I'm finding reporting by the media on the "anger" and "hatred" being "stirred up" at McCain rallies a little much. 1.) Because I think it's vastly overstated, and 2.) Because it's not just McCain supporters.
Now now, before anyone starts tossing around the R word, that's not what I have in mind. People who are voting against Obama simply because he is black or they think he's a terrorist or a Muslim have their own agenda and own reasons for voting for him. Those reasons are stupid, off-base, and as a common-sense conservative, I cannot disagree with them more. Personally, I think there's plenty of reasons to vote against Obama even if he was a white guy named Barry Smith.
First of all, it's a political rally! I've been to plenty of them, and let me tell you, it is probably the farthest thing from a rational discourse on public policy. You're not only there to root for your guy, but you're in a room of like-minded people who think your guy is the greatest and the other guy is the worst thing that could possibly happen to the country.
In that sense, it's more akin to a sporting event, where you cheer your own team and heckle the other side, regardless of accuracy. That's a given simply due the nature of the event. Many fans at a Cubs-Sox game are going to tell a .374 hitter that he sucks, despite his illustrious stats. Fans' labels stem simply from the fact that he is on the other side, not due to any specific attribute. CNN doesn't report on the "anger and hatred" being fomented when the Cubs play the White Sox, even though it's palpable in the air.
During the 2004 campaign I heard plenty of things that were not complimentary to President Bush or Senator Kerry that were in many cases far worse, and with far less veracity than what has been said at McCain rallies. Remember "Bush Lied, People Died" "Bush is a Nazi" and so on? It comes with the territory.
Second, anger cuts both ways. If we're going to have a rational discussion about...rational discussion in this campaign, let's mention all sides, like this McCain march through the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (Ignore the text overlays. That's not what I'm getting at, and at times is just as stupid as the Obama supporters in this video.)
Wow, that was a lot of kind, genteel, not angry, and perfectly rational political discourse. Nazi Germany? Boos? Middle fingers? Mindless chanting? The sad thing is that this is exactly what the Bill of Rights was written for...
Perhaps some mention on these protesters at a Sarah Palin event? I won't be posting the picture directly. For those with curious eyes, you can click here. In the picture, four people wear T-shirts where Gov. Palin is referred to as a derogatory term for women that rhymes with "hunt." Can you imagine the appalled media reaction if people had shown up at Obama rallies wearing T-shirts referring to the Illinois Senator by the N-word? How much press they would get?Regardless of what people think about Sarah Palin's qualifications or politics, those two examples are completely indistinguishable in my book. The "Obama is an Arab/Terrorist/Whatever" press firestorm is a perfect example of this, yet I don't see the tactless anger towards McCain and Palin getting nearly the same press.
In conclusion, when reading reports of the anger and hatred stirred up at McCain rallies, 1.) Keep it in context, and 2.) Let's examine both sides. It's not just Dumbass McCain supporters who are "fueling the anger." There's a healthy dose of Obamaniacs in there too that are not getting nearly as much airtime. Report them both, but more preferentially, report neither, as neither deserves to be part of our national debate.