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Silence In The Face Of Hate Makes McCain-Palin Unfit To Lead

11/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Washington Post has reported on a Palin rally in which the crowd turned on the media and hurled racial epithets at a sound man:

Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

Huffington Post has reported on screams of "treason" launched in reference to Obama.

I've written about the ugliness of McCain and Palin in painting Obama as a mysterious, scary terrorist and ignoring calls to "kill him."

Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. Their positions on health care no longer matter. Their tax policies are irrelevant. Their talking points have been made moot. Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness.

America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now.

History awaits moments like these. We are on the brink. When a society's pent up frustration and anger searches for an outlet, it is a leader's job to step up and focus those wild emotions away from destruction and toward something productive. At least that is what a good leader would do.

A true leader would stop their politicking for a moment to remind the crowd that we are all Americans, that a sitting U.S. Senator is not a terrorist, that calls for murder have no place in a democracy because we work out our differences through debate and argument and law.

A true leader would recognize the pain ripping through his or her people and would seek to comfort them and then inspire them. A true leader would empathize with his or her people and then ask the nation to rise above our baser instincts, to come together as we've done before.

A true leader would lift his or her people up, not prey on their fears, their insecurities, their ignorance and their anger.

John McCain and Sarah Palin are not fit to lead this country. They have seized on a terrified populace and encouraged terror. This way leads to war, to hate, to self-destruction.

We can be a better nation than this, and we deserve better leaders than these.

If this bothers you, please do something.