McCain’s campaign managers are putting the lives of Obama and his supporters in danger - that's a serious character flaw on their part. It's failing though - Obama's poll lead is increasing and the bigotry just increases Obama's stature, making him look like another JFK, Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy
“What I am seeing reminds me …of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division….George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama”
Congressman and civil rights campaigner John Lewis on the McCain campaign. (McCain previously said he would seek advice from Lewis if he was elected President)
In November 1995 Israeli Prime Minister and Labor party leader Yitzakh Rabin was murdered by an extreme-right Jewish fundamentalist opposed to the Oslo Peace Process. His murder followed months of speeches by politicians from the right wing Likud party in which Netanyahu accused Rabin of surrendering to terrorists and Ariel Sharon compared him to Eichmann. Both allowed their supporters to burn effigies of Rabin dressed as a Nazi (2), (3).
Today the same tactics are being used by McCain’s campaign in the U.S.
Sarah Palin has accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, referring to Bill Ayers, who served on a community education council with Obama and whose terrorism took place 40 years ago when Obama was 8 years old. Obama has condemned it as “detestable” (4), (5). Republicans posing as pollsters are phoning Americans to ask if they know that Obama is a “supporter of Hamas”. In fact Obama has called Hamas a terrorist organisation and said he won't negotiate with them unless they recognise Israel and renounce violence (6), (6a).
From Palin’s speech on crowds of supporters at McCain-Palin campaign rallies have routinely shouted lies and threats like “terrorist”, “treason” and “kill him” when Obama is mentioned. One even told a black sound engineer to “sit down boy” after Palin complained about the media(7), (8), (9), (10). Palin has never once taken issue with this or had anyone thrown out of a rally for it.
Last Friday McCain finally told another deluded crowd that Obama was not a “terrorist” and “an Arab” but “a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as President of the United States” (11, 12, 13), which has the sad implication that McCain isn't saying Americans shouldn't consider all Arabs terrorists and be scared of them. However McCain simultaneously implied that Obama had a closer relationship to Bill Ayers than had been revealed so far – yet provided no evidence for this claim (14). His senior adviser Nicolle Wallace claimed that the Obama campaign’s criticisms of the death threats, racism and insults were “Obama’s assault on our supporters”, while McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers called them “Obama’s attacks on Americans” (15), (16). If McCain doesn’t want to be associated with cowards who are risking Obama’s life by encouraging extremists to target an opponent they can’t beat, he needs to fire those campaign managers and stop making wild claims that he has no evidence for.
McCain’s campaign know they’re losing so they’re lying and demonising Obama to get votes from the ignorant, or maybe get one of their deluded extreme right Oklahoma-bomber-like American terrorist “pals” to make Obama another JFK, Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy.
This witch-hunt plays on superstition, prejudice and ignorance, echoing17th century Salem and McCarthyism. It’s failing though. Even Fox News admits Obama’s poll lead has increased since the hate speeches began (17), (18). McCain and Palin might want to try and salvage some tattered remnants of their self-respect and standing among the majority of decent Americans and people world-wide by ending their cowardly hate campaign. If Obama or any of his supporters are killed the hate-mongers on the McCain campaign will be permanently reviled in America and worldwide.
McCain's campaign manager wants this election to be about “character not issues” (19). That’s not surprising since the issues of their 8 years in power include Enron, doing nothing to try to prevent 9/11, more Americans in poverty than there have been in decades, lying to start a war that got Americans, British and Iraqis killed in Iraq, the endless war in Afghanistan and then economic crisis. Will undecided voters be impressed by the character of people that whip up prejudice based on lies that risk the lives of other Americans?
(1) = CNN 11 Oct 2008 ‘McCain calls on Obama to repudiate 'shocking' Lewis comments’, http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/11/mccain-calls-on-obama-to-repudiate-%e2%80%9cshocking%e2%80%9d-lewis-comments/
(2) = Shlaim, Avi(2000) ‘The Iron Wall – Israel and the Arab World’ , Penguin, London , 2000 (paperback) Chapter 14, pages 546-551
(3) = Haaretz 9 Nov 1995 , ‘The Sources of Yigal Amir’s hatred’, cited by
Morris, Benny(1999) ‘Righteous Victims – A History of the Arab Israeli Conflict’ , John Murray, London , 2000 (hardback), Chapter 13, pages 634-635
(4) = Fox News 04 Oct 2008, ‘Palin Accuses Obama of 'Palling Around With Terrorists'’, http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/04/palin-accuses-obama-palling-terrorists/
(5) = CNN 05 Oct 2008 , ‘Obama campaign rejects Palin 'terrorist' gibe’,
(6) = Guardian 03 Oct 2008 ‘Fake pollsters' scare tactics target Obama’
(6a) = Times Online 10 May 2008
'Barack Obama sacks adviser over talks with Hamas',
(7) = Washington Post 06 Oct 2008 ‘The Trail : In Fla., Palin Goes for the Rough Stuff as Audience Boos Obama’, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/06/in_fla_palin_goes_for_the_roug.html
(8) = Huffington Post 06 Oct 2008, ‘Obama Hatred At McCain-Palin Rallies: "Terrorist!" "Kill Him!" (VIDEO)’, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/06/mccain-does-nothing-as-cr_n_132366.html
(9) = Guardian 09 Oct 2008 , ‘US election: McCain rallies grow negative as Obama rises in the polls’, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/oct/09/uselections2008.johnmccain4
(10) = AP 11 Oct 2008 , ‘AP Top News at 2:00 a.m. EDT’,
(see 5th paragraph)
(11) = Fox News 10 Oct 2008, ‘McCain seeks to calm angry supporters’,
(12) = AP 11th Oct 2008 ‘McCain booed after trying to calm anti-Obama crowd’, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i4OpiwXT-cn2aMmpTpiUVElig0FgD93O3N3G0
(13) = AP 11 Oct 2008 ‘Obama notes McCain's effort to temper GOP comments’, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5isOFwdbq0tsqatW6vJpkDRTI1gMgD93OBJM00
(14) = CNN 11 Oct 2008 ‘Rage rising on the McCain campaign trail’,
10th and 9th from last lines read
‘McCain, however, seems torn. On one hand, he is going negative on the Ayers controversy.
"The point is, Sen. Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood. We know that's not true," he said at the rally in Wisconsin. "We need to know the full extent of the relationship because of whether Sen. Obama is telling the truth to the American people or not."’
(15) = Wall Street Journal/Washington Wire 10 Oct 2008 ‘McCain Is Asked to Denounce Supporters’ Outbursts’, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/10/10/labor-leader-asks-mccain-to-denounce-supporters-outbursts/
(16) = The Hill 10 Oct 2008 ‘Labor group calls on McCain to denounce supporters’,
(17) = CNN 10 Oct 2008, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/10/campaign.wrap/?iref=mpstoryview
3rd last paragraph reads ‘A new CNN poll of polls, which averages the results of three national polls taken October 7-9, shows that Obama has a seven-point lead over McCain, 49 percent to 42 percent.’
(18) = Fox News 10 Oct 2008, ‘FOX NEWS POLL: OBAMA 46, McCAIN 39’
1st paragraph “Barack Obama leads John McCain by 46 percent to 39 percent, according to a FOX News national registered voter poll released Friday. Two weeks ago Obama led by 45 percent to 39 percent (September 22-23).”
(19) = Washington Post 02 Sep 2008 'McCain Manager: 'This Election is Not About Issues'', http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/09/mccain_manager_this_election_i.html?hpid=topnews