“Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.” (John 16:2)
My respect for John McCain moves up a notch at the news of how he stood up to some of his more deranged supporters yesterday:
A man in the audience stood up and told McCain hes “scared” of an Obama presidency and who he’d select for the Supreme Court.
I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you dont have to be scared of as president of the United States, McCain said as the crowd booed and shouted Come on, John!
If I didnt think Id be a heck of a lot better, I wouldnt be running for president of the United States.
And to a woman who said she’d heard Obama was an “Arab terrorist”:
“No, maam. Hes a decent family man and citizen,” McCain says. “Hes not. Thank you.”
So, well done, Sen. McCain (in contrast to your running-mate, who seems determined to stoke the fires rather than damp them down).
I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again (because pleading with people is like that): it is distressing and alarming to witness the way in which the United States seems to be losing one of the most important habits of democracy – the ability to undergo peaceful transitions of power in which the losing side recognises the legitimacy of the winner.
If Obama wins the election, then it seems that for substantial number of people he will be an illegitimate usurper: a Muslim fifth-columnist, friend of terrorists, America-hating “Kenyan-Indonesian-Hawaiian, or whatever he is” (as Mark Steyn so charmingly put it). For many more besides, these allegations will at the very least cast a shadow over Obama’s legitimacy.
Similarly, in the currently-unlikely event that McCain wins, it is hard to believe that fervent Democrats would simply shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh well, better luck next time”. No: it’ll be the Third Stolen Election, in which the democratic (or Democratic) will of the American people has once again been subverted by a combination of racism, anti-Obama insinuations, lies and rigged electronic voting machines.
But at the moment it’s the increasingly hysterical attacks on Obama – “He is a terrorist!”, “Off with his head!”, “Kill him!” – that pose the greatest threat. I agree with the commenter on The Scylding’s blog who said he has “never seen an election filled with so much venom as this one”.
So as a plea to all concerned, but especially to those who are dismayed by the thought of an Obama presidency: by all means spend the next three weeks arguing against Obama, attacking his record, questioning his claims to represent “change” and “hope”, and all the rest of it. And then spend the next four years arguing you were right about him.
But at the same time, ask yourself whether the manner and tone in which you are doing so could be contributing to a rhetorical climate in which some nutjob with a hunting rifle decides that he is the one to whom it falls to save America by putting Joe Biden in the White House.