He prowled across the back of the stage like an angry, trapped animal while Senator Obama was speaking. He referred to a sitting United States Senator who should be accorded the respect and dignity of his office regardless of political differences as “That one…”. He turned his back on the two African-American questioners who asked him direct questions about the economy, going so far as to say to one gentleman that “You’ve probably never heard of Freddie or Fannie before this past week”. This is of course, assuming that the gentleman had no idea of just what those corporations were; which he may or may not have. The error was in the assumption that he didn’t.
His rallies have gone way beyond the Nuremberg Rally feeling of the Republican Convention, and now border on witch hunts from the 1600s, or villagers with torches hunting Boris Karloff’s epic portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster in the mountains of Transylvania. Senator John McCain’s attacks have become more than desperate on television and on the stump; his attacks, as well as those of his running mate, have (as the New York Times astutely observed today) ventured “into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia”. The crowds at both McCain and Palin rallies have been frenetic and fanatical, with audience members shouting “Treason!” or “Kill him!” when one of them refers to Senator Obama.
And they have done NOTHING to stop it, discourage it, dissuade it, or publicly distance themselves from it.
The old adage of “silence breeds consent” applies here, and I can only conclude by the vast roaring silence that is coming from the McCain Campaign is tacit approval. The McCain surrogates when asked about these events seem to gloss them over and quickly change the subject. Approval of a message of hate that could possibly mean harm coming to one (or BOTH) of the Presidential Candidates. There are lunatic fringes on the Right AND the Left who could see this as a sign to unleash their insanity upon the campaign trail. Has the McCain camp thought that by their silence on this matter that they may have also placed the Senator and Governor Palin in jeopardy as well? Have they seriously considered that a mob mentality is what a Democracy, or ANY organized form or Government, is there to prevent? Have they seriously considered that it might just be better to lose an Election rather than see harm done to someone?
I never thought that I would ever be writing these words in my life in a REAL LIFE situation, let alone a potential piece of fiction I may have worked on. I never thought that after the deaths of so many of our own revered political and spiritual figures in our nation’s history, let alone other great men and women on this planet, that there would be abject SILENCE on the matter from ANYONE whose followers would resort to such brutal words and hate. I never thought I would live to see the day when I would be writing about this happening in my own country…my beloved America. Moreover, I never thought I’d be writing about a political candidate that did not stop IMMEDIATELY in their speech, point out the individual to the FBI and Secret Service and have them arrested; that after they had done that, they would tell the audience that THIS was not what America was about. That it represented the worst in us, and that if you supported them you would stop even thinking that way let alone acting on it…otherwise they wouldn’t want your vote.
It looks like all the votes matter to John McCain. It certainly appears as if this behavior will continue at the Republican rallies with the unspoken approval of the ticket, until an epiphany happens…or God help us, the unthinkable happens; and by then it will be far to late to save a life, a soul, and the soul of a nation. WE will have become the mob that let this happen, because we did not speak loudly enough. WE will all be guilty, because one or two people at those rallies did not immediately point out these individuals to the proper authorities.
Some people are treating this cavalierly, or even worse, like some kind of a joke. This is no laughing matter. This is about how low we have sunk in politics, and how low we have sunk as a nation. This is about how low we have sunk as human beings, and it’s on days like today that I question my own belief in the inherent goodness of Man. I’m not going to end this on a flowery or hopeful note, because there is none to be found.
All I can think of is that prowling man on stage last night, and the smirk that will never be wiped off his face…the face of the Incredible Smirking Man.
“Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.” – Paul Brunton