Tell John McCain The Politics of Hate Won’t Work

Dear Senator McCain and Governor Palin,

Time and again in America, people of all races and backgrounds have overcome division and fear, and come together to uplift the country and create a more equal and just society. It’s part of what makes this country great.

With an African-American nominee running on a major party ticket and a woman on the Republican ticket for the first time in history, this campaign has seen Americans–men and women of all races–inspired to continue that great tradition, coming together to bridge the gaps that history has set between us in service of our national progress.

But let us be clear: while we have made great strides in this country when it comes to racial equality, we are not finished. Now, more than ever, we need leadership that understands that we live in complex times where too many are quick to judge another by the complexion of their skin or the sound of their name.

In the last few weeks, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, rhetoric at your campaign events has taken an increasingly dangerous tone that seems to ignore the precarious state of our progress when it comes to race and ethnicity.

Supporters at your rallies and other events have used hateful language and called for violence against Sen. Obama yelling “kill him!” “off with his head!” and “bomb Obama.”

For the most part, you have stood by in silence. In addition, you have also repeatedly made statements that somehow connect Senator Obama with terrorism. Your surrogates have emphasized his middle name. This is problematic and dangerous, and we believe helps create the conditions that have given rise to these incidents of violent rhetoric from some of your supporters.

Today, we’re standing together as Americans of all political persuasions to express our deep concern that the decisions of your campaign are contributing to a dangerous atmosphere of paranoia, division, and hate that, as we have already seen, has the potential to seriously harm our country and its progress.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

In these trying times, candidates seeking the highest offices in the land must call on the best in each of us, and call off the worst.

We urge you to join people of conscience from all races and backgrounds to reject the politics of division and fear, and come together to uplift the country and create a more equal and just society.

— The undersigned —

Sign the letter here

Open Letter to Sen. Barack Obama

Dear Senator Obama,

Since January of this year, I’ve been absolutely committed to getting you elected. I’ve donated to your campaign, I’ve canvassed for you, I’ve volunteered to work in the office around the corner, and I’ve even put my marriage into severe stress by refusing to sit idly by and once again allow my Republican spouse to cancel out my vote.

But I need your help. And I need it now.

I knew it was going to be a rough campaign. I even suspected that Sarah Palin would be the choice for their ticket after seeing her profiled earlier this year. Why didn’t you?

I also suspected that the Republicans would use every single weapon at their disposal, including the financial markets, race, war, and terrorism (their little deck of fear) to intimidate voters into electing them.

But I believed you when you called upon us to be the New American Majority. This is what I wrote in February:

We are the new American majority. We have a voice. We walk streets, we make phone calls, we give what we can, even if it’s just $3.01 at a time. We are speaking for ourselves rather than waiting for someone to speak for us. We want our country back, and we want our standing back in the world. We’re tired of the naysayers who leave our fates in the hands of Wall Street and the Halliburtons, Diebolds and Blackwaters of the world. We are no longer going to stand idly by and have our lives and quality of our lives dictated to us by lobbyists and corporations.

This is not hate. It is democracy.

But Senator Obama, we can’t do this by ourselves. When Bill Clinton gives an interview praising Sarah Palin’s political acumen and you fall silent, what am I to think? When Hillary Clinton won’t come out with both guns blazing against her, I can only assume that your choice of Joe Biden so offended them that they plan now to toss the election over to McCain — their Plan B.

The fierce urgency of NOW isn’t just a phrase to inspire voters, Senator Obama. You have to get it, too.

This week has just about snuffed out the hope. That’s what McCain and the Republicans want. They want us to be afraid, to believe in nothing, to be emotionally and financially bankrupt, bent and spent, looking up and reaching up for them to rescue us.

We don’t need rescuing; we need your voice. We need you to get down on their level, to tell the voters the truth just like you said you would. Tell them that Sarah Palin is no more qualified to succeed McCain as President as she is to be dogcatcher. Ask them if they want Vice President Palin to be in contempt of Congress the same way Vice President Cheney is now. Point it out, shout it out! Ask the voters if they really think it’s a good idea to surrender to snark.

Did you learn nothing from the primaries? Hillary Clinton won by snarking her way right past you. And now she and Bill are handing a victory to McCain by signalling permission to their supporters. What Bill Clinton said in that interview was that Sarah Palin was competent because she could play politics.

