09 October 2008

thinking like reptiles

While watching the news tonight, I saw the incident at a John McCain rally in Wisconsin in which a man with a microphone, proclaiming his anger, described Barack Obama and other Democrats as “hooligans.” My first reaction was, “Does this man know the definition of ‘hooligan’?” Does he actually believe that Obama is a hoodlum who runs through the streets, picking fights and vandalizing? I also thought that he must have been planted there by someone in the McCain campaign. But after seeing McCain’s obvious unease with the man, I don’t believe that. He tried to remind the crowd that “all of us are Americans first.”

But when you begin stirring the pot of racial animosity and carelessly labeling people as “terrorists,” as he and Sarah Palin have done, don’t act surprised when hatred and violence are the result. Especially in tough economic times, many people are looking for someone to blame. We humans do not think very clearly when we’re filled with anger. When you appeal to the basest part of human nature, that’s exactly what you can expect to receive.

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