Thursday, October 23, 2008
The High Road vs. The Vile Road
This video clip is the final 5 minutes or so of a speech that Barack Obama gave the other day at a rally in Richmond, Virginia. He talks about what a serious time this is and about how the huge problems we now face require a united America, not the divisions that McCain and Palin are encouraging in these final days of the campaign. He echoes some of the things he said in his famous 2004 DNC speech about that fact that there is no Red America and Blue America, there's a United States of America. We're all real Americans, and we're all "pro-America." Just because people oppose the policies of Bush and the very similar policies proposed by McCain doesn't make them any less American or patriotic than those who support those policies.
At the other end of the spectrum, the McCain campaign has resorted to its own brand of terrorism, attempting to scare voters into ignoring our real problems and to focus instead on fear, fear that Barack Obama is "not who you think he is." I spent yesterday at an Obama office in New Hampshire calling voters, some of whom told me that they have already been receiving nasty "robocalls" from the McCain campaign. McCain also has a new mailer - the cover says "Terrorists don't care who they hurt," opening up to a large photo of Obama with the words "Not who you think he is." It's as insane as it is disgusting.
John McCain is said to be "absolutely" proud of this line of attack. So much for his promise to run a respectful campaign, and for his memories of the hurtful robo-call attacks on him and his family in the 2000 campaign. In the past, I thought of John McCain as someone I could live with as president, someone I might disagree with on issues, but who was at least an honorable man. Clearly those days are gone. As one writer put it, McCain placed his principles in a blind trust at the start of his campaign against Obama. He also seems to have lost track of his judgment, as he showed in his choice of Sarah Palin and in his various responses to the financial crisis.
Of course such vile attacks are business as usual for the GOP. They worked for George Bush, and they will probably sway some voters this time. That's why I and many other volunteers for Obama are continuing to reach out to swing state voters to tell the truth about what Obama represents - true concern for our middle class and poor people, and policies that will rebuild this country starting with jobs, new energy and education policies, and strong but non-belligerent foreign policy (among other things).