Palin and McCain: Appealing to the Worst in Americans

There is a lot to say about this ditty that Sarah Palin is repeating wherever she goes:

“This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America. … I’m afraid this is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country.”

You can say that it’s false, that it’s a groundless smear, that it’s vicious, that it’s desperate. And all of that is unquestionably true. But what strikes me most forcefully as I read this same quote in every article about every speech Palin gives, is how ironic it is that Palin is accusing Obama of not seeing America as a force for good in the world — by appealing to the worst in the American psyche.

American history has two sides: There is Sen. Joseph McCarthy. And there is Edward R. Murrow. There are Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam. And there are Viola Liuzzo and Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner. There is the Westboro Baptist Church and there is Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s the easiest thing in this country to appeal to the lynch mob mentality. It’s there, and it’s real. But there is also this. And this. And they are just as American.

Sarah Palin and John McCain had the choice of which side of the American psyche they would appeal to. And they made that choice.

One Response to “Palin and McCain: Appealing to the Worst in Americans”

  1. AMark says:

    This is very serious stuff, and we need to write to the media about it. Media contacts and more articles can be found here:
    http://sarahpalinsworld.com/blog/2008/10/07/the-language-of-hate-and-where-it-leads/

    Poynter forums expressed the journalist’s side of this well: “If I were an editor or producer covering this election, I’d pull my people from McCain and Palin events . . . If McCain and Palin want to avoid the ‘filter’ of the mainstream media, let them do it. They can run their campaign without coverage.”

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