Last summer, across several threads of this blog, I (and people like me) got accused time and again of being a traitor because I don’t support the US occupation of Iraq, because I’m an academic (and therefore must be advancing a revolutionary agenda every time I teach), because I don’t support Israel’s right to kill Palestinians (and for the record, neither do I support Palestinians’ rights to kill Israelis), etc.
At the time, I was infuriated by the accusation. It galls me to no end for neoconservatives to accuse anybody who disagrees with them of trying to destroy our country. I’m still mad about it, as you might imagine if you’ve been called one of the worst things in the world.
The last couple of weeks of presidential campaigning have put the nastiness of last summer into some perspective. For one, I’ve realized that neocons toss around the word “traitor” willy-nilly. They know perfectly well that I do not actively work to destroy or undercut the Constitution or our country. They also know perfectly well that Barack Obama isn’t trying to destroy our country. I guess the short version is that I’ve become innoculated against the charge because they apply it to everything and everybody they don’t like.
Second, although some of the folks who were fighting with me on the blog got pretty nasty, it’s nothing compared to the threats that are emerging from (and being stoked by) the McPalin campaign. Even Republicans are getting nervous about the simmering violence and hate being aroused, especially by Sarah Palin, on the campaign trail. The Secret Service, it seems, have decided that the freak who yelled “Kill him!” at a Palin rally last weekend probably wasn’t talking about Obama. Huh? Who else would he have been talking about? And with the increasingly violent and frequent shouts of “Off with his head!” and “Traitor!” and “Treason!” and others, why would anybody believe that Obama wasn’t the target?
I, like many, are afraid of what might happen as a result of this increasingly vicious tone. However, having been the object of a (very minor because I’m not very important, but still…) smear campaign, and having faced death threats because of an editorial I wrote for the Philly Inquirer some years ago, more than fear I feel deep, tragic sadness that the very-far right-wing has come to this. It wasn’t enough to slaughter innocent Iraqis and Afghans in wars they weren’t even fighting. It wasn’t enough to see a ruling cabal installed in the White House without even winning an election, and hand over the reins of our government to a small group of people who serve their own interests only. It wasn’t enough to label anybody who disagreed with them unpatriotic or treasonous.
Now they have to attack a presidential election ticket that couldn’t be less traitorous, less “Socialist,” less dangerous to the core values of the US Constitution, and they have to incite levels of hate and fear to do it. It’s humiliating, as a citizen not just of the country but of the world, to know that others all over the planet believe these snakes speak for our nation.
So, here’s a plea to all you McPalin supporters who are so angry about Barack Obama’s success that you advocate violence towards him and his supporters–
SHUT UP!!!!!!!!! You’re hurting your candidates. You’re hurting your party. You’re hurting our nation. You’re much more dangerous that Obama/Biden could ever be. I don’t believe you’re “traitors” any more than I believe I’m a traitor, but your hatred and violence are bad and wrong.