For some reason, I see these kinds of videos… there is no shortage of them, and I feel as shocked and hollowed out as if I am seeing them for the first time. There are so many things I want to say and I am not even certain where to begin.
One thing that concerns me truly and deeply about the McCain campaign has been the utter neglect of talking about their supporters as seen here (which is by no means representative of all McCain supporters)as seen in this and other videos. The silence is deafening and I am distressed.
Furthermore, it is more distressing that there are many in the Catholic church who have seen these same videos, heard these same voices and yet I have heard very little about it.
For good or ill, I find myself reading conservative Catholic blog after another lately. What I do hear there is a range of things saying that Obama is an agent of death and that if I vote for him, I will be excommunicated (a sentiment shown to me in the video here as well) or at the very least I must re-examine my soul over and over again.
One of the things that I had (note past tense) about McCain in the past is that during his more “maverick-y” days, he was very much about how the commander was responsible for the ship, period. Where is that voice today?
I am also deeply troubled by groups of people and I hate to call them this, but mobs of people such as seen here, who have (elitist alert!) not aware of many chapters of history. As a result things like mob mentality psychology are lost on them, so I suppose even if McCain did speak up, he would go largely unheard.
This then leads me to the fact that one but study one chapter of history, that being Germany between the two wars (read The Divided Nation by Mary Fulbrook – it is great) to see what is happening with McCain supporters.
No matter who wins, I feel more cynical than I ever have in my almost 51 years of life. However, until the last vote is counted, I try to focus myself on the Christian virtue of hope, which seems harder and harder to come by these days.
I think it’s the kids that get me the most in this video — the way they watch, with their heads barely in the frame, as their parents/guardians/chaperones are yelling angrily at the people they disagree with. Can’t we keep the kids out of it?
On the other hand, something about counter-protests and the stagy “encounters” they provoke always strikes me as funny. I guess it’s the spectacle of opposing groups of very angry people shaking signs at each other (and thinking they’re accomplishing something) — the lameness of “O-ba-ma!” and “No-ba-ma!” as “arguments.” It’s so ridiculous it makes me laugh, although what it represents is more discouraging than amusing. The prioritizing of identity politics over persuasion or genuine dialogue is sad and troubling.
Mollie I could not agree more. I have thought about this all day and the kids were very much on my mind, I just got so derailed with frustration in leaving my long comment above.
Ultimately what is on my heart most is the lack of human dignity in any of this. As you say -sad and troubling indeed.
Likewise there were kids in the streets of a neighborhood fair on the Upper West Side where McCain supporters were marching. The taunts, the middle-fingers, the ranting were the same. The human species is not admirable on such occasions.