Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain Denies Validity of John Lewis's Prophetic Words: Does McCain Know What He is Doing?


If anything else was needed as evidence that McCain and Palin seem utterly incapable of recognizing the dangers of the passions they are stirring up through the fear-mongering message of their campaign, the last week of terrorist-baiting language from the McCain campaign--even to the point of provoking hate-filled questions and howls from their own audiences when McCain dared to correct a woman who called Obama an "Arab"-- should be the final straw.

And while the corporate media are mostly too timid to call McCain and Palin out on the amazingly Orwellian specter they are raising-- of Obama as an "enemy of the country" and threat to the nation--even as the media offers apologies for McCain, and allows McCain to get away with criticizing the words of John Lewis for "going too far" (ie, for saying what needed to be said, what the media has been too timid to say), the words of Rep. John Lewis posted this weekend have hit the prophetic nail precisely on the head by naming the dangers of the passions that the McCain-Palin campaign is unleashing with its fear-mongering, terrorist-baiting rhetoric:

And while McCain himself remains obstinately unwilling to recognize or accept responsibility for the potential violence his own campaign is threatening to stoke up among crazy fringe elements in this country--through its desperate terrorist- and fear-mongering approach to the last weeks of the campaign-- Even some Republicans have been criticizing the dangerous tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. But rather than recognize the danger and renounce any further descent into this hell, McCain has chosen instead to criticize the prophetic words of warning uttered by Rep. John Lewis this past weekend--

Instead of recognizing the truth of the warning uttered by John Lewis, McCain has chosen to accuse Lewis of uttering absurd and harmful accusations against McCain!

We can find nothing more evocative of the ways the unjust kings of biblical Israel would condemn the prophets in order to justify their own oppression of their people than this kind of response from McCain: When the prophet speaks truth to power, condemn the prophet in order to cover your own injustice:


You wish to deny that there is any justice to John Lewis's comparison of your campaign's rhetoric and tone with that of George Wallace?! Perhaps you need to take some time to refamiliarize yourselves with the kinds of language and rhetoric that Wallace and other fear-mongering and terrorist-baiting politicians of the past used to stoke up the hatred of individuals and crowds that ended up bombing and lynching blacks in the South, even as Wallace and politicians like him always denied having any such "intent..." Turning the blind eye to injustice, with a wink and a nod, has always been the way of white racist power in this country, as in many others!

But John McCain and Sarah Palin, you have been called out and warned--not only by John Lewis, but by decent and honorable Republicans in your own camp, of the potentially violent consequences of the approach you have taken--
And while you may deny you have any "intent" to stir up such violence, and we may all pray that the terrorist-mongering rhetoric of your campaign does not provoke violence, there can be no excuse for the way you and Sarah Palin are so unapologetically using the specter of terrorism in association with Obama to stir up the worst fears and passions of your followers.

Are you both truly so devoid of honor and decency as to stoop to this lowliest and most despicable of political tactics, and to refuse to reign in people in your crowds who shout such violent slogans as "kill him," and "bomb him"?!!

Any decent human being, hearing words such as these coming from an audience to which he or she is speaking, would do nothing less than immediately RENOUNCE and REJECT such sentiments and expressions! Yet only silence seemed to greet these expressions when they were uttered by people in the groups to which you and and Palin were speaking! Are you so in love with power at any cost that you have lost all sense of human decency and honor?!

I beg of you to demonstrate that you have not lost all sense of decency, by turning away from the terrible course you have taken your campaign in the last week. And please restore some basic sense of human decency and honor to your campaign by renouncing all such terrorist- and fear-mongering language for the rest of the campaign--

It's transparently clear from your speeches and ads that your campaign's fundamental goal has been to create the impression that Obama is not like most Americans, but is other, and is therefore to be suspected of all kinds of dark and shadowy things, including terrorist associations, and selfish intentions..... You seem to have studied the fear-mongering devices of the worst anti-semitic campaigns in setting up this kind of suggestive attack on Obama as the "strange Other," who is not to be trusted. Would you actually deny that this is the intent of your desperate campaign strategy? If so, then do not simply deny this is your intent, but show us you mean it by eliminating these kinds of fear-mongering tactics and rhetoric from your campaign!

