In Politics on October 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm

McCain’s rhetoric is overblown and exaggerated, but I fear that many people will take what he says at face value. He calls Obama’s policies “socialism,” Obama himself a terrorist’s pal, a voter registration organization with ties to Obama as the perpetrator of the the biggest fraud in voter registration history, “maybe destroying the fabric of democracy”. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy or ignorant to look up the facts. They’d rather believe that Obama is lying, another thing McCain keeps on accusing him of.

The truth is, McCain has done his share of things that could be seen as wrong, but the Obama campaign so far has been circumspect about not using similar tactics to tarnish McCain’s name. That may change in these last couple of weeks before the election. Maybe Obama should take off the kid gloves and really give it to the McCain campaign. I realize that he doesn’t want to stoop to McCain’s level, but he probably needs to fight back to some extent. As long as he refrains from exaggerating the way McCain does, I think it would be a fair exchange.

In the third presidential debate, McCain accused Obama of spending an unprecedented amount of money on negative ads. That could be because Obama has an unprecedented amount of money to spend on ads in general, due to his success in fundraising. But then McCain actually tries to make it a bad thing that Obama was able to raise all that money, even though McCain would probably kill for as much money for his own campaign.

McCain and Palin are good at negative spin, because they’re not afraid to exaggerate the claims they make against Obama, even if they step over the boundary into out-and-out lying. Mostly they just use outrageous language. They provide names for Obama and his activities that are geared to generate the most heat among their followers. And then try to disavow any responsibility for having done so. They are disingenous and unscrupulous in their use of words. And that, I think, is what really could destroy the fabric of democracy.


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