Monday, October 13, 2008

The Politics Of Anger

When Hate And Fear Suppress Hope And Future

Be careful what you say. Your words may come back to haunt you.

Vitriolic personal attacks have become all too commonplace in political campaigns. Character assassinations override the issues in the minds of candidates – especially when a grasp of the issues escapes their reach.

Negative ads. Baseless innuendo. Fiction substituted for fact.

“He’s not like you or I…” “He pals around with terrorists…” “He doesn’t see things the way we do…”

Gasoline poured upon the fire, and then, shock and surprise when the conflagration threatens to consume candidate, supporter, and country.

“He’s a terrorist…” “Kill him…” “Take off his head…”

Rally turned into lynch mob. Hatred stoked. Fears played upon.

A nation with a not so distant history of lynchings, cross-burnings, and presidential assassinations incited by those who would label such mongering patriotic.

In desperation, the fire is started, with the thought, as ridiculous as it may seem, of warming the home. All too soon, its flames burn out of control, embers threatening to burn down the entire house – divided as it may stand.

Even those who lit the match realize they’ve gone too far. “You need not be scared…”, they say, to the dismay of the angry mob.

Too late.

Like a wildfire fanned by the Santa Ana winds, the fires of hate, fear, and loathing scar the American landscape, destroying everything in their path, and threatening the very fiber of our democracy.

“If we don’t go on the attack, we’ll lose the election…”

Folks, when all you’ve got to offer up is hate, fear, and mindless supposition, you’ve already lost. Frankly, we all have.

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