McCain’s “Dangerous” Rhetoric Creates Real Danger

Senator McCain was forced to drop his attempts to associate Senator Obama to domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. In the end, McCain himself had to defend Obama as a “decent man.” The problem, of course, was that calling Obama a terrorist was inciting people to feel physical action, such as killing a prospective future President of the United States, would be justified. Yet, McCain doesn’t seem to have learned the danger of peddling fear.

He’s now calling Sen. Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and Sen. Harry Reid “dangerous.” To this, Ms. Pelosi responded,

“It’s interesting to hear Senator McCain talking about the dangerous Obama, Reid, Pelosi. Dangerous is not really a word that should be a part of a national debate as we go into a presidential race.”

While this may seem a small thing, and perhaps part of the rough-and-tumble of modern politics, citizens who want a well functioning democracy should view these kinds of comments harshly. Just like the Ayers problem, labeling senators, congresspeople, and other political figures as “dangerous” incites violence. The word “dangerous” implies something untoward, life threatening, and illegal. Uniformed people will begin to think that there is a real physical threat, and that they are then compelled and justified to take dramatic action. Hence the people at Gov. Palin’s rallies who were shouting to “kill” Sen. Obama. This is unprofessional and should not be tolerated in political discourse.

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