We live in interesting times – markets crashing, the specter of extremist Islamic terrorism, and the first African-American presidential candidate of a major party leading in the polls. We also have a long history of violence, racism, assassinations, and domestic terrorism, such as. So I feel a particular disgust with the rhetoric recently coming out of the McCain camp and the Republican Smear Machine equating Barack Obama with terrorism.
This is a tactic that would be disgusting if we had a history entirely devoid of violence and racism. But given our history – given the Birmingham church bombing that killed four young girls back in 1963; given the assassinations of Martin Luther King, JFK, RFK, and even the attempt at Ronald Reagan's life; given the long history of lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan; and given the understandable national reaction to the extreme terrorist attack of 9/11, this goes beyond disgusting. It is, whether intentionally or not, incitement to violence. Members of the Republican Party are provoking an assassination attempt on a candidate for president of the United States.
Perhaps it's just habit, going back to the successful race-baiting tactics of Lee Atwater, through the more recent lies of the Swift Boat campaign. But McCain's strategists are intelligent, careful, and experienced at manipulating voters and the public. I have a hard time believing they don't know what they're doing. They should be aware that 9/11 and the color of Mr. Obama's skin change everything.
McCain and Palin are currently conducting a campaign that is without honor. It is vile. It is unworthy of a veteran and war hero of this nation.
It seems that Mr. McCain is becoming aware of that. I just hope that he can defuse the situation before it becomes something he cannot control at all.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama, please – keep your head down. Wear a bullet-proof vest everywhere you go.
My prayers for your safety go with you.