Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cranking Up the Hate Machine and the Two Americas

Presidential candidate Senator John McCain, understanding that he can not successfully run on the issues against the bulwark of his personal political history, has chosen to exacerbate his supporters emotions and evoke vehemence among them against his opponent with the help of his running mate, Sarah Palin.

Suggesting that Senator Barrack Obama, a black man, has associated with a convicted "terrorist," a thoroughly false and exaggerated claim, and, thereby attempting to tarnish the reputation of an obviously honorable man is a dangerous strategy.

If Senator McCain wins using these tactics, he will have alienated at least one half of the American population. If he loses, this will necessarily release a wave of bitter hatred and possibly violence fueled by his alarmist rhetoric, especially in a time of acute economic distress.

Regardless of the outcome, the gap between the two Americas may widen without hope of immediate repair. These two Americas are represented by the narrow-thinking, religious-minded and fiercely conservative individuals who generally reside in rural America and the more progressive, tolerant, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic people who tend to live in the more urban and cosmopolitan centers. Although this schism may not be that precise, it is real, nonetheless.

The chasm between these two divergent viewpoints can only be bridged by tolerant and reasoned leadership.

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