<HONEA EXPRESS: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

We all know the story. Man creates monster. Monster comes to life. Man loses control of monster. Man and monster do a show-stopping rendition of Putting on the Ritz. It's classic storybook.

There is a monster in America and it isn't singing. It's screaming hate and the sound of its ignorance is echoing across the country. It is leaving fear in its wake.

McCain is many things, most of which I don't agree with, but despite his lack of judgment and poorly chosen words I don't think he is an agent of evil. An agent of the past, yes. A recipe for disaster, clearly, but evil? No. I don't believe that.

The monster in this scenario isn't covered in stitches and bolts. It isn't being chased by a mob of angry villagers armed with torches and pitchforks. This monster? It is that mob.

There has been an alarming trend growing on the campaign trail and it is disgusting. People were told it was okay to distrust Barack Obama because he was different than them. People were encouraged to let their fear of the new be the common bond between them.

Then they began chanting racial epithets. They shouted chants of violence. They engaged in lies, and worse, they believed them.

They are out of control.

By no means do I believe this is the thought process of the typical McCain supporter, nor the majority, but the fact is that it is happening, it is alarming, and it is spreading. A mentality has been exposed that most of us, on both sides of the proverbial aisle and those independent of it, had thought, or at least hoped, was a dying whisper of generations past.

Racism is alive and well in America and McCain the campaign, if not McCain the man, has let it out. It is out of control. It is a monster and it is haunting us.

We can fear it or we can fight it. I hope we fight, regardless of our politics.

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