Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is it too much to hope that we can get through the rest of this campaign season without any more racist junk (like the guy in Louisiana who was arrested for making threats when he called the county clerk's office insisting he needed to get his voter registration card so he could make sure the "n-----" didn't get elected) or any Muslim bashing?

It seems there has been quite an uptick in referring to Barack Obama's middle name. Of course there's nothing wrong with his middle name and I'm sure he's fine with it. It's the name his mother gave him, after all. But people aren't using his middle name to show respect. They're using his middle name to make people think he's a dangerous terrorist. The only other Hussein most people can name is that bad guy from Iraq who once tried to kill W's dad, after all. (Calling W by his middle initial is different as he shares his first and last name with his father, also a president. Granted, I've been known to switch it from Dubya to "Dumbass", but it's still at least a fair reason for regularly using his middle initial to refer to him.) It's not a coincidence that the uptick in using the middle name has coincided with Sarah Palin's steady references to Obama's "terrorist" pal. Many people who have been attending McCain/Palin rallies in recent days have certainly picked up on that and made much of Obama's name and called him a terrorist. He's a United States Senator, for crying out loud!

There were the ballots in a county of New York state that listed the Democratic candidate as "Barack Osama." I really, really, really want to believe that was an innocent mistake. Certainly the county has acted swiftly to correct the error and send out proper ballots. But there is a little voice in the corner of my head that wonders if this was really a mistake? After all, I have seen many, many anti-Obama signs noting the similarity between Obama's name and the name of the world's worst guy.

And there are still thousands of people who cling to this belief that Obama is a Muslim. The clear implication from many of these people being that they would never, ever vote for a Muslim. I no longer want to challenge the belief that he's something other than what he is. I am now just so damn pissed off at the repugnant, intolerant idea that if he were in fact Muslim, that would disqualify him for the presidency.

John McCain FINALLY stood up to some of this crap at a rally yesterday. Said Obama is not an Arab, is a good and decent family man, and deserves all of our respect. And how did some in the crowd respond? They booed.

So maybe it is too much to hope. So I'll just hope for it all to be over soon. I can't take much more of the ugliness. So could someone please just knock me out today and wake me up on November 5th?

Endnote: For the record, I would be just as unhappy with racist or intolerant comments made at Obama rallies and aimed at McCain. I would also not ever want to hear booing of McCain and would be mightily disappointed in Obama if he didn't shush the crowd. I just haven't heard of any Obama rallies involving ugly crowd moments and cries of "kill him" aimed at the opponent.

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