CBS News reported on the wildness of McCain's rally in Minnesota. I'd seen the video on YouTube of McCain actually becoming concerned and chastising his own supporters for their bigotry and ignorance during the proceedings. At one point he has to grab the microphone from a woman's hand as she begins to rant about Obama being Muslim and you can see her taking the breath to drop the "T" word that McCain's own running mate has been quietly spreading.
Add to this the videos of these same common people being interviewed outside where they all seem to stop just short of threatening assassination and the word "bloodline" can be heard several times and it makes me really wonder where we are as a nation.
CBS news in their story expressed a subtle dismay of the "raw passion rarely seen in a Presidential campaign." I would challenge CBS news to stop being disingenuous. Republicans have, for the most part, been inappropriate and incapable of carrying on a civil conversation over politics. Sixteen years ago when I worked as a volunteer on Bill Clinton's first campaign I got to see it first hand in South Carolina.
I can recall the few stops either Clinton or Gore made in the state and the measures required to keep some semblance of order. At one rally the Republican youth gathered down the street from the site of the outdoor event and marched screaming and yelling obscenities to where the speech was being given. They had signs on wooden posts and tried to push their way past the barricades at the back of the area and into the midst of the crowd listening to the speech. I heard the words "Nigger Party" more than once as well as hearing "Faggot" thrown in my direction because I was wearing a rainbow pin and had the misfortune of manning the rear of the crowd. I honestly felt fearful of violence several times.
So, why should today be any different. Since that time we have had Fox News created that caters to this ignorance and bigotry 24/7 and reinforces ignorant positions by "creating" news with their many talking head shows. Today, not only do we have the "N-Word" Party but we have the thing they fear most as the candidate.
Republicans over the past 20+ years have consistently eschewed any intellectual learning in their grasping for a populist base. John McCain is not an idiot, he's an intelligent if misguided person. When he, as the candidate of choice must chastise the ignorant rabble who are his base, something has gone terribly wrong. Palin was chosen to be his running mate to play to this ignorant and dangerous group of people. This is evident when you see just how ill at ease he is with her and how he dies a little each time she says something profoundly stupid. I'm sure he's thinking "If I should win this election I will be the next joke with another clown as my sidekick."
I don't know if there's hope for this country anymore. I honestly see the schism avoided in the Civil War looming in our future. The differences are too great. We have huge swaths of the country who openly avoid higher education or at least serious higher education (Bible schools need not apply), who are in deep denial about the energy situation while paying $4.00+ at the pumps, and who refuse to consider that the same ministers, priests, and "elders" who are caught in scandal after scandal are not good barometers of God's word nor moral authority.
Republicans at McCain's rally screamed about voter fraud and yet, the only examples of that have come from the companies who build the black box voting machines the Republicans pushed on the local elections boards. The only examples of manipulation have been at the hands of Republicans in Florida and Ohio trying desperately to pull out a close election for their man. Yet, these ignorant masses have projected their own party's shenanigans onto the other. They have convinced themselves that they did not steal two elections in a row at the national level and scores of others at the local and state levels(just look at my own Pima County) but rather were somehow the "victims" though they reaped the rewards.
This lack of self reflection and even self awareness makes Republicans dangerous. This inability to even stop and consider anything else that is not within their own personal experience leads to xenophobia. Finally, their overarching lack of compassion for anyone who is not exactly the same either the same religion, same church, same color, same sexual orientation, or same philosophy politically leads to a disconnect with their fellow human beings at home and abroad. Why does the world hate America? Simply put, they see us all as the Republican Base on display in Minnesota and Strongsville, OH.