For me, the three presidential debates where totally devoid of new content. That is likely the case for many who followed the campaign closely for many months. It was, however, important as a window into the personalities of the candidates. It helped reinforce my impression of Obama as a thoughtful and decent person. You could frequently see it in his face when McCain deals one of his numerous low blows or tell one of his explicit lies. The look on Obama's face tells you he could respond in kind, but he feels better than to stoop that low.
As for McCain, his demeanor was consistent throughout the three 'games'. He is mean-spirited, disrespectful, and can hardly hide his total disgust and despise for Obama. But moreover, he came across as lacking the spark of intelligence and acumen that his opponent had plenty of.
He has one super power, I have to admit. And that is his unlimited capacity for eye-rolling.
One thing that I did not feel while watching McCain was that he was a racist. After all, he adopted a non-white child. And I have great respect for people who cross the race line to make a family, either by marriage, or by adoption.
I thought of him as 'angry man', not as 'angry white man'. The title of this posting was in part inspired by the PostPartisan piece by Harold Meyerson on the Washington Post website. Meyerson did not accuse McCain directly of playing the race card, but the title resonated with me because minutes before reading Meyerson's piece, I was watching a disturbing YouTube video that a friend sent me (see below).
Like the debates, the video clips are devoid of new content. Actually they are devoid to any factual content, old or new. But they are loaded with the emotions of hateful ignorant people.
Hate and ignorance seem to be a consistent feature of Republican gatherings these days. It makes me feel pity on the few Republicans that truly have a vision based on knowledge and ideology for the economy, or government in general. Some of them are still their, and I am sure they feel lost and very very lonely in the midst of their own party.
The racism showing in the words of the crowd heading towards a Republican Party event cannot be missed. It is explicit and it is vulgar. I am not sure if the hate and anger demonstrated by many Republicans in general towards Obama can be explained by anything other than racism compounded the inability of those individuals to fathom how 'that one' who belongs to 'an inferior group' in their eyes, would capture the respect, imagination, and the admiration of billions around the world , and more importantly inspires and captures the hearts of the majority of the American people.
It is as if they are scared to death that the fantasy of supremacy that they thrive on is falling apart.
In the first clip, an apparently normal-looking woman states that Obama is a terrorist because it is 'in his blood line'. Another one re-enforced the idea by wisely adding 'just look at his middle name'.
In the video clip below, a child says about Obama, 'you need gloves to touch him'.
A child said that. God only knows what the children of those people are being taught at home. I just pray that I would not come across a group of them in a dark alley in the future.
In the Palin-McCain rallies, the 'family-value parading, God-fearing, church-going' Republicans do not have a problem calling their opponent who has more than half the country solidly behind him, ‘a terrorist’, 'off with his head', and 'kill him'.
He terrorizes them. He threatens their ‘race-centered’ way of life.
"A black President? What is next? Think of them as equals? No way".
Assuming that McCain is not a racist himself, he sure knows that this 'unspoken' issue may be his only chance to win the White House. He does not utter the ugly words himself, but he does not move a finger to put the fire out. He just enjoys the support.
And for his target audience - like the ones in the video clips - McCain may have no charm, no new ideas, no consistent message and very bad temper - but all of that would not matter.
I can hear them say " He is an angry white man - Yeah, he is one of us".
And he will get their votes.