There is now a lot of talk that McCain rallies are being filled with “hate” against Obama and that this hate could lead to violence. James Joyner says phooey to this line of argument, and he’s right:
Sheesh. Look: It’s the closing days of a long, polarizing campaign. We’ve been whipped up to believe that this is The Most Important Election in American History and that The Fate of America’s Future is at stake. McCain is losing. Obama is winning. The culmination of all this is that some McCain supporters are frustrated.
This has been the case as long as I can remember. Certainly, we saw it in 2004, as Kerry supporters simply could not believe that we were about to re-elect George W. Bush. Heck, we saw it from supporters of Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, and other losing candidates in this year’s primaries. People who are enthusiastic enough about a candidate to show up at a rally are naturally going to have a hard time dealing with the fact that their fellow partisans/countrymen don’t share their view. That’s especially for those afflicted with Pauline Kael Syndrome and therefore can’t even imagine what kind of people would vote for the other candidate.
It should go without saying, but in the event that you need to hear it from me, people who call Barack Obama a “terrorist” or advocate violence are being ridiculous at best and despicable at worst. But spare me the contention that this is some new phenomenon in American politics. It’s not. Really, it’s not. And need it really be said that so long as he continues to appear on Bill Maher’s show, Andrew Sullivan is in no position whatsoever to decry the supposed lack of civility in American political discourse?