- Obama is evil. Obama is a socialist. Obama will raise taxes. Obama is a friend of terrorists. Obama will spend your tax dollars on abortions. Obama and the Democrats got us into this economic crisis. We don't really know who Obama is or what he stands for. Obama never talks specifically about what he would do as president.
- Obama lacks experience. He's unqualified to be president. What has he accomplished? What has Joe Biden accomplished? Joe Biden is a liar. I don't trust Obama because of the people he associates with and the people who were his mentors. "Ayers" yada yada, "Wright" yada yada, "Rezko" yada yada.
- He won't end the war in Iraq, he'll just move it Afghanistan. The war will never end. Read your Bible.
- I don't like his wife. She's just an angry black woman. Obama is a Muslim. He'll get assassinated the first time he goes to a Middle East country because they consider him to be an infidel. How could he have gone to that church for 20 years? That shows bad judgment, or else he agrees with everything Wright said. Obama "had sex with his best friend and promotes kids to experiment." (I don't even know what this means.)
What I want to know is, why can't we just disagree about this? I have asked this very question, and one friend replied, "We can agree to disagree. I'm just sending you the facts that Obama isn't." I asked her to stop.
Is it just me, or are people angrier about the election this year than they usually are? I have seen lots of anger from the right--both in person and in the media--but I realize that conservatives claim to see just as much or more anger coming from Democrats. (Some minimize the anger from the right as "a few over-the-line catcalls." Uh-huh.)
The Washington Post reported on the "pandemonium" that broke out in Prince George's County, Maryland when a local hotel put up a McCain/Palin sign. The conservative NewsBusters headlined this story as "Angry Democrats Threaten Boycott of Maryland Hotel With McCain Sign", and used phrases such as "angry," "enraged," "strong-arm tactic," and "vilification" to describe the response of the county's Obama-supporting residents--but if you read the Post story, you don't encounter any of those extreme expressions. In trying to vilify Obama supporters, NB instead discredited itself with hyperbole.
Whatever--it is nasty on both sides. Civility is a lost art. The best we can do is a thin--and I do mean skeletal--veneer of decorum at a public debate.
But wait: I love this measured opinion piece from the Washington Post coming out in support of Obama. There's nothing mean or disrespectful in it about McCain, and the analysis of Obama's qualifications is balanced and not exaggerated. I haven't checked--is there a similar piece taking the opposite position? I'll post the link in an update if you have one.
This is how the candidates should talk to one another, and about one another; this is how we should talk to one another: with fairness, integrity, and civility.
End of sermon.