Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fruits of Fearmongering

watch the embedded video, or this post won't make sense.

What startles me the most is not that she thinks Obama's an Arab, but that McCain doesn't call her out for calling him an Arab, as if being Arab were a bad thing.

McCain says, "No, no, no ma'am, no ma'am. He's a, he's a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on, on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about. He's not. Thank you."

That final emphatic "he's not" is directed straight at the general US fear (read, hatred) of Arabs, of the assumption that they're all terrorists.

He didn't have time to craft a nuanced rebuttal of her statement; he had to shut her down immediately. She is an elderly citizen who is obviously confused and gullible. But, this is the product and endgame of the machinations of politicians who employ fear to win elections. Mix a little nationalism together with a little fearmongering and a touch of brinkmanship and you get Gayle Quinnell, registered voter.


Rachel said...

I was surprised she wasn't from the south to tell you the truth. I don't know whether to be glad that they get to share in the embarrassment of sharing a state with idiots or sad that people everywhere still judge people on the color of their skin. If you can't listen to Senator Obama and hear a man of integrity and brilliance then you're a lost cause. Disagree with his tax policy or healthcare plan (although I don't) but the racism...ugh.

SpyderDoc said...

I get that people are making a big deal out of this (e.g., The Daily Show this last week), but really. How awkward could this have been. Whatever side of the aisle you find yourself on in this election, kudos to mccain for not making this lady a scape goat. She is obviously an out-of-touch elderly woman. I know, I know. . . the campaign is said to have furthered the idea. I'll leave that to the individual. Bottom line, he supported Obama's underlying foundation of core qualities: A family man; A citizen; A decent man. I can't fault him for that. And I think your right, it wasn't a crafted reply, a comment on Arabs, or a backhanded insult to the Obama campaign