John McCain parades around the nation with a campaign that has become a pure, 100 percent machine of personal attacks, character assassination, expressions of anger and rage by a man who aspires to be president and inspires chants at what have become hate rallies such as: "Kill him." "Off with his head." "Terrorist.” "Arab." "Traitor.” "Messiah."
When McCain reaches a level of pure personal invective in his rallies, his ads, his vice presidential nominee’s spewing venom, lies such as "palling with terrorists,” innuendo such as "Who is Obama?” warm-up speakers talking of "Hussein,” various versions of anti-foreigner fear, he is acting in a way that inspires a sick kind of anger and hate from his supporters.
This is so abormal, demented and vile that it reaches a state of un-American campaigning that appeals to rage, taps into bigotry, exploits a xenophobic fear of foreigners, inspires people to call for the death of political opponents and violates the traditional American notions of community, diversity and melting pot. This is a McCain campaign that is a deliberate attempt to foment fear and hate towards the nominee of the other party with the lie that he is linked to terrorists and the accusation of virtual treason with the lie that Obama would lose a war to win an election in a campaign that has now gotten out of control for even this desperate candidate.
This litany of lies, falsehoods and fears pumps a poisonous lava into the American body politic. Instead of addressing the crisis of our times with serious economic leadership, and instead of calming fears with expressions of unity and ideas for change: McCain exploits fear. Questions the Americanism of his opponent. Becomes himself an anger and rage machine trying to inspire the people of a troubled nation to share his anger and join his rage. "Kill him.” "Off with his head.” "Terrorist.” "Traitor." This is what is said at the hate rallies of John McCain, and there is much hate at the rallies of John McCain.
What kind of candidate enlists his wife in a campaign of such personal vindictiveness and anger?
And now McCain is trapped by his own venom. At his rallies where so much hate is spoken, those who hate demand McCain express even more anger and rage. Republicans in many states understand that this campaigning is unworthy of and destructive to the nation and the party that once was the party of Lincoln, and urge McCain to stop it.
This is not a case of "both candidates do it." This is a case where something is happening that has not happened in decades, with a pure personal vindictiveness where an opponent’s patriotism is questioned, where innuendo comes in daily doses, where a major-party candidate is reduced to personal attacks that overwhelm everything else about his campaign.
This is different. This is dangerous. This is destructive. This will take the candidate and his party to a catastrophic defeat and will further divide a nation far too divided and embittered after eight years of George Bush and the people who ran his politics, who now run McCain's politics.
McCain sells short the good will of the American people. He now embodies the last desperate hope of a radical-right approach to politics that is built on division, rage and contempt toward political opponents in a nation that will soon say: enough. No more. This ends here and this ends now.