However, over the past year, I have seen that the Republican Party has been taken over by a wave of fearful, hateful and strident bigots.
I now consider myself an Independent for Barack Obama.
From my experience in Washington, DC, as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, I have always seen Senator John McCain as a truthful and decent man, willing to listen to Indian concerns and often willing to back legislation to bolster our rights and improve our lot. And I think that he still is a decent and respectable man.
However, what I have seen in recent political rallies for McCain and especially those for Governor Sarah Palin, frightens me--for Senator Obama’s life and for our country in very dangerous times. I hear the voices of fear--unfounded fear of a black man to serve as our national leader; and I see the faces of hate that such irrational fear generates.
For more on the subject, see Blaming the Victim.
McCain no longer truthful?
Let's note that McCain is largely responsible for the sleazy lies and insinuations of his campaign. He's about as "truthful and decent" as any hypocritical, win-at-all-costs Republican. You know, the kind that would impeach the president or launch a war to score political points.
If you parse Trimble's comments, there's an interesting switch. Trimble thought McCain was "truthful and decent" and still thinks he's "decent and respectable." In other words, Trimble no longer believes McCain is truthful.
That conclusion is shared by many Americans. And most people would say that someone who lies frequently isn't very decent. I leave it to Trimble to explain the discrepancy: how a hatemongering candidate can be "decent."
McCain's lynch mobs
Here's what a "lifelong Republican" has written about McCain's campaign:
McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred
At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee--an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.
Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.
For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.
Turns out that the "Kill him!" claim was fabricated. That is truly the worst of it. The rest, like "Terrorist" is insulting but legal freedom of speech.
The actual story on "Kill him!" is apparently this:
The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.
The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and then again in its print edition Wednesday. The first story, written by reporter David Singleton, appeared with allegations that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name a man in the audience shouted “kill him.”
Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”
Maybe Singleton heard the comment from someone standing next to him. Maybe he misheard it. As yet I haven't seen any evidence that he or anyone "fabricated" the claim.
"Kill him!" is arguably free speech also--although it's not far from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. The question isn't whether McCain supporters have the right to yell inflammatory comments about Obama. The question is how McCain and Palin react (or don't react) to these comments.
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