Anger leading to hate, honestly

What scares me most about the Carl Paladino phenomenon is not his use of hate and anger as a campaign tactic — he may be using it more than most, but does anyone remember Lee Atwater? Or a president by the name of Richard M. Nixon? No, it’s the eagerness of people to accept his outbursts as a sort of exceptional level of honesty lacking in mortal politicians, that Paladino is more “real” because he refuses (allegedly) to engage in spin, and there is more like us.

“I don’t think the man hates gays,” one Staten Islander told the New York Times. “He has his views. They’re true views. He’s a believer.”

Forget the fact that Paladino is wealthy enough to say things and not care what others think of him — hardly making him one of us — or that David Duke also said what was on his mind. But is the Paladino phenomenon the hangover we’ve collectively earned after decades of ever-increasingly sophisticated levels of spin? Or are we just poor historians? George Washington’s farewell address was co-written with him by a trio of speechwriters by the name of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton (and, of course, I am OK with that).

Yes, Paladino may be honest about his feelings. If those feelings are based purely on hate and anger, that may make him different from the average politician, but how does that make him better?


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