In the last two weeks, the McCain campaign has retreated from issues and turned overtly negative. They give lip service to issues but never follow up with details. They say Obama is wrong but never provide any evidence. Instead they turn to smears and lies. Since there is no requirement for a campaign to tell the truth there isn’t really anything to hold them back. Except for ethics and morality.
I’m not saying the Obama campaign hasn’t had their share of exaggerations and distortions. But, so far as I’ve been able to tell, they’ve stayed on the side of misrepresentation and haven’t been trying to foment fear.
That fear is the real danger of McCain’s tactics. Scared people don’t act rationally and that’s what they want. Scared people want to feel safe and though they turn to the person who instigated that fear, it isn’t in his interest to resolve it. It’s how he came to power and without fear, people will realize there is nothing behind the facade. This should sound familiar. It’s been the way the Bush administration has operated since 9/11.
To make it worse, that fear mongering creates an “us vs. them” attitude that promotes violence. Don’t take my word for it. Look at the statistics for attacks against groups singled out by a political leader.
We have enough problems to solve without adding irrational fear to the mix. If we can’t have a calm discussion then any hope of a solution is gone. That creates the kind of environment in which violent change starts to look like the only answer. If that happens, then our society will no longer resemble the America we want this country to be.
The moral of the story is: when a politician cares more about acquiring power than he does about the methods used to obtain it then that person is a danger. McCain and his campaign (and all politicians) need to hear that message loud and clear.