Election day smears aren't new, but for Obama and Sarah Palin they never end. The Republican Party has been getting ever more rigid when it comes to war policy for a long time. In 2006 Richard Warner dropped out, and Chuck Hagal lost, Lincoln Chafee in 2004. Arlen Specter was squeezed out of the Republican party, due to his abortion stance, and became a Democrat. In the last election, Dede Scozzafava was trounced by fake campaign ads, that looked like they were sponsored by her, shrilly overstating her pro-choice position,
The polls were so bleak that she dropped out and endorsed the Democrat. Some people cheered a Democrat winning a district that was Republican since the Civil War, as some ultra-conservative ideologists cheered the Republican Party becoming more pure. But no one seems to be trying to punish or get restitution from Arkansas businessman, Jackson Stephen, who sponsored the dirty tricks. It's as if all sides seem to now think that dirty tricks is the norm.
But recently certain things have clicked back in the direction of being civil, besides Sarah Palin and Hillary comments on wanting to have a casual chat,
More importantly Mike Huckabee condemned those who can only find fault with the President. He criticized those who claim that Obama having kids on the White House lawn for Halloween was using children. Huckabee is happy that the kids had a rare opportunity and unlike some of his Republican comrades is honored that the President paid his respects to the returning dead soldiers. Since he was already condemned for being a softy in the 2006 primaries he can speak out without getting additional flack,
I confess that I was one of those who thought something cute was going on, when ideologists accused John McCain of not being really a Republican due to McCain making conciliatory comments toward the President right after Obama won the election, instead of being frightened that a civil handshake after a rough campaign was no longer allowed.
When it comes to the ethic issues communities something more amazing has suddenly been occurring, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) came out with a report criticizing Glenn Beck as the number one fear-monger in the country. So much for the hysterics of the pro-Israel lobby, for allegedly trashing Obama for not giving Israel everything it wants,
In the Cuban-American community something amazing has been happening as well. A conservative Cuban-American group, Free Cuba Foundation, sponsored an online petition against the death-threats against Cuban entertainers who were thinking of playing at a peace concert in Cuba,
I wish pubic heath care protesters in this country had an online petition against the "Bury Obama next to Kennedy" placards that a few brought to the protests.
Another piece of good news is changes at the Washington Times which had been heavily funded by Sun Myung Moon. Rev. Moon came to America with the Korea-gate lobbying scandal. The Korean lobby back then was assertive like the Israeli and Cuban-American lobbies. It later became a go-between, between the Religious Right and the Political Right. Moon's News World Communications, besides owning the Washington Times and United Press International owned the now defunct Rising Tide Newspaper, that according to Scoobie Jackson originated the "Obama is a Muslim" smears,
However back in Korea it maintained businesses in North Korea and had direct dealings with the North Korean government and I suspect helped prevent a war between North Korea and the West. Sun Myung Moon retired and turned over his church to his three sons. Recently Hyung Jin Moon took over the control of the Washington Times from Hyun Jin Moon. There is an exciting possibility that Hyung Jin Moon is undoing his father's right-wing policies in pursuit of Moon's other goals of a united Korea and a united world. If anyone remembers, George Bush, when it first came to office, couldn't decide if he wanted to be an interventionist or an isolationist and compromised by only going after the small (and in his mind) the particularly bad powers which he called "The Axis of Evil". Since North Korea isn't the kind of country to back down under threats, it is very possible that Moon's go-between activities prevented war between North Korea and the Bush administration. If the Unification Church undoes some of its harsh past while still pursuing a united world, the US, if not the world, could be better off.
The efforts of the Cuban-American Foundation and the ADL reminds me of something the US stopped noting since it stopped bragging about being a melting pot. A huge number of Americans are particularly interested in another part of the world, if you include the Czech and Polish-Americans upset that the defense shield isn't going to be extended there, people who get excited on St. Patrick's Day, and the native-American tribes partial to Brazilian President Lula who is a native Indian and partial to the peasants. I suddenly realize that this fights the polarization that is going on.
There is one problem where there is not yet this kind of glimmer of hope. Following the Nidal Hasan's massacre of 13 US soldiers, there has been greater polarization between American Muslims and non-Muslims. The load condemnation of Muslim-American organizations of Hasan's murders never gets reported. Rev. Pat Robertson is insisting that Islam itself is a terrorist organization not a religion, something David Horowitz is also spreading around. If they do manage to get the army to stop enlisting Arabic translators and those who have a feel for Afghan culture, and Muslims start leaving the US, it will play into al Qaeda's goal of making this a Balkanized world. George Bush applied the term "terrorist" to Green Peace and animal right's activists. Now there is a concerted effort by David Horowitz and Tigre Hill to paint Mumia abu-Jamal who was convicted of killing Officer Faulkner as a terrorist. I guess their real goal is to get anyone accused, or convicted, of a heinous crime be deigned any rights at all. The word "terrorist" seems to be beginning to be thrown around the way "Communist" was during the Joe McCarthy witch-hunt days. Whatever Mumia's involvement or lack of involvement in Officer Danny Faulkner's death, he clearly feels empowered by his writings, and no matter what he did or didn't do the night of the murder, and never felt empowered by putting a gun to someone's head and pulling the trigger. Tigre Hill's movie on Mumia is not yet out but the trailer has David Horowitz philosophizing about terrorism, has headlines which it doesn't explain where they came from, "Pipe Bomb Damages 12 Police Cars", "Machine Gun Fire Kills 2 Cops". The words "kill a pig" repeated several times. And the words "pig" in bold letters repeated twice as the audio hurled it like a curse word,
Glenn Beck and Tigre Hill's help with his trailer, using Marc Hill's quotes surrounded by inflammatory material helped manage to get Marc Lamont Hill fired from Fox News for supporting Mumia, and got Van Jones fired or on his own decided to leave the Obama administration because Glenn Beck was making such a fuse. Perhaps the ADL could speak out about the misuse of the word terrorism, and counter Geert Wilders who on a tour with Horowitz, had been claiming that the Koran is a book that should be banned.
I wish to apologize for thinking it was cute that McCain was accused of being a Democrat in disguise when he tried to make conciliatory comments after the election was over. Thank you Hillary and Sarah Palin and all the others I mentioned on for your efforts. I urge us all to join them, but caution conciliatory comments need to be made during a heated effort for a particular bill or foreign policy, more than when a skirmish is over or one might end up facing what McCain faced.
By Richard Kane
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