Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fear and Politics on the Straight Talk Express

If any of you have been watching The Daily Show lately, you will have seen McCain supporters in hysterical fear of Barack Obama over this whole William Ayres thing. A supporter referred to Obama as an Arab during one of his speaches, and another shouted "terrorist". McCain did the right thing and refuted these claims saying:
I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don’t have to be scared of as president of the United States.
This is all well and good, but the McCain campain is responsible for the hysteria in the first place. It was McCain and Palin who called Obama's loyalties into question.

I was displeased with McCain's response to the supporter who referred to Obama as Arab:

No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab].
He's on the right track, but he missed a key point. It doesn't matter whether or not he's of Arab decent (so long as he's a citizen). Cultural background is something that should never be called into question, and McCain should have made that clear. Politicians should only be judged on their values. Now culture and religion do sometimes highlight the values of a candidate (as they do with Palin), and should be examined. However, being an Arab, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Homosexual, or Witch Doctor shouldn't be an automatic disqualifier.

What you CAN do is say, "how would the candidate's status as a Witch Doctor affect their legislation?" This may seem a bit schizophrenic, but there is a slight difference between calling a candidate a Muslim and asking how/if the values of the candidate would affect legislation.

It does pain me to take this position, because I personally would like to see an atheist in office. A lot of people are under the incorrect assumption that this country was founded on Christian values. This is false. The country was founded on Secular values with a clear separation of Church and State. Oh, if the Founding Fathers could see us now. What shame we have brought them.

On a side note:

For information on whether or not the Democratic candidate is "Muslin," check this helpful website:

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