I’ve seen Sarah Palins in my lifetime. They’re the cheerleaders that steal boyfriends because they can, the antagonists that walk into healthy groups and leave them shattered and broken with their backbiting and gossip, the women who stand up and preen their righteousness while their kids flip them off behind their backs. They’re the ‘beautiful ones’, the ones with enough bite to keep honesty at bay, just enough brains to convince everyone they’re right, and two-faced enough to tell everyone else you’re wrong. (For even more examples, read this)

Sarah Palin is dangerous. Until you neutralize her, you risk losing this election. And it must be YOU. Not Biden. Not Clinton. Not Michelle. YOU.

You are the one who has to call her what she is. Ambitious and incompetent. You are the one who has to point it out, and once you do, then you can call McCain out for taking such a dangerous risk with our country. Did you hear her yesterday, calling it the Palin-McCain administration? Where were YOU? Why weren’t you on it?

You have said you are running on change. As Steve said on NewsGang yesterday, the only thing that has changed since the convention is the selection of Sarah Palin. As the change candidate, it’s up to you to address the change, take it out, neutralize it.

Because as much as I want to be all hopey and stuff, after this week I’m as pessimistic as I’ve ever been. People will surrender hope to fear. They do it all the time. It’s a crisis of courage. And I guarantee you that if you don’t stand up and lead the way on this, they will falter. If they falter, you will fail. And if you fail, we will not have a country left to stand for. We will be a burned-out husk of our former glory, owned by China, loathed by all, and quite possibly vulnerable to far, far worse than we’ve seen so far.

Do you want to win? Do you want the opportunity to actually do what you’ve said you’ll do? Do you want my support?

Stop with the wonkitude and stand up to Palin. She’s your threat. Not McCain. She’s who they want in office, not McCain.

Just. do it. Now. Because there is an urgency to now. Because we need you to show us that you can lead, and that you can push our enemies out of the way to do it.

Why Evangelical Christians Should Vote for Obama

I am a Christian. I cannot imagine being a Republican. I cannot in one million years imagine myself choosing to vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Not only that, but I cannot imagine any Christian being in agreement with them morally, ethically or any other way. Here are my reasons:

  1. The false claim that they are pro-life Make no mistake here. Someone who is pro-life respects ALL life, not simply the lives of the unborn. John McCain’s philosophy is that life is respected as long as that life agrees with him. Note, for example, that he has no compunction about starting wars pre-emptively, with or without a sound and verified reason to do so. In Iraq, the losses have been monumental, and not simply US troops and support personnel, but hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, too. Yet, the drumbeat from the McCain campaign is simply “I know how to win wars.”

    My response to that claim? If you know, why haven’t you marched up to the White House and passed that knowledge on to the guy running the country right now? And further, if you know, why can’t you define “victory” in Iraq? And even further, why won’t General Petraeus proclaim that Iraq is “winnable”?

  2. John McCain lies. He has lied repeatedly, or allowed lies to be spread about his opponent for the sake of winning and winning only. This is not the hallmark of a Christian, who is instructed to “love one another”, to “turn the other cheek”, to not submit to the earthly authorities, but heavenly authorities. Christians should be very, very aware that John McCain is exactly the type of person Jesus preached against: no compassion for the poor, the sick, those in need.

    Truth-telling is a fundamental pillar of Christianity. Entire books of the Bible are dedicated to unpeeling the layers of humanity and exposing truth and wisdom. From a purely moral standpoint, lying to the country in order to achieve personal objectives is unchristian, immoral, and shouldn’t be rewarded, particularly by evangelical Christians. What message do you send when you embrace a proven liar about your own message?

    Not only that, but his transition team is loaded with representatives from the interests that are funding him. Beware, Christians, of a man who has been bought and paid for with the money of corporations.

  3. John McCain, a POW who suffered unspeakable torture, endorsed torture and didn’t simply endorse it, he voted for it! Christians, Jesus was tortured. This is as fundamental as the question of respecting life. Christians do NOT endorse torture. It’s wrong. It’s inhuman. It is absolutely and completely against the principles Jesus taught. I will say it again: torture is NOT a Christian principle.
  4. The Supreme Court appointments Here’s why: Roe v. Wade is not the primary concern I have with the balance of the Supreme Court, nor should it concern evangelicals. What SHOULD concern evangelicals is that the conservative court wishes to expand the powers of the executive into an unbalanced and overly-powerful state, which places each and every Christian, Jew, and Muslim at risk of persecution in a country which professes freedom of religion! Christians are to be of in the world but not in of the world; it is not our mission to create an earthly authority that we then place ourselves under, because according to Christian principles, our only authority is in heaven.

