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Column: Hatred Characterizing Election Raises Questions About America's Future

This story was written by Lori Weber, The BG News

I'm tired of red and blue states. I'm tired of people getting angry over other people's choices. And I'm tired of people taking my Obama/Biden sign from my front yard.

There is a huge, deep-seated hatred in this election that I don't remember in past elections. Granted I'm only 27 years old, but what I remember from my youth is an understanding that while your neighbor may not have been voting along with you, there was a level of respect for their choice. Now people are fighting like pit bulls towards the polls.

McCain supporters shout out "NoBama!" during rallies, while Obama supporters say not-so-nice things about McCain. That part is relatively normal. But it is the animosity behind them that is disgusting.

This is a racially heated race as well. McCain supporters have shouted "kill him," referring to Obama, during pep rallies, as well as instigated violence. While most of the comments were ignored by McCain and Palin, it took an admonishing from the crowd in order for McCain to say something positive about Obama.

I wouldn't say that political advertisements themselves have been overwhelmingly negative. True, McCain seems to paint a darker picture, but that is nothing compared to the ads made in the past against Bush (Jr. and Sr.), Kerry, Gore, Dukakis and Mondale.

The worst political ad that I can think of is the "Daisy Girl" ad that former President Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign created. In it, a little girl is picking petals off of a daisy, and she is really adorable. She is counting each petal she pulls off, and then suddenly, a loud voice starts a countdown. BOOM! An atomic bomb goes off complete with a mushroom cloud and flames. "These are the stakes We must either love each other or we must die."

Back in 1964, when that ad was made, the political spectrum was different. The idea of a red or blue state wasn't created yet. States were either for the Democratic nominee or the Republican one. I can remember when they would either put the initials of who carried that state, or "D" for Democrat, or "R" for Republican. The states didn't start changing colors until 1992.

Now, who would have thought that attorneys would be required in order to vote? The Obama campaign is preparing to have an attorney present at every precinct in Miami-Dade County in Florida to ensure that voters are given the information necessary at the polls.

It is a mess. It is a mess in both directions, and it is getting to the point where I just want it to be over with. In just under three weeks, a new president will be elected. Will the hatred end there? Most likely no.

If McCain wins, many Americans will take offense to those that voted him in office because he is considered to be "too much like Bush." There have been reports from European news that terrorist attacks may increase if McCain wins not only because of his military background, but because he is so entwined with Bush. I have even heard students and professors say that if he wins, they will move to Canada.

If Obama wins, I fear an assassination attempt. I am scared that I will wake up one morning, just like I did on Sept. 11, 2001, and find out the president was shot because someone couldn't hold back his bigotry.

In either case, there will be a great divide, with consequences.

I'm scared, and yet at the same time, I am excited because either choice we make as Americans is going to be historic. I'm scared because we are entering a period that is similar to the temperament of the 1960s and '70s. There is a revolution brewing. There is a war about to be fought, and dividing the country into red and blue states is just going to make matters worse.

I'm scared that I will be ble to tell my children when America fell flat on its face because it couldn't come together.

We are at a turning point in our lives. I'm not saying that you should vote for one person over the other, I'm just saying that having a certain amount of respect and understanding will go a long way in this election. I won't call you an "idiot" or "racist" for voting for McCain, just as I would hope that no one calls me "unpatriotic" or "liberal."

As for the Obama signs in my front yard, if you come forward, I won't tell the cops you stole them, just return them or give me my $10 back so I can go buy new ones.