Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

"That One"

Last night as McCain wheezed his way through America’s virtual town hall meeting an uglier side of his character emerged. McCain’s use of the pejorative term “That One” shows a willingness to till soil that sow seeds of division and encourages partisan factionalism. This is no surprise. Sarah Palin, his lipstick wearing pit bull has incited partisan crowds with rhetorical speeches about Obama’s cavorting with terrorists. Cries of treason and kill him have been shouted by some of the gathered low information voting yahoos who are fully invested in the emotion of attack politics. We pray that one of these self deluded uber-patriots don’t act on their fantasy and plunge this country into a national nightmare.

Luxuriating in the language of division may become and titillate the Ann Coulters of the world; but it does nothing constructive to strengthen our beloved and much endangered republic. Consensus is the cornerstone of a representative democracy. Consensus is built on dialog and compromise that brings together and synthesizes opposing views. Trust and respect for institutions and process is key to building a national consensus. Consensus also presupposes that you recognize the humanity, equality and rights of your countrymen to hold and express views that you may not share.

The political rhetoric coming from our Country Firsters is anything but. Like Lady Hamlet, “the lady doth protest too much”, our Country Firsters insistence that their deep abiding love of country places them above partisanship. Unfortunately this claim is belied by their reliance on attack politics, division, dehumanization of their opponent and insinuations of sedition threatens the foundations of our democratic republic.

The United States is in peril. We are engaged in two wars. Our economic distress is deepening, our institutional trust has been grievously violated, leaders have failed us and anger, resentment and suspicion grows among the populous. This is the type of climate that calls for bridge builders not demolition crews sowing division with incendiary rhetoric.

America is the global standard bearer of the democratic ideal. Yet we hear media reports that voter rights are being challenged with increased regularity. Reports that the participation in the electoral process is being made increasingly difficult and is discouraged and challenged in some swing states is most disturbing. America is best served by protecting and promoting full participation of its people in the right to decide who governs them. Any party or practice that runs contrary to this necessity has clearly put their party’s interest above America’s.

As our country’s most storied POW knows, when in a war the first thing you do is to dehumanize your opponent. Our Country Firsters should consider their tactics and demagogic pronouncements they engage to win this election. Is sacrificing the democratic principles of our republic the price of victory Mr. McCain is willing to pay? What price victory Mr. McCain? If you win with an exceedingly ugly damn the torpedoes campaign do you think that you’ll be able to effectively reach across the the gapping divide your campaign tactics created on Main Street? Do you think that your hollow pronouncements about Maverickism and bipartisan fealty will be able to apply a tourniquet to the gaping wound you are willing to inflict on the American body politic? Methinks you think too much of yourself.

Today is Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement.” I believe McCain and Palin should recite the Al-Chet. It would also be a particularly fitting day and most instructive for Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin to consult the pages of Martin Buber’s “I and Thou” that stresses the necessity to recognize humanity of all beings without objectification or the prejudicial otherness. We have seen the horrific manifestations of objectification and otherness in the Jewish Holocaust. Never again Mr. McCain.

Lets take the Day of Atonement for some circumspection and a recommitment to recognizing our shared humanity and putting our country first.

Shalom.

Music Video: Three Dog Night “One”

Risk: factionalism, social unrest, institutional breakdown

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October 9, 2008 - Posted by | elections, holiday, McCain, Obama, pop | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] now the “other” who you cannot trust.  We wrote about McCain’s pejorative use of “That One” to describe Obama during one of their presidential election debates.  The “other” […]

    Pingback by Kristallnacht in America « Risk Rap | March 26, 2010


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