But there’s no reason to paint the other guy as a villain, no reason to suggest he’s going to hurt you. That’s unacceptable.
I thought McCain was going to show some leadership when he defended Obama at one of his rallies. I thought maybe he’d say, “We’re not going to win this election with lies…We’re going to win it with better ideas.” That would have been a grand, heroic move. But it never happened.
Instead, he’s disgraced himself.
As a Jew, I find what’s happening particularly frightening. Because it’s this kind of ignorance that got the masses fired up against the Jews in Nazi Germany. The combination of fear, lies, and ignorance is deadly. McCain isn’t saying it’s the Jews who are taking your money; it’s the black man who pals with terrorists.
How do we stop this type of campaigning? How do we protect Obama if he wins? How do we convince people not to hate their new president if they’ve been driven to that place by fear?
Sometimes I feel like a naive child. Tell me how we stop this. Tell me how we get them to fight fair, to win or lose with honor.
(I recommend Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America for a realistic view of the sort of thing that seems like it could happen in this country.)