Issues that shouldn’t concern Christians, no matter what Sarah Palin and John McCain say

  • Resistance to teaching creationism in the schools 1. Why? Because these are principles to teach at home, and in a Christian home, the parents are and should be the first authority for these teachings, as well as the moral authority for their children. This is what the Bible teaches. This is what Christians should embrace. Why on earth would any Christian hand the responsbility for these subjects to the government?
  • Abortion Again, the reasons are clear for this. Christians can participate in the political process but not rely upon it to teach their children about children, family, morality, or choices. Leaving abortion as a choice in the political realm does not mean Christians must submit to it. In fact, they have a duty not to.
  • Homosexuality Christians are called not to judge others, lest they be judged. The mission of evangelical Christians is to bring the love of Christ to ALL people. Not just straight people and not just people they like. All people. Consequently, Christians should not consider these sorts of wedge issues or give them more weight than the true moral questions of how we treat our fellow man (torture); and whether respect for life includes all lives, at home and abroad, infant or adult.

By now, you should see where I’m going with my bottom line. Evangelical Christians stand a far better chance of furthering their purpose and mission if they do NOT vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. These are morally bankrupt people, willing to sell themselves and every principle they may once have held dear in order to gain earthly power. This is antithetical to what we are taught as Christians, which is to respect the authority which comes from heaven and submit to it, to live in the world but not of the world, to show compassion, tend to the needy and sick…to meet people where they are and love them.

Why are Christians abrogating their heavenly authority to earthly authorities? Morality isn’t something to be legislated; it’s something to be lived. While I am not arguing that Barack Obama is perfect by any stretch, I do believe he has respect, understanding, and regard for the rights of evangelicals to live their principles, teach their children, and help them to make choices that are good, moral, and help, not harm others.

One final thought, as it relates to me. If you read back through this blog, you will discover language that is not Christian, thoughts that are unkind, inconsistent with the principles of Christianity. I own that. I’m human, just like everyone else, and I’m absolutely not qualified to run for President, just based on the hypocrisy of the language here. What I’m asking is that if you are an evangelical Christian and truly, thoughtfully concerned about what has happened to our country, that you weight the purpose we are called for against what McCain and Palin stand for. I believe you will come to the same conclusion as I.

1This post is written specifically for Christian readers. It is not intended to disrespect people who don’t agree, but it presumes some basic Christian beliefs. I do not want to argue about intelligent design, or creationism as part of this post. I presume that the intended audience has a position on these issues and what I am arguing is whether or not it is something that Christians should look to government to teach.

Obama Raises $66M in August; Adds 500,000 New Donors

I’m guessing the question of him not taking public financing will now be laid to rest.

Barack Obama is running a brilliant campaign and bringing hundreds of thousands of disaffected voters into the race. If you’re still confused about who will lead this country back to the right direction, I’d suggest comparing the campaigns.

One relies on Swiftboaters; the other on small donors giving $5 or more. Which of those is more representative of this country? Which candidate will be thinking of ordinary Americans on Day One? Which candidate will have debts to pay to special interests on Day One?

The latest negative I’ve heard is that people just don’t feel comfortable with Obama. Frankly, that’s codespeak that suggests they’re not comfortable with a black guy who gets stuff done. I strongly suggest those with discomfort try to set that aside and figure out based on facts and reality who will tell the truth and who will lie to them. The direction of the McCain campaign has certainly not erred on the side of truth since their convention.

Paul Krugman:

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

Here’s a choice: Lies, more lies, and damn lies, about Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, taxes, and the economy served with a neocon twist. Or an honest effort to try to tackle some of our biggest problems and resolve them.

Doesn’t seem like much of a choice to me.

(Note: For excellent updates on the McCain campaign lies, subscribe to RoadKill Refugee‘s blog. Roadkill updates the blog frequently with new lies and truths about McCain.)