And if you admit this is the intent of your campaign's strategy, can you not see how despicable and devoid of honor such a strategy is? If you need to take this kind of despicable approach to win this nation's most noble office, do you really think you deserve to hold the nation's highest Office? Is not this kind of Orwellian logic of denial and distraction precisely what has driven the Bush administration into such depths of darkness and failure? And while you seek to distance yourself from the Bush administration, every step your campaign has taken along these lines has only worked to confirm how a McCain administration would be even more desperately and darkly Orwellian, devoid of truth and honor, than the Bush administration has been!!

Power at any cost, words that deny and twist the truth at every turn of phrase, to the point where policy loses all grounding in reality, and the result is--as current reality is demonstrating--that reality itself rebels and turns against the system of lies by threatening to bring the entire false deck of cards crashing to the ground!

And to all those who listen to the words of McCain and Palin and say nothing or simply smile and let them get away with their dispicable accusations and lies, we ask: When will YOU begin to respond, and to ask, and to DEMAND that McCain and Palin respond, by asking them repeatedly, insistently, and constantly, until they respond--

"John McCain and Sarah Palin, What will it take for you to recognize the dark passions you are stoking? Will it take a bomb, or a hate-filled shot fired from a gun, before you recognize the dangerous consequences of the fire you've been playing with by constantly suggesting, over and over again, that Obama is someone who associates with, or accepts, terrorists, in the face of Obama's firm and repeated denunciations of all terrorism and terrorists?

Sarah Palin, and John McCain, What will it take for YOU to recognize the horror of what you are suggesting by this terrible and disgusting game of false association, in a political and war context that over the last eight years has constantly evoked the image of terrorists being killed?!

What kind of Orwellian game do you think you are playing by denying any respsonsibility for stoking violence by your version of the "big lie" that seeks to associate Obama with terrorists and terrorism?!

Far from being in any way outrageous or unfair, the words of Rep. John Lewis precisely hit the mark of the dangerous and violent passions your campaign has been working to stir up, whether you "intend" it to do so or not? Your personal "Intention" here is irrelevant, even if we were to believe you, since it is the FACT of the potential IMPACT of your campaign's approach and the passions it evokes that we all have to deal with. But when will YOU accept responsibility and uphold the honor and responsibility of "Country First" that you say you admire by restraining the dogs of personal violence and hatred that your campaign has been directly working to unleash.....

We at Policybusters thank John Lewis for his prophetic words, and unreservedly second them, and hope that all responsible and humane media outlets will do the same, for as Lewis concludes, "The American people deserve better."

Indeed we do deserve better! And if you--McCain and Palin--want to be treated seriously as people worthy of leading the American people, you must first recognize that we all deserve better, and reject and renounce the fear-mongering approach to politics in favor of something more honorable and decent, during the last weeks of this campaign.

Instead of rejecting and condemning Rep. Lewis's words, you should be thanking him for offering them, in prophetic warning, as the just kings of Israel thanked the prophets of old that warned them of the dangers of transgressing the laws of justice to which all nations and political leaders must ultimately be held to account--

Rep. John Lewis Responds to Increasing Hostility of McCain-Palin Campaign 10/11/2008

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

"During another period, in the not too distant past,
there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

"As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."

So which approach will your campaign take, John McCain and Sarah Palin?

--the way of the unjust leaders of the past who condemned and sought to silence their prophets?

--or the way of all just leaders, who HONORED their prophets by CHANGING THEIR WAYS in accord with prophetic words?

This is the choice before YOU and the entire nation: Will you choose justice or injustice; Orwellian obfuscation, or the prophetic truth?

The choice is yours, and the consequences are those that YOU and all the American people will have to grapple with.....

[John McCain and Sarah Palin should watch Ted Koppel's one hour review of the history of lynching in the US being broadcast this week on the DISCOVERY channel]

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