Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things we never had to worry about.... until now

I have been working on a draft of this post for about a week now, but today's news of the Secret Service foiling a white supremacist plot to kill Barack Obama and a lot of other people has made the topic urgent.

One of the greatest benefits of living in the United States is that we don't have to worry about violence on election day. Our elections come off without bloodshed. There are no bombs at polling places, no rioting, no general strike called by the opposition after a loss. No matter which party is in power, members of the opposition didn't have to worry about secretive para-military organizations bashing in the doors to their homes; family members taken into custody, never to be seen again.

One of my wife's conservative friends just filled in her absentee ballot. She and her husband reluctantly voted Obama because, "We are voting for vice presidents this year. If Obama wins, he will be assassinated, and if McCain wins he won't live out his term. We'd rather have Biden as president than Palin."

While a "no confidence" vote against McCain/Palin is as good as an Obama vote, their reasoning scares me. Last summer, when I overheard two black men on the bus talking about how "they" wouldn't let Obama become president, it was easy to ignore it. I read Redwing's post about traveling through Tenneessee, it became harder to ignore. It hit home when a couple of rednecks on a country road cursed out my wife for having an Obama bumper sticker on her car. I've heard the internet rumors about cities putting extra police on patrol for violence on election day. Now I am hearing it from middle aged, white Republicans.

They are military people, reasonable, moderate, conservative. Not the rabid trolls this site seems to be attracting recently. But they are picking up the same vibes from the fringe community as we liberals are. They are appalled by the unreasoning rancor and hatred at Republican rallys, the cloaked (and increasingly uncloaked) racism, they read internet blogs, listen to right-wing radio, and they are scared for the country.

The Republican party has relied on pandering to the lunatic fringe to give them the edge that put them over the top in the last two elections.After eight years of failed policies,and a lackluster candidate, in desperation, they have returned to the tried-and-true; the only thing that worked for them. It may not work this time, and I'm scared of the aftermath.

I fear that by appealing to the basest of human nature, the Republicans may have unleashed a Frankenstein they may not be able to control. Maybe its time to start worrying.

6 comments:

Jack said...

you make a GREAT point! I too have begun to wonder if the aftermath of the Election will look alot like the Rodney King Verdict, but on the other side of the rope!
When Obama wins all hell will surely follow, if McCain manages to send one last ripple of fear through the spines of America and he wins, again I feel all hell will break loose.
Either side will surely scream and rant about another stolen election, disenfranchised voters, etc etc.....
I don't believe there is a single thing anyone can do this late in the game...the match was given by McCain, it was struck by Palin and I do believe the ignorant will use it!
I live in a small town, but I live in Iowa, where many say 'it all began!' ...there is an underlying fear among voters here, a fear of what some lunatic group will try to do... I am volunteering to drive voters to and from the polls this year (regardless of who they support) in a tiny effort to help protect our rights.

cindymb said...

We have lost sight of the tenents on which this great country was founded on. Freedom of speech like the right to bear arms and freedom to worship was guaranteed by our founding fathers. The United States was established in response to the oppression that existed in Europe at that time.

Unfortunately these same oppressive attitudes have arisen here. Fanned by ignorance and fear we are willing to lower ourselves to the levels of our enemies. We attack those who disagree with us not with logic and truth but with fear, inuendo and lies. A nation is only as strong as its weakest citizen. By resorting to the tactics of our enemies, we become the enemy.

Our brave men and women in the military are fighting for the greatest country that has ever existed to date. As a reward those who return are provided with substandard care for their injuries, are living in substandard housing and are in some cases made to be second class citizens.

This election has become less about the issues and how to solve the current crises and about who can instill the most fear in the electorate.

I fear for our country no matter who wins. Common sense has been replaced by fear and distrust. We have learned nothing from our past and are therefore destined to repeat it again.

Austerhouse said...

I read in our newspapers that McCain has now come up with his latest attempts to numb people into sheer panic: he has launched tv advertisements that show WAR, armies, bombs and smoke. His voice then says: *this is what we are going to get in 6 months from now, guaranteed, when you would elect Obama. When you elect me, you wont get any of this because I know how to fight wars*.
Unbelievable. That man (mcCain( is so dangerous and so sick, he would, together with Palin, start a WWIII, there is no doubt about it. These two people have so much anger in them and so much hatred for everything, that they would endanger our world and lives, the moment they would be in power.
I wrote in one of my first comments here that the Australian Immigration offices are overrun with Americans who want to look at possibilities to migrate to Australia out of FEAR for another Rep. Government and the start of the *darkages* with wars, more economical disasters and environmental catatstrophes.

The attempt by two skinheads to go on a killing spree, murder 102 blacks and then Obama, is too sad to even contemplate. Thank God it was prevented from happening.But: who started all this hatred here? was it not Palin who hitched up the crowds at a rally and slogans were heard with words like *kill him*. *he is a terrorist*, he is a Muslim, we need to kill him!*And Ms Palin did NOT stop this behavior but waved with a vague wave and her artificial smile, the shouting aside a bit but was in fact showing with her *non-attempt* to tell the crowd in stern language that *this was not the way to behave and therefore should stop, immediately*, that she liked what she was hearing and with that encouraged people to think she gave them permission to kill.
Sick people, all of them.

deputydawg said...

What is with the birth certificate nonsense? The McCain campaign has done everything but call Senator Obama the N-word. It's disgraceful how they play into the fears of Americans who rely on rhetoric rather than facts.
Do McCain supporters really want to get into this birth certificate thing as a disqualifier for Obama? Are they desperately looking for hope that Obama was not born in the US and therefore ineligible for the office of President? All I can say is be careful what you wish for. If a person's birth on American shores is your basis for voting for or against a candidate then you must stick to your guns! The constitution clearly states that any candidate for President must be a naturally born citizen of the United States.John McCain was born in 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama. Technically he is ineligble to be President of the United States. Wanna see his birth certificate??

hoopii said...

For those who consistently bash Obama citing has lack of experience, I offer this: It is not what he has done, but we he will do and what he will inspire us to do.Bush/Cheney has already led us down the darkest path over the last 8 years, I think it's time for something completely different. The McCain/Palin ticket has offered much of the same hatred and fear-mongering that most of us have grown tired of. Dressing up your hatred in a Christian cloak does not make it anything other than what it is.

RedWing said...

Grey,

This is such a tough issue for me to think about. I certainly hope nothing happens to Obama. It would be a great loss for America and likely wipe all the progress we've made with race relations. There would be riots, property damage and likely many deaths should something like that happen.

I shutter to think....so I won't. :)