Obamaphobia Takes Hold

I have several friends and relatives who send me a steady stream of e-mails containing the latest news about the grave threat Barack Obama presents to America. Every time I get one of these, I wonder: what do they think they are accomplishing? They know there is the proverbial snowball's chance I will vote for Obama, and I am glad to tell anyone who will listen why I feel this way.

In this regard I have plenty of ammunition. For instance, Obama thinks it is fine if the law allows and/or encourages women to burn, dismember, and crush the skulls of their children, either before birth or shortly after. Against that, the fact that he used to hang out with terrorists or took donations from Fannie Mae is mere frosting on the cake.

The people who send me these e-mails know, on some level, that the "facts" they are trying to spread are not likely to change anyone's mind. So why do they do it? I suspect it is out of frustration. Time is running out and the polls suggest an increasing likelihood Obama will win. (Check out Dr. Steven Taylor's electoral college maps for evidence.) People are starting to face this reality and they don't like it. The crisis in the financial markets created a heightened sense of fear in the last few weeks, making the frustration on all sides even worse.

Personally, I think Obama's past associations with William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and others are fair game. These kind of things come out in all campaigns. It is remarkable, however, that none of it is new. All these things were brought out in the Democratic primary, thanks to Hillary Clinton, and McCain himself refused to use them - until now. Why? Because he's losing and he really has not much else to say. On the overriding issue of the moment, the economy, he and Obama are largely in agreement. Both voted to approve the Hank Paulson bank bailout plan and appear to have no problem with nationalized large chunks of American industry.

It is worth noting, too, that many of the people who are so angry at Obama right now are the same ones who stood behind George W. Bush while he abandoned all pretense of budgetary discipline and smaller government, launched a war of choice, tortured prisoners and shredded the Constitution in order to concentrate near-unlimited power in the Oval Office. In this he was aided and abetted by a Republican-controlled Congress for six years. Some of us warned that those powers would someday fall into less trustworthy hands. Now it is about to happen. Having made their bed, the Bush loyalists are now upset that they might have to lay in it.

There is also the race factor. For most of the campaign it was bottled up, but now the dogs are getting loose. Some of it is thinly-disguised and some is quite overt. McCain can try to calm the crowds, but they are having none of it. This has moved beyond his control. Not everyone who dislikes Obama has racist motives, but some do. I suspect it is a bigger number than any of us want to admit.

We are on very dangerous ground here. If some nutcase takes a shot at Obama, it's not hard to imagine mass violence in large cities - and maybe beyond. Likewise, if we get into another 2000-type Florida recount fiasco, tempers will flare no matter who comes out on top. For this reason, I hope that whoever wins does so by an electoral and popular landslide. A close election is the last thing we need right now.

Conclusion: I highly suggest everyone turn down the heat, and quickly. The United States is closer to a breakdown in civil order right now than any time since 1968. For my friends on the right who think there is still a chance for McCain to win if only enough people can be told about Obama's sordid background: You Are Wrong. In fact, the more you talk about these things the better Obama does in the polls. You are accomplishing the opposite of what you want, and you may be opening a Pandora's Box that is best kept closed. The best thing you can do right now is shut up.

Yes, I realize that Obama supporters are saying some pretty vile things too. The personal attacks on Sarah Palin have been particularly shameless, but the fact that they are doing this kind of thing does not mean you can do the same. Ever heard of turning the other cheek? Now is an excellent time to practice.

1 comment:

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