The fear, divisiveness, anger and hatred McCain and Palin attempted to harness, to build a successful campaign toward the White House, failed and merely set the stage for a level of anger we’re seeing today that should put a chill down the spine of this country. Hateful extremist conservatives have ratcheted up the hatred to seemingly the highest political DEFCON-type levels and have directed their disproportionate and misguided anger at President Barack Obama. Many of these same far-right conservatives, who were in full attack mode against President Clinton, then fell back into a soft zone defense during the President Bush years are now running a fastbreak of hate, anger and division against President Obama.
Today, far-right conservatives are attacking with reckless abandon.
As a nation, we witnessed this dangerous emotion throughout last year’s presidential campaign during several rallies put together to support McCain and Palin.
To his credit, near the end of the presidential campaign, it seemed McCain recognized the hatred had begun to spiral beyond control into a dangerous territory.
But, on Tuesday in his home state of Arizona, McCain recently got another whiff of the hatred that was sparked during his campaign. McCain attempted to tell his people that the president respects the constitution, but that he and other Republicans simply had differences of opinion as to how to guide the country. Whether or not that is the simple basis for the anger is debatable, but what is hardly debatable is the angry response that popped McCain upside the head.
“Wait a minute. Wait a minute,” he told the crowd in Sun City, Airzona. “He is sincere in his beliefs, we just happen to disagree. And he is the president. And let’s be respectful.”
A questioner had asked whether Obama realized that the spending priorities his administration is pursuing are “against the Constitution.”
“Doesn’t he know that we still live under a Constitution?” the attendee asked.
“I’m sure that he does,” McCain responded. The crowd, thinking the response was a joke, laughed along.
“No, no. I am serious. I am sure that he does and I’m sure he respects the Constitution,” said McCain.
Shouts of “No” came from the crowd.
“I really do,” McCain pleaded. “I am absolutely convinced of it. I just believe, my friends, that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy and about the role of government. That is why we have competition for public office and competition amongst parties, and competition about different ideas and vision for the future of America. I’m convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs.”
Moderate conservatives have allowed (by not standing against it strongly enough) this hateful rhetoric (using code words like socialist, socialism, Nazi, Hitler and more) to sow the seeds of hate and hostility and portray the president (as we’ve seen with this ridiculous birther campaign pushed by far-right nuts) as “not one of us.”
This kind of talk is dangerous and is taking this country where it should not want to go.