Dividing America

Although this is nothing new, I think that supporters of both sides in the presidential race are creating the unnecessary division between Americans. Case in point:

VIDEO: The McCain-Palin mob in Strongsville, Ohio | blogger interrupted.

Itâ??s no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend.

My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadnâ??t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape.

I commented on the video and have decided to also comment here. The video and the attitude taken by the videographer adds to the ideological canyon that divides America. He hurts progressive causes by stirring the pot in this way and causes these sort of folks to ignore progressive messages, sight unseen, that are brought by others with more constructive methods.

Like a lot of other well meaning activists, his current methods are not effective and come off as contemptuous. If I were to witness something like this, I’d think the guy a nut and perhaps an ass for talking down to people. Instead, I suggest that all aspiring boat rockers instead provide constructive forums for debating people and provide educational material and resources to help explain your positions. For example, you can direct people to FactCheck.org which is equally scathing of both campaigns/parties for their inaccurate statements and portrayals of the other. You can also provide information about McCainâ??s role in the S&L crisis, deregulation of the financial services industry, and recent comments about the economy. And, it is extremely important to provide independent sources for your material that can be easily fact checked against. Direct people to use Internet searches and educate themselves. Too few people want to read let alone learn more than the sound bites they hear. This is an opportunity to give them a boost.

You may not convince everyone (like the guy who thinks Obama was raised from 1-6 by militant islamists) but I think you can convince a few outliers or centrists who can go either way. Each and every person who decides on Obama may in turn bring another one or two to their viewpoint. Talking down to people just make them dig in their heals and resist.

To be fair to the people in the video, a camera has a habit of pulling out the ignorance in people. Jackass comes to mind. Add to it that the fact he comes off as baiting people, I expect them to say ridiculous things or act like morons as does the woman jumping in front of the camera demanding he say when the first time he’d heard of Obama. Not that ignorance is excusable but this is a crowd of people who blindly follow a party based on an ideology they neither understand nor check the policies of. Sadly, the policies of the Republican leadership do more to hurt many of these people more than many of them comprehend or care to check. These are the type of people I grew up with. :( Sadder yet is that there are equal numbers of people like this on both sides. :(

BTW: Obama gets my vote because I think his team will manage the country much better and respect the Constitution more than McCain and the Republicans. We aren’t voting for a candidate, rather for the candidate and the party machine and philosophy of governing they bring.