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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    McCain distances self as campaign takes hateful turn

    This is that nasty time during an election when things get down and dirty. Regretful past associations are dug up, facts are distorted and various fictitious assertions that seem to come out of nowhere are thrown out to the supporters to gobble up like twice-baked beef brisket at a sweltering Texas barbeque.

    There is a danger that the personal attacks on Sen. Barack Obama that the McCain campaign launched will backfire disastrously. After all, in these sensitive times, certain knuckle-dragging Republicans hear the word “”terrorist”” and all sorts of rumors can be cooked up instantly. It’s significant to note, though, that ignorance is one thing and pure hate is something else entirely.

    Consider a case at a rally in Minnesota on Friday, when a woman hesitantly called Barack Obama “”an Arab,”” after which Sen. John McCain seized the microphone from her and said, “”No, ma’am. He’s a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about,”” according to an Associated Press report.

    This kind of ignorant, hateful talk needs to be eradicated, especially when cries of “”off with his head”” or “”kill him”” are also heard at McCain rallies in reference to Obama.

    At the same rally, McCain was booed by his own supporters when he earnestly defended Obama by saying, “”I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States,”” The Associated Press reported. Color me crazy, but when you’re booed by your own fans, or confuse supporters with protesters, as Gov. Palin did recently, it might be a sign that your campaign isn’t going so hot.

    To a common conservative, this election is like the 1986 movie “”Top Gun.”” Sen. McCain, obviously, is Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick. Sarah Palin is Charlie, Maverick’s love interest – beautiful, but also one of the guys. President George W. Bush is Iceman, a bitter rival of Maverick’s, but very much the same person at heart. Naturally, this means that Sens. Obama and Biden are the communist MiG fighters, threatening to destroy our freedom and way of life, which includes, but is not limited to, sweaty volleyball matches and macho high-fives.

    I’d really like to think that McCain supporters are slightly more advanced than having a “”terrorist bad, McCain good”” outlook on the election, but in a way, the senator from Arizona needs to count on this “”Top Gun”” mentality in order to get ahead of Obama in the polls. Unfortunately, McCain is no Bush, insomuch as he’s not willing to make politics akin to coloring time at the day-care center, which could be the maverick’s Achilles heel.

    Rep. John Lewis caught flack from admirer McCain and others when the Georgia Democrat and civil rights veteran compared the recent environment of McCain’s campaign to that of segregationist Gov. George Wallace during the 1960s. According to The Associated Press, Lewis said that McCain and Palin were “”sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.””

    Lewis went on to say that, “”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.””

    While this comment by Lewis is a bit extreme, if McCain and co. intend on dishing out personal attacks instead of focusing on issues, this could be a dangerous time.

    The Obama campaign has had to confront so many different smears lately that a Web site was set up, “”Fight the Smears”” (http://www.fightthesmears.com/), addressing everything from the infamous William Ayers connection to the fact that Obama is Christian, not Muslim.

    Because the McCain campaign won’t confront any of the aforementioned hateful remarks, it’s disturbing, inexcusable and not helpful for the senator in the long run. His remark that Obama isn’t someone to be scared of as president is an appropriate and accurate one. There’s almost a sense of resignation in his choice of words, as if he realizes that this is the end. John, my friend, you did good, but better luck next time.


    -Matt Wavrin is a media arts senior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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