The Tipping Point on Politics or America as a Whole?

I been meaning to blog on this topic. A registered Republican that I know and respect wrote the following.  I have permission to post it to my blog, but I do not have permission to reveal the author as this person would like to remain anonymous.  Since I couldn’t agree more, here it is, unedited by me in anyway.  I’m curious if others out in blogville are us disturbed by the hate rhetoric and scare tactics of the last week as I am.  

There are just a few weeks left in our Presidential election.  In recent days, we have noticed a significant increase in the mud-slinging with more harsh and personal attacks.  Many talk shows, newscasts, etc. are weighing in on how this negative campaigning is going to impact the election on November 4th.  Although that is a valid topic to discuss, I think it is more important to think proactively about how this will impact politics and America after the election.

In recent days, Senator McCain’s campaign and their lead supporters have been focused on ‘firing up the base’.  This includes strong innuendos about Senator Obama stealing the election, being sympathetic to terrorists, being a terrorist, being friends with a priest that hates America and white people, calling our troops baby killers, etc.  In the heat of a campaign, each candidate will do or say whatever it takes to win.  Those are the facts of political campaigns when the stakes are high.  However, is this approach really ‘firing up the base’ or is it ‘angering the base’.  Unfortunately, when taking mud-slinging to this next level, it creates deep anger.  With that in mind, it is of the utmost importance to look past the election and really think about the residual impact of this anger. A proactive look into a hypothetical future may save us in the post election era.

For argument sake, let’s say Obama wins the election.  Given the extreme approach of ‘angering the base’ with the strong innuendos during the last weeks of the campaign, will that base calm down after the election?  Definitely not.  Unfortunately, adding defeat into the equation, they will be even more fired up and angry.  For the extremists on the right, this will not be a typical “sore looser” syndrome, but residual anger and hate.  What if a person from the extreme base was so angry that they felt that they can ‘save America from a presidential terrorist’?  That’s a scary thought. But, is it really out of the realm of possibility given the narrative of the current campaign and the constant drumbeat of scare tactics?  After all, the outcries that are heard at some recent campaign rallies are showing signs that misguided and unwarranted anger is brewing.  If someone from this angry base takes it upon themselves after the election to be a weapon and take matters into their own hands, just think about how that will play out.  Right wing talk show hosts will first be silently blamed and then directly blamed.  This anger will eventually turn into a democrat vs. republican divide because now both sides are ‘fired up’ and ‘angry’.  And, obviously, this will create a black vs. white divide that could throw us back culturally 150 years. In September, I would have just brushed off this futuristic thought.  Within the last 2 weeks, it is a valid concern worth highlighting.  At this point, I have to ask “Could this be the Tipping Point of a truly divisive country that has a point of no return?”

Instead of trying to answer that question, it is worthwhile to answer this question “After the election, how can we remedy this disastrous foundation that has been laid in the past 2 weeks?”  It will take a lot of effort to quickly change from a divisive approach to a unified approach and to alleviate the pent up anger that the election phase has created.  Keep in mind that the fire has already been lit inside the extremists of the base.  So, it is imperative that this fire does not result in the scenario above.  Instead, the talk show narrative immediately after the election needs to focus on unification, cooperation, and bringing the discussions back to a healthy debate, not a hatred one.  I honestly feel that if this is not the immediate focus post the election, then the tipping point on politics and America can be marked as  November 5, 2008.


5 responses to “The Tipping Point on Politics or America as a Whole?

  1. I swear I think I’ve heard in every election I’ve participated in (88) that “mudslinging has sunk to a new low.” That’s Bullshit!

    Political mudslinging is an age old game. Come November 5th it will be politics as usual regardless of the outcome.

    If you think this is bad, Thomas Jefferson had it worse. Jefferson was subjected to a pamphlet that accused him of cheating British creditors, obtaining property by fraud and robbing a widow of 10,000 pounds. The pamphlet further stated that if Jefferson were elected “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will all be openly taught and practiced.”

