This Week in Angry Mobs
Okay all, this is getting ridiculous. And not in a good way.
I’m loathe make a politically oriented post, but I couldn’t ignore all of this, as much as I’d like to. Individually, each of these articles was somewhat unsettling, but taken together they paint a somewhat disturbing picture.
Disturbing Item the First: Angry Mobs
This past Monday, there was a McCain/Palin rally in Clearwater, FL. Reported by the Washington Post:
“Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.”Boooo!” said the crowd.
“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.
“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.
“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.
At that, Palin didn’t stop or condemn the comment, just sort of snickered and continued, which to me says a lot about her character, and the tone of their campaign in general. How is that in any way an acceptable thing to 1) say, 2) condone?
Even worse, someone who went to that very rally in Clearwater heard a good number of people in the crowd using the “n” word in reference to Obama, and saying things like “It’s a shame they don’t allow lynchings anymore.” That’s chilling, that this is happening today, and being incited by people aspiring this nation’s highest office.
Some other examples of the McCain/Palin campaign really driving home this “fear/outsider/otherness” meme from the Huffington Post. I feel like I’ve traveled back in time, like I’ve somehow ended up in 1950’s America.
Disturbing Item the Second: McCain Really Hates the Gooks, Apparently
From an article on SFGate published on Feb. 18, 2000, McCain is on record as saying:
“I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”
For anyone who is lucky enough to not recognize the epithet “gook,” the article offers an explanation of the term:
The word “gook” was first used in 1899 by American soldiers fighting Filipino insurgents. During the Korean War, the term was aimed at Koreans and Chinese. It was directed at the Vietnamese when Americans were fighting in Vietnam. It is now used as a slur toward any Asian or Pacific Islander.
Now, in his defense, he later clarified that he was referring specifically to his captors in Vietnam. But all the same, I’m sure you’ll all agree that it’s understandable that I’d find this disturbing, whether or not his later clarification was sincere.
- Even if it was sincere, well, I’m not sure that entirely justifies the use of the word, and even if it does, it displays that to this day his incarceration in Vietnam affects him deeply. Not to say that it shouldn’t; certainly that would be an incredibly horrifying experience for anyone who should survive it, and I don’t mean to take anything away from that. My point is that, going through an experience has to affect you on a fundamental level; I’m not convinced a person can be 100% “okay” after something like that. Do we want someone like that in charge of us?
- If it was not sincere, well, then, that’s an obvious one. If he genuinely hates “the gooks” and will do so for as long as he lives, well, if he’s elected President all I could hope for is that he wouldn’t reinstate interment camps for Asians.
Disturbing Item the Third: Does McCain Think He’s Still InVietnam?
At a campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, McCain said the following to the crowd:
“You and I together will confront the $10 trillion debt the federal government has run up and balance the federal budget by the end of my term in office. Across this country, this is the agenda I have set before my fellow prisoners and the same standards of clarity and candor must now be applied to my opponent.”
Whoa, wait, what now? The crowd was clearly baffled too, as right after that sentence ended, McCain paused for the usual applause but instead received only awkward silence.
Methinks the stress of the campaign trail is getting to him. At best, he’s been recounting his POW experience so often over the course of the campaign that it’s become muscle memory, and it just “slips out.” But on the other hand, it could be a sign that he’s beginning to come unhinged – which is exactly the wrong person to be the next Commander in Chief.
In Case of Emergency, Australia or Bust
I’ve been having an ongoing discussion regarding emigration (semi-jokingly) with some friends of mine, but this latest “angry mob” BS has really got me wondering if America is headed for some Mad Max-esque future. So, should the worst come to pass – either McCain/Palin winning the election, or Bush and/or Cheny suspending the election, dissolving the Galactic Senate, declaring himself Emperor, raising a clone army, and systematically killing off the Jedi – I’ve got a new place under consideration: Perth, Australia.
A friend of mine works with a guy who lives there, and he has nothing but good things to say about it. It’s one of the most isolated metropolitan places on earth, and it’s got great Internet infrastructure as it sits on the pipe to Europe. It’s got a good deal of diversity in terms of both ethnicity and religion, with the largest demographic being British. To top it all off, it’s got a booming economy, something we haven’t heard around here in ages.
I just wish it were November already. The suspense is killing me. I’d just like to know whether to keep planning on taking the California bar, or to start looking into this Australian Migration Occupations in Demand List.
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