This election season of 2008 between Senator John McCain and rival Senator Barack Obama is not getting easier for either candidate, nor anyone else involved. We’ve seen these two campaigns reach different levels that no other campaign has reached before, and now they are diving further into uncharted territory.
Recent comments that have been made on behalf of several people over the last couple of days have turned up the heat. It can be attributed to the fact that as the days started to number for the McCain campaign and he was still down in the polls, he turned to a more aggressive strategy. This was questionable to many, but led to personal attacks, malicious characterizations, accusations and insults. Recently John McCain and his runningmate Sarah Palin have been making public appearances campaigning together. It’s traditional that political rallies around this time of year tend to get rather rambunctious, so as we have seen the aggressiveness of the McCain campaign increased, so have the feelings from spectators.
The anti-Obama taunts and jeers have been getting louder and louder. Last week Governor Palin accused Obama of “palling around with terrorists,” and McCain has also been trying to bring more light on Obama’s relationship with William Ayers. Apparently the crowd is sucking up every minute of it. In some places cheers are being replaced with rage, and we’ve heard shouts of “traitor,” “terrorist,” “treason,” “liar,” “Obama’s an Arab,” “off with his head,” and even “kill him,” by one participant.
The rhetoric has even made the party’s candidate McCain make statements to try and settle down the crowds, telling people to be respectful. But the comments by McCain weren’t good enough for some, such as Representative John Lewis, who condemned the tone of the McCain rallies. Lewis, an active member of our nation’s civil rights movement said, “I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American History,” referring to the civil rights movement. He continued, “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.” There was further mention of a comparison to the divisive Governor George Wallace.
Naturally Senator McCain fired back in opposition and is now wanting Barack Obama to “immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and devisive comments,” he said in a statement Saturday afternoon. Not doing exactly that, the Obama Campaign released a statement in return saying, “Senator Obama does not believe John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies. But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own runningmate that the Democratic nominee for President of the United States “pals around with terrorists.”
Not for nothin’, but this race is becoming a ruthless struggle by some and a desparate gamble by others. It’s inciting other people to become involved where they would have never imagined themselves. This is when we see simple fans become excessive fanatics.
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To see Rep. John Lewis’ comments, click here.