I dont consider myself a Democrat. Really, I dont. I voted Libertarian in the last presidential election out of disgust with the other two guys. I find the support for abortion rights to be the largest barrier to entry into the Democratic Party for myself and other Christians. Im a bit averse to the big government mentality that has prevailed within the Democratic Party for years, and the blame game they perpetuate with large corporations just rubs this economics major the wrong way.
But, after watching John McCains campaign in the past few weeks and the anger of the only people who still seem to want to vote for him, I cant help but think to myself that watching the McCain campaign bring out the worst in people is getting old.
Theres a lot of contempt in the Republican Party right now. Contempt for well-educated people. Contempt for the media. Contempt for Muslims, Arabs, Hindus and blacks. Until recently, the evidence was mostly anecdotal videos of McCain supporters spouting racist comments and even Barack Obama monkey dolls at McCain rallies abound on liberal blogs. And there was the infamous If Obama is president, will we still call it the White House? button at the Texas state Republican convention. Ah, Republicans. So clever in their bigotry.
A sustained, racially-charged sentiment toward the first serious black candidate for the presidency has persisted beneath the surface of the campaign season for some time. As McCain and his inept running mate have slipped in national and statewide polls, that narrative and sentiment have bubbled to the surface.
I cant trust Obama, insisted a woman at a McCain event in Minnesota, according to The Politico. I have read about him, and hes not, hes not uh hes an Arab.
McCain, to his credit, corrected the woman. He was booed.
The idea that Obama could not be trusted because of his being Arab is patently racist. And this idea is patently Republican. So an Arab-American cant be trusted? Where is the McCain campaign getting these people from?
The first presidential candidate to have an Arab-sounding name and an Arab-looking face is further being lambasted as a terrorist. Much of it stems, of course, from his relationship with Bill Ayers, a leftist activist whose radical organization, the Weathermen, bombed several federal buildings during the 1960s and 1970s. But Republicans had been calling Obama a terrorist long before his relationship with Ayers emerged, and theyve been saying it because they claim hes an Arab. Or a Muslim. Or both. Theyve emphasized his middle name in xenophobic terror, as if his Arabic middle name precludes him from being an actual American.
Theyre doing a fine job, those Republicans, of turning this into the ultimate us versus them election. And when The Washington Post is reporting that at a Palin rally in Florida, One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African-American soundman for a network and told him, Sit down, boy, one must ask: Just who is us and who is them?
In Davenport, Iowa, a local pastor delivering the invocation before a McCain rally prayed that the Lords reputation would be involved in all that happens between now and November because there are millions of people around this world praying to their God whether its Hindu, Buddha or Allah that [McCains] opponent wins for a variety of reasons. While it seems laughable that two of these supposed gods arent even considered gods in their respective religions, this and other comments like it are increasing in their prevalence and visibility at McCain campaign rallies and events.
So I ask, is there any space within the Republican Party for someone who isnt Christian? Is there space for a Muslim, an Arab, a Hindu? Is there spacefor a Buddhist? Is there space for a black man?
I pride myself on my objectivity, my ability to dabble in the middle and see both sides for what they are. And what I see from the left can disgust and delight me simultaneously. But this election cycle, the right has made it clear that it wants little to do with the non-stereotypical, non-cookie-cutter American. John McCains stance on abortion may best reflect my own, but his supporters contempt for the race of his opponent and the heritage inherent in his name, as well as how McCain and Palin seem to be clinging to this dark side of America as their last vestige of hope for winning, makes it awfully hard to support their ticket.