With anger coursing through rallies for McCain/Palin with increasing intensity, cries of “terrorist” and “kill him” were heard last week from crowds responding to the negative campaigning of the GOP ticket. Veteran of the Civil Rights movement, Congressman John Lewis from Georgia charged McCain with “sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” invoking an earlier era of invective which turned to violence. Was Lewis on target or overstating?
In this context of economic crisis and anxiety, while McCain calls Obama dangerous and Palin suggests an anti-American Obama cavorts with terrorists, is the frustration and anger at the base something for us to really fear? What are the potential consequences of what Newsweek commentator Jonathan Meachem derided as the “mindless populism” of Sarah Palin. While McCain might have tried to tame the rhetoric in the last few days, can you unring a bell which sounds the alarm to racist elements within the conservative base?
STEVE COBBLE, Former Political Director of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition and blogger and teacher BRIAN JONES discuss the tenuous populism upon which the McCain campaign rests.
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