Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oct. 15: Voting Against Hatred

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Never mind the enemies; Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama may need protection from their allies.

In McCain's case, it was the hatred expressed last week at various rallies for him and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Palin didn't help matters by accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists," though there's no evidence of that at all. Obama once served on a board with William Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground movement in the 1960s.

Mike Scott is the sheriff one of one Florida's most beautiful areas - Lee County. But he may have had some ugly thoughts on his mind last week during a rally for Palin in Estero in which Scott used Obama's middle name, Hussein, in a derogatory tone. A lot of Lee County residents have written letters and e-mails to the Fort Myers News-Press and other publications to denounce Scott, and good for them.The final straw in the McCain camp came when some in the crowd at a McCain rally over the weekend started suggesting Obama was dangerous. To his credit, McCain defended Obama.

Now comes the question of what Rev. Jesse Jackson said to the World Policy Forum and the New York Post about Obama and Israel:

Oy vey.

Jackson is a Democrat who twice ran for president in the 1980s. He has no ties to Obama's campaign. Jackson is now saying his comments were misrepresented:

Obama has been very clear about his support of Israel, and that of his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden, is unquestioned. In my posting last week of the candidates' stands on foreign policy, I found Obama's policy toward Israel to be quite detailed. Obama's site also makes a reference to Israel's progress on energy issues. That's impressive.

It's a positive counterpoint to the persistence of those practicing hate, and disguising it as a campaign tactic. There are no winners when bigotry is shown. Obama and McCain have been very good about discussing the economy, health care, the war in Iraq and other important issues. Shame on some around them for injecting hatred into the mix.

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