Hostile discourse overshadows run-up to election

Posted Oct. 27, 2008, at 6 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 3:26 a.m.

We are living in an uncivil society. Look around and you too will see the level of negative, hostile discourse among American politicians and their supporters.

Sen. Barack Obama and his supporters have been accusing Sen. John McCain of raising and making Sen. Obama’s race an issue (which Sen. McCain has not done) and directly attempting to link Sen. McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin with former Gov. George Wallace and racism.

Fortunately, for the vast majority of Americans race is not an issue. Clearly, race is not an issue for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin.

Too many Americans are willing to demonize their political opponents rather than accept our differences and respect our right to disagree and present our personal, political and-or spiritual convictions in the public square. Often, we are influenced by politicians who tear down their opponents and personalize their attacks rather than debate the issues and present their own positions.

The real issues are Sen. Obama’s lack of experience, his voting record and his long-term associations, which all reflect his character and leadership potential or the lack thereof. It is unacceptable for a presidential candidate to have attended a church for 20 years with a racist and anti-American church leader who was his “spiritual” mentor.

It is inappropriate and dangerous for a presidential candidate to have accepted the endorsement during his state senatorial campaign in the home of an unrepentant terrorist. I am extremely concerned that Sen. Obama served on boards with that same terrorist. Yes, these are relevant issues. Regardless of the attempts that Sen. Obama and his supporters have made to distract our attention and make us believe that these are not appropriate areas of review and accountability, they most certainly are.

Character is an issue — a huge issue. We have allowed ourselves to be led down the road that tolerates slander of our political leaders and candidates for political office. Sen. Obama refuses to accept responsibility for his long-term association with Bill Ayres, a terrorist who in 2001 said that he wished he had been more effective.

It is sad and outrageous that Sen. Obama has attempted to undermine the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. America is supporting these emerging democracies, however, Sen. Obama disregards the fact that millions of Iraqis have been suffering under one of the worst fascist regimes in history. American and other allied armed forces have liberated the Iraqi people from a government that routinely tortured and murdered citizens, raped women and children, and persecuted people who disagreed with the military leader. Iraq supported terrorists with the means to destroy our ally and seriously harm America.

If you believe what Sen. Obama says about our involvement in these countries then you too believe that our soldiers are killing innocent civilians, rather than building hospitals, schools, infrastructure and supporting a democracy that is stabilizing a region of the world where many people hate America and Israel so much that they will kill our residents and destroy our nations if they can.

Please do not believe only what you hear. Read the record before you vote so that you vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates with whom you agree. Sen. Obama not only consistently supports abortion on demand, he voted to refuse medical treatment to babies who survive abortions. Sen. Obama voted to restrict our right to own guns for personal protection and hunting. If you agree with Sen. Obama, vote for him. Please read the candidates’ voting records then vote for the candidate who shares your values.

I will vote for the candidates that will unite, protect and honor America. I will vote for our faith, our families, our freedom and our future.

Peter Alexander of Etna has managed programs for children and adults with disabilities for more than 30 years. He is a Vietnam veteran.

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