Friday, October 10, 2008

Worse Than Nasty

It's good to be back after a day off from blogging. As we enter the last month of campaigning in the presidential election, my impression is that it's getting really, really nasty. This from the WaPo:

There were shouts of "Nobama" and "Socialist" at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin.

In recent days, a campaign that embraced the mantra of "Country First" but is flagging in the polls and scrambling for a way to close the gap as the nation's economy slides into shambles has found itself at the center of an outpouring of raw emotion rare in a presidential race.

The two sides are so far apart in mindset and worldview, that the concern of the other side winning overwhelms the emotions of the partisans. The overwhelming fear on the Democratic side would seem to be fear of a totally unprepared Vice-President beside an aging, erratic President. On the Republican side, the campaign seems to be sinking into anger and bitterness toward a candidate they are beginning to view as unpatriotic, alien, and possibly traitor, due to talk of 'terrorists' and such like.

Can the seething, volcanic anger on the McCain side be safely contained if Obama wins? Or will it take on illegal, violent expressions that it is accusing the other side of? (Think Oklahoma City bombing.) Given the economic turmoil of our times, it is quite easy to imagine this happening. Not a pleasant prospect.

One of the wisest of political observers these days, David Gergen, said this on CNN last night:

"One of the most striking things we've seen in the last few day, we have seen it at the Palin rallies and we saw it at the McCain rally today," said David Gergen, appearing on Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday evening. "And we saw it to a considerable degree during the rescue package legislation. There is a free-floating sort of whipping-around anger that could really lead to some violence. And I think we're not far from that."

A very wise man once said, "What ye sow, so shall ye reap."

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