McCain the “rabble rouser”?

The writer and activist Frank Schaeffer has published in various magazines and newspapers,  including Open Salon what appears to be a genuinely impassioned felt plea to  John McCain to put an end to the “rabble rousing” that has of late become a feature of his and Sarah Palin’s campaign rallies.

>>>John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.>>>

Given that Schaeffer himself has a pretty good idea what rabble rousing can lead to, I think that McCain would do well to take heed. Having said that, I have to say that whenever I watch McCain caught up in a situation where the crowd is getting out of hand, he appears to me to be at a loss to know what to do. A rabbit caught in the headlights comes to mind. That in itself is frightening. Is a man who cannot lead his own supporters likely to make a great president?

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