Monday, October 13, 2008

Why does disagreement have to lead to hatred and divisiveness?

It is very disturbing to me -- and embarrassing to be an American -- to see all of the hatred being sown and reaped by the supporters of McCain and Palin.  This whole "you're with me or against me" line of reasoning is leading to excessively hateful division and smears.

I can't understand why people cannot be content to just say "you know, that guy has weighed the facts and has come to different conclusions on the issues than I have." and have it be alright to disagree on values or policy issues.  But instead, there is this fervor to take it to an insane level and actually demonize those who disagree with you as if they were the worst person in the world.  Seriously?  People should check their hatred and save it for people who truly deserve it, not those who just happen to hold different positions than you do.

The Palin-McCain Mob | Crooks and Liars  Watch these videos to see the kinds of unabashed hatred that is being stirred up at these rallies.

Here is a list of some of the best quotes -- from conservatives -- about the lines of discourse and how harmful they.  My friend Pete had a great list as well that some of these are from.

McCain's Supposed Adviser John Lewis Calls Him Out | Crooks and Liars
"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."  -- John Lewis

"We conservatives are sending a powerful, inadvertent message with this negative campaign against Barack Obama's associations and former associations: that we lack a positive agenda of our own and that we don’t care about the economic issues that are worrying American voters." -- David Frum, National Review

"Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama....  Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either." -- George Will

"This is my concern: I think this hate and fear that comes out of the crowd isn't necessarily something that the McCain people have consciously tried to put out there, but that's all that McCain has left. You know, that the wing nuts are the only people left to come to these rallies. In fact some colleagues of mine went out into the crowd today and I can tell you after covering McCain for a year and a half, usually there are *some* crazy people -- there are always crazy people at rallies. That's what they do, right? They go to rallies. But you'd only find a few of them. And today every single person that I talked to, and the majority of people that my friends and colleagues in the press talked to, were of the belief that, you know, Barack Obama is a muslim, Barack Obama is not American." --- Ana Maria Cox, Time Magazine

... the negative tone of these rallies is "incendiary" and could lead to violence.

"There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we're not far from that," he said. "I think it's really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down." -- David Gergen, advisor to Nixon and Reagan

"He is not the McCain I endorsed," said Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home Thursday. "He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.

"I'm disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues." -- former Republican Gov. William Milliken

McCain's attacks fuel dangerous hatred --

John McCain, you're walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out "Terrorist" or "Kill him," history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.  -- Frank Schaeffer (lifelong Republican)
David Brooks: Sarah Palin "Represents A Fatal Cancer To The Republican Party"
And the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he's a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, 'David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you're only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.' And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception. -- David Brooks
How John McCain lost me - Print View
McCain’s recent conduct of his campaign – his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition – has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.
In fact, it’s not clear who he is. -- Elizabeth Drew
Panic attacks: Voters unload at GOP rallies - Jonathan Martin -
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”

“Sen. Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.” -- John Weaver, McCain's former top strategist
WBBM 780 - Chicago's #1 source for local news, traffic and weather - LaHood: Palin Should Stop It
"Look it. This doesn't befit the office that she's running for. And frankly, people don't like it."

Congressman LaHood says it could backfire on the Republican ticket.

He says the names that Obama is being called, "Certainly don't reflect the character of the man." -- Ray LaHood, congressman R-IL
The Raw Story | GOP insiders predicting Obama victory
"They have send this young, naive -- very confident, perhaps in Alaska -- young woman out with the most incendiary talking points, the most dangerous racist talking points and I think they should be ashamed of themselves," -- Michelle Laxalt, Republican consultant

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