by Ari Rutenberg
The extreme xenophobia that Republican strategists have been using as a hammer for the past 40 years has finally come out in the open. No longer are they merely suggesting or hinting at racism. Instead they are openly questioning Barack Obama's allegiance and suggesting he is a terrorist, which means Muslim. Following yesterday's racist polemic by Buchanan County, Virginia Republican Treasurer Bobby Lee May, today Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has written about the increasing hatred coming from the Republicans, candidates and voters.
The reason I chose the word xenophobia rather than racism is because it is not simply the fear of a black man that is manifesting in the GOP's attacks. It is the fear of anyone with different experience from one's self. This is what they mean by 'elite.' It is people from cities, people from Europe, people who are not Evangelical Christians, hell people from anywhere but rural America, which only accounts for 20% of the American populace. So they are essentially teaching their followers to fear and hate fellow Americans.
This is not a repeat of the Civil Rights movement. It is a repeat
of the Civil War. we once again have to fight against those who do not
recognize the rights of anyone not as they are. At Palin's rally
yesterday someone openly called for Obama's assassination. The
audience member said "Kill him!" in response to Palin saying "according
to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and
part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that
would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,' " she continued. ("Boooo!" the crowd repeated.(again via WaPo)
Earlier a man had shouted at a black sound technician to "Sit down, boy!"
This is despicable behavior. At this point I really don't care what
peoples justification is. This kind of crap is unacceptable,
unpatriotic, and damaging to our nation. This is what 40 years of
Republican divisive politics have gotten us. Imagine if someone had
called for McCain's assassination at an Obama rally. First Obama would
have immediately rebuked him. Second the punditocracy would have
crucified Obama. Third, the man would probably be investigated by the
Secret Service for openly threatening a Presidential candidate. But it
doesn't seem that any of these things are happening in the MSM. While
they are certainly no longer McCain's base, they are still willing to
assume that Republicans are more patriotic or moral or whatever
nonsense the use to justify the heinous things these people are saying
about their fellow Americans.
I am not yet ready to use the word 'treasonous' to describe these
actions. But if McCain continues down this path of xenophobic attacks,
inciting hatred and potentially violence against other Americans, and
outright lying during the most serious international crisis since the
beginning of the Iraq war I would serioiusly consider it. What could
be worse than trying to distract this nation at its moment of peril to
score some political points? I cannot imagine anything farther from
putting your country first that these anachronisitic, vicious actions.
Shame on John McCain, Sarah Palin and all those who encourage outright
xenophobia to win elections.