Sarah Palin’s hate rally

We’re deep into a unique level and type of hate in this country. No, of course it is no where near the level of hatred spewed centuries upon centuries onto people who simply looked different or believed in a different God than other people.

No, this is not that level or even type of hate. This is the hatred of bullies. This is the hatred of the uncivil. This is the hate of road rage, of the kids who cut into the lunch line and dared you to call the hall monitor, of entitled people embittered twice over because of the failures of the system and the failures of themselves. This is the hatred of the bloggers (guilty) and especially of the commenters, the hatred that would drive a mother to perpetrate a vicious hoax and bully her daughter’s one-time friend into suicide.

It’s a hatred McCain and especially Sarah Palin seem to have no trouble trading in.

I’ve been impressed with Sarah Palin’s rhetoric, at least when presenting a scripted speech. She more or less held her own in her debate with Joe Biden, essentially making up for her flubs and utter lack of knowledge in her two major broacdcast interviews. While a fresh perspective can make up for a lack of experience, it cannot make up for a lack of understanding.

That said, why would you want this person next-in-line for the Presidency and force your children to grow up — in 2008, still! — where this is acceptable and encouraged?

At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

(Full article at Washington Post)

It’s one thing to shoot the messenger, as Palin has shown that’s about the only thing she’s adept at (in addition to her admittedly good rhetorical skills on the stand). It’s another to incite hatred.

More at Talking Points Memo. And more. And at Romenesko.

This is nothing like the lynchings, the cross-burnings, the torture and the Crusades. Of course, it’s not. Maybe it’s where it starts again, though. Once a level of relative calm in the midst of a storm is established, the dictators always go for the intellectuals next, for the writers, for the thinkers, for the questioners. Who needs the dissent? Right now, it’s an annoyance. Where it leads is continued coarsening of society and ultimately, less understanding, less acceptance, a lack of enlightenment, more exclusion, more hatred.

UPDATE (Oct. 9): More hate, reported by NPR…

In North Carolina, there’s been a rash of threats against Hispanic advocates and state legislators who are deemed supportive of immigrants. In recent months, those threats of violence have become so common that one Hispanic leader takes a bodyguard to some public appearances.

After reporting about the disgusting threats these advocates received, NPR quotes the head of a PAC that opposes illegal immigration (as is their right) for his group’s opinion on the situation.

Here’s the blame-the-victim quote:

“But the reason that they’re getting those is because those groups are engaged in activities, political activities, that some North Carolinians feel are downright hostile. And so that’s why they’re geting those types of responses — it’s because of their own actions.”

Well, jeez, why don’t you just come out and say they were asking for it?


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