Just so everyone starts on the same page, I'm a lifelong democrat, one of those relatively well-off socially liberal sorts. Small-d democrat because every once in a great while, I'll vote for someone from another party. And I will admit to not being 100% on-board with Obama, though I *never* would have voted for McCain (because of pesky things like his record on reproductive rights). And especially with Sarah Palin as his running mate; I view a vote for McCain as likely a vote for Palin, and there is No Way No How I want That Woman sitting in the Oval Office with her finger on the nuclear button.
So anyway, I'm sure anyone who's been listening to the news has heard recordings of some of the scary (IMHO) crowds at McCain/Palin rallies. It started at the RNC on the night of Giuliani's and Palin's speeches... The utter hatred expressed scared the cr*p out of me (because I am a member of several groups the Far Right would just as soon erase off the face of the Earth, as far as I can tell.) The fact that, with the exception of a couple of half-hearted attempts on McCain's part, no one's trying to stop the haters scares me even more. (And I do think McCain tried, but he just sounds so... old and tired, and he's given up I think. Palin doesn't even bother to try. She revels in the hate.)
In contrast... I heard a little piece on NPR yesterday... a very brief recording of what happened when some folks at an Obama rally in Ohio started booing when he mentioned McCain. Obama Shut. Them. Down. In about 3 seconds, using a voice I know well -- my mom's School-Teacher voice, the "You have just blown it, kid, and you'd better stop" voice. I don't remember what he said exactly, but it was something along the lines of "Now I don't want to hear any of that." There was a moment of deafening silence, and then he said something really inspiring, and the crowd was cheering.
Wow. Just... wow.
My friend cz_unit
made a post on Hope versus Hate, back in September. Here is an excerpt.[Palin]'s all the things we're ashamed of, embarrassed by, or loathing of our selves. And instead of doing something we can channel it into hatred of others.
Contrast that with hope. With hope, you have to take responsibility for what you have done and take steps towards making it better. With hope there is no outlet for your fury other than your own self for being stupid enough to get yourself into a hole. With hope you have to take action to make things better instead of sitting on your couch in front of your repossessed house, curing the "government" or "liberals" or "blacks", or "wetbacks, slopes, wimps, gimps..." and so forth and so on.
With hope you become the change.
There were things about the post I didn't like, but if you want to, you can go read.
This little radio snippet was the perfect demonstration of Hope over Hate.