But the problem is that I have to keep telling myself that lately, because it's harder and harder to believe it. I watch the news, read the news, and hear stories about things happening in our world that make me feel like one.
There are increasing signs of unfettered rage in the political world. Shouts at political rallies of "Kill him!" and "He's a terrorist!" and "He's an Arab!" are coming out of the mouths of citizens of America. We have always had our share of zealots and crazies, but this kind of mob mentality is something our history books (smugly and self-righteously) told us was the stuff of lesser nations.
I'm scared of mobs. I've seen and read about what they can do. The only thing that scares me more than mobs? The martial law that follows. The kind of law that beats people down, doesn't pick them up, and scares everyone else into toeing the line and participating in further crimes against humanity.
I read a book called "The End of America" that described the easy descent into fascism and police states. The author compares our current climate with the early days of the rise of Nazism. At first I thought the author was being overly dramatic, but the end of her book describes things Americans should be on the lookout for in the coming years. Guess what?
She's been right. The things she predicted would happen are happening. We are slipping into a quagmire, and my fear is that we will not pull ourselves up in time.
So when you hear the McCain campaign (particularly Sarah Palin) use folksy rhetoric to turn Barack Obama into an unhuman monster, think about that. Consider whether you want a potential president who can so glibly and whimsically tear another human being down, and in so doing incite people in a crowd to shout for blood and murder. Think about whether you want to be on the side of a campaign, and a candidate, who is willing to whip people into an emotional, and irrational, frenzy for her own political gain.
When Mussolini and Hitler did that, it was fascist. It's no different now...unless we reject it outright. McCain's attempts to calm the crowd (which was angrily booed down by the crowd) was half-hearted, given that he continues to air commercials that further the cause of violent hatred. His response does little to slow the kind of madness reverberating through his crowds.
Vote against fascism. Please, for the love of god, don't vote for fascism.