    Jefferson won in a landslide so obviously negative politics did not work in 1800 either.

    We’re not at some “tipping” point in political history. The Barack Hussein Obama or should I say new messiah worshippers think any attack on their candidate is out of bounds. In reality, he has as much if not more to attack than the last two democratic and republican candidates combined. For some reason, he’s supposed to have immunity?

    I’ve said it before; it’s a joke this guy is even on the ballot.


  2. I’ve gotta say – It’s nice to not have to respond to you, since I didn’t write the post. I forwarded your comment. I’ll see if my anonymous poster wants to reply.

  3. Whatever, but you said; “I couldn’t agree more”.

    I was pointing out that you and your anonymous poster are naive to think that we’re some turning point in history. Its just the left’s reaction to having to deal with what the right has had to endure for the past eight years.

    It’s okay for the left to sift through Bush’s dental records but Obama’s birth details are off limits?

    Bush makes a stump speech at Bob Jones University and gets called a racist but Obama’s afffiliation with his 20 year pastor is a non-storty?

    One could write a book of all the double standards.

    In what way is it nice that you don’t have to respond to me? I mean if you don’t want to have political discourse, I will stay off your blog.


  4. Sorry if my humor this morning pissed you off – that’s the problem with graphic expression – it doesn’t allow for sarcasm and facial expression.

    I don’t want to speak for the anonymous poster, so I’ve passed on your comments. If and when they respond – so be it. Since it’s that person’s post I feel that it is only fair to allow that person to respond and not be swayed by anything that I may write.

    If you don’t want to hang out at my blog, you won’t offend me. You already did that in your last personal email to me and if you remember, I was pretty damn cool about it. You were way out of line and I could’ve been a real bitch – I wasn’t.

    By all means, do what you need to do.

  5. Ms. Pruce – thank you for passing along a comment on a post that you sponsored on your website. Very much appreciated. I welcome the dialogue and feedback. If you are able to, please feel free to pass on these thoughts to Tom R.

    Yes, I completely agree that mudslinging is not new and that each election cycle is labeled as a ‘new low’. And, through all of the elections to date, I agree that it was not a tipping point. I understand the point you are making with respect to the Jefferson attacks of 1800. The pamphlet by Dr. Mason was very tabloid-like. And even the newspaper article that claimed him as a thief, murderer, rapist, etc. was extreme. One could argue that it was comparable or even more extreme than what one might hear today. Points well taken.

    However, you would have to agree that this election is supported under a different paradigm than past elections. Allow me to use your election of 1800 example. The mudslinging and extremist words were only received by the person having a pamphlet or newspaper at the time. In the grand scheme of things, one could not consider that to be impactful given the low literacy rate of that period coupled with the very low distribution of print at the time. Is that the case today? Absolutely not. The real time information exchange that is provided to us today via the internet is unprecedented. Back in the late 1990’s, it is clear that there was a tipping point with how the internet created a tipping point with our economy. It moved from a ‘brick and mortar’ business model to a ‘click and order’ business model. The basic premise of connecting business to business or business to people absolutely created a tipping point with the world economy. Since 2002, the new paradigm created by the internet has been people to people. Elements such as social networking, blogs, video hosting, etc. has created a new paradigm that our elections are truly first witnessing. 90 million people on Facebook, 13 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube every minute.

    With that as background, my hypothesis about this ‘potentially’ being a tipping point is based on the fact that the mudslinging messages are wide reaching. Standard mudslinging today can quickly reach the far extremes of our society. Statistically speaking, it is quite reasonable to assume that a message will put someone on the outer edge of society over the edge. I feel it is unfortunate that we are not ones to think ahead as to how standard mudslinging is enhanced in the world we live in today and how that will have a residual effect on society. Just to be clear. I am not arguing my point in the hopes that I will be correct. I am arguing my point so that others can think ahead and hopefully prove me to be wrong.

    Best Regards;

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