I became a McCain supporter last summer at the time his campaign was collapsing, and he was being skewered for his position on immigration reform. While he had been slowly winning me over, I realized at that time my desire to stick up for him in the midst of a barrage of insults, and even death threats, probably meant I was a supporter. While I could empathize with some people’s frustration over immigration, the tone of the debate rapidly degenerated into shear nastiness. So while I still resisted actually volunteering for the campaign for a couple months it was then that I selected the biggest long shots in political history.
Late summer I found it concerning that Senator McCain’s positions were not receiving much attention. If you weren’t lucky enough to live in NH, IA, or SC there was little chance of hearing where he stood on issues. So I put up some YouTube videos that were essentially audio clips combine with a picture of the Senator. Far from artistic, they simply conveyed policy positions. Their effect was likely minimal, but they have received more attention since the Senator’s political resurrection.
What I find baffling about these videos is some of the foul comments that they elicit. A handful of videos have sparked a quality debate. However, I constantly have to remove comments from people going on a blue streak. I added to my channel page, “Happy for commenters to agree or disagree with statements as they see fit, but swearing, crass, or threatening remarks will be removed.” I have to admit that I have a slightly warped sense of humor, so I’m rather ammused by the insults directed at me. However, I am disappointed in the large number of comments that wish harm on others. These are simple policy statements, and they are engendering rage on the part of some people.
I bring this up because there is a similarity between the nastiness of the immigration debate and the nastiness of the late primaries and early general election. Certainly every candidate has some supporters who say and do things that they wish they hadn’t. However, one campaign in particular seems to have a large number of people with no decency or self control. The irony is that they have rallied the opposition within their own party, and now are starting to rally the other party against them. It will be interesting to see they create a class of people who simply want to champion the underdog against the bullies and the haters.