When conservatives mock, belittle, ridicule and deride a Democratic politician, this is not something that qualifies as news. Similarly, when conservatives serially prevaricate about Democrats and liberals and their views and positions on the issues, ditto. When conservatives
also do the opposite of what they preach ÔÇô such as speak about peace and prosperity and celebrating "a culture of life," while promoting permanent war ÔÇô neither does that constitute news.
That's why I was taken aback when this spring, I began to notice that liberals/progressives had themselves begun to mock the aging Sen. John McCain. This is what spurred me to write my Mockin' McCain column, calling on people who disagree with him, to work and vote against him, but not to belittle him because of his age.
Fair enough, most liberals/progressives responded. Most conservatives also either agreed or remained silent.
But then came the Republican convention. Even I was taken aback. It was the epitome of an Obama mockfest ÔÇô virtually an Inquisitional auto de fe. But I shouldn't have been shocked. Yet I was. Speaker after speaker did not rise to praise Sen. McCain. Instead, they stooped to
slander and blaspheme Sen. Obama with at best, half-truths. No one did better on this score than Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her scripted speech was performed flawlessly.
Her degradation of Sen. Obama was of Biblical proportions, shamelessly mocking his character and integrity. In her words, tone, facial expressions and body language, one would have thought she was speaking about a putrid, inanimate object. The dehumanization displayed by the
self-described hockey mom-pit bull was cheered on by the well-heeled delegates. But why the shock? This is the same party that converted genuine Vietnam War heroes ÔÇô John Kerry and Max Cleland ÔÇô into traitors and cowards, this while cynically casting President George W.
Bush as a courageous warrior-leader. No one deserves to be belittled in such a manner. (Her convention speech was at best a series of masterfully delivered zingers. Yet the novelty of her continued ritual humiliation of Obama on the campaign trail has already grown old).
As Sen. Obama noted at his party's convention ÔÇô we are a better country than this. I agree, and thus, is it too much to ask that McCain's supporters work and vote against Obama, without demonizing and dehumanizing him?
If people knew nothing of Sen. Obama, from listening to conservative commentators and Republican operatives, one would think that he had atail and two horns. One would also think that he is:
ÔÇó the anti-christ himself.
ÔÇó Osama bin Laden's second-in command.
ÔÇó the son of Sadaam Hussein and a terrorist sympathizer.
ÔÇó a friend of big oil (in contrast to McCain & Palin).
ÔÇó the head of the Chicago mob and a black militant.
ÔÇó ready to turn over the seat of government to the UN.
ÔÇó an uppity elitist (in contrast to the Bushes & the McCains).
ÔÇó inexperienced in foreign policy, even though he was not duped into supporting the president's war propaganda (McCain, with all his experience, was the president's #1 supporter of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq).
ÔÇó ready to dramatically increase taxes and the size of government (unlike Bush's Big Brother government that has radically increased the size of government and continues to spend $10 billion per month on that war).
ÔÇó not ready to be president, but Palin is.
Despite the above conservative talking points, we all have to believe that all human beings retain a modicum of decency. No one can actually believe that as president, Sen. Obama would put "America second." And that's assuming that ultra-nationalism is the barometer by which the
U.S. electorate picks its presidents.
To be sure, there are radical differences between the two. Despite his newfound call for change, McCain would most likely follow the Bush war and economic polices of the past eight years. In Obama, the nation is less likely to rush into another war and his economic policies would
not tend to favor corporations.
Take your pick, just don't mock either. And regarding Obama's horns ÔÇô they are purportedly hidden behind his large ears. And yet, the question remains: why the shock regarding Palin's denigrating mockery of ObamaÔÇª because she's a Christian?