Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bigots Are Out There...

H.L. Mencken once observed that "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public." He might just as easily have substituted the word overestimating for underestimating, and bigotry for intelligence. Apparently, John McCain, whose recent attack ads have scurrilously and crazily insinuated that Barack Obama is some sort of traitorous Muslim, is now reaping what he hath sown as a veritable lynch mob of enraged bigots show up on his campaign trail to implore and cajole McCain to confront his opponent in ways that are hardly conducive to civilized discourse. Recent stops in the heartland of America, that very same heartland that gave us, some sixty odd years ago, the Nazi sympathizing America First organization, are now producing such charming anti-Obama directed chants as "Off with his head" and "Kill him."

Perhaps the various calamities in the financial realm, which are giving rise to the sense that life is about to get a lot harder, have unhinged some number of the citizenry such that, in their present rage and despair, they are driven to express the sort of nauseating sentiments one associates with the Jim Crow era. Then again, maybe the murderous and retrograde thoughts and feelings have merely been lurking under the thin crust of our fast crumbling civilization all along and only now that things are falling apart in earnest are they emerging. Either way it's ugly with a capital U and bodes no good for the Republic.

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