Anger. That can pretty much sum up my Sunday afternoon. Oh, Sunday started off well, church as good and the Sunday School class involved a pretty lively discussion. But then in mid-afternoon, as is our custom, my mother called. We usually just chat a bit, about the kids, how everyone is feeling, school, the weather. We generally avoid politics, she's a single issue voter and I've told her enough times that I can't put all my electoral eggs in one basket, that the world is much too complicated for that to dominate my politics. We agree to disagree. She's a very sweet, intelligent lady - even after 35 years in an elementary classroom. Yesterday though, she blindsided me and what she said angered me and ruled my thought process all the rest of the day. I wasn't angry at her but at the Republican Party. I was, and still am, angry that all of the threats, distortions, and down right lies about Obama's ties to terrorism, Islam, and radicalism had made my mother scared. I'm angry that the person that taught me about racism and compassion, is now afraid of having a black man as President. I'm angry that despite living through the Great Depression and World War II in poverty, my mother says she's more afraid than ever. I'm angry that despite falling victim to this same type of smear in 2000 (when the Rovians killed his campaign in South Carolina by starting rumors of an illegitimate black child, an alcoholic wife, a homosexual lifestyle, and that he was some type of Manchurian Candidate) John McCain has adopted these same campaign tactics. He has tried to quell some of the more radical notions in recent campaign stops, in Wisconsin he did say Obama is "a decent person and a person you do not have to be scared of as President of the United States", a comment that was greeted by a chorus of boos. But I'm afraid that train has already left the station Senator. I'm angry at a campaign that allows this rhetoric to even enter the dialogue, that fear, hate, and racism are being used as a campaign tactic. I'm angry because all of the hate that has been cultivated in the last month is only going to generate more hate; hate that has the potential to consume each and every one of us.
Dr. Martin Luther King said "hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that". I pray he's right.