I’ve just started reading Newsweek’s Secrets of the 2008 Campaign series and I haven’t come to the part that the Telegraph refers to in, “Sarah Palin Blamed by the U.S. Secret Service for Death Threats Against Barack Obama.” Normally I’d wait and pull my quotes from the source, but this has agitated me so much I want to post about it now because I’m sure there’ll be much more to agitate me in the Newsweek.
The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling “terrorist” and “kill him” until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.
Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”
The revelations, contained in a Newsweek history of the campaign, are likely to further damage Mrs Palin’s credentials as a future presidential candidate. She is already a frontrunner, with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, to take on Mr Obama in four years time.
I don’t know which disturbs me more – that this may well be true, or that it’s so easy to believe that it could be true.
It’s truly a shame to see the Republican Party continue it’s decline because of politicians willing to behave like this. Yeah, you just heard me bemoan the degradation of the Republican party, and no, I’m not on any prescription painkillers tonight.
It genuinely saddens me to see the way the party has highjacked by Evangelicals and xenophobes. Vigorous political discourse is dependent on a spectrum of perspectives and ideals and while those discussions occur between individuals, political parties serve an important role in our society. I’m not saying we need only two, I’m not saying that the religious should stay out of politics, but religion and narrow-mindedness and hate have no place in American politics and Republicans are the only ones who can fix their party and work to heal the damage that the last decade has inflicted on it, and on all of us.