In the old days of the West, when someone did irreparable harm to a community, the Sheriff took the culprit to the edge of town. He told that person to leave, never to return.
Ohioans need to do the same with Sarah Palin. Firmly, politely, and kindly.
Since no one else has done this, I am publicly sending this memo to Governor Sarah Palin:
Dear Sarah, please leave now. Don't ever come back. We don't need your sort in Ohio.
I realized that I needed to send Governor Palin this memo when I heard the irrational comments in the election story caught by Casey Kaufmann on the Al-Jazeera news network. It burst upon Europe and the Middle East on Saturday, October 18, and it's now making the rounds on the internet.
Interviews for the story were captured at a rally for John McCain and Sarah Palin in Houston, Ohio. I was horrified by the blind hatred for blacks expressed by the folks at this rally. I couldn't believe the anti-Muslim sentiment, the sheer stupidity of the comments.
"I'm afraid if he wins, the blacks will take over," says one white woman. What? Obama's life stands for tolerance, not racism.
"He seems like a wolf in sheep's clothing," says a young man. "And I believe Palin - she's filled with the Holy Spirit." Again, what? When did Pentecostal fervor become a requirement to be President?
Seriously, what kind of racist and theocratic filth is erupting from the Great State of Ohio? I know Ohioans. They are kind people. They are tolerant people. They are giving people. But not in the eyes of the world today. Wake up, my fellow Ohioans. Welcome to the post-election world of 2008. Thanks to the asinine comments of a few Ohioans, our good reputation may now be in the toilet.
Remember those jokes about West Virginia? Ever notice how they can't get rid of them? Well, around the world, our great state is becoming the butt of similar jokes - grounded in racial hatred.
I'm a proud Buckeye. I love my native state. And I am livid. Isn't anyone else angry about this? This is the state that has brought forth eight American Presidents. Ohio maintains the title Mother of Presidents. It's a bellwether state. As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.
Is this an indication of the way Americans think? Have we gone from the Home of the Brave to the State of the Stupid?
When I was a teacher, I was responsible for the tone of my classroom. Had I let my students start shouting murder threats or use the N-word, I would have lost my job. I was expected to take decisive action - call the miscreants down or send them to the principal's office.
Sarah Palin has failed to take this kind of action.
The caustic and careless words of Governor Palin have lit racial fires across America. Her "classes" have been out of control. Her audiences have shouted verbal threats about the man who very well may be our next President - with nary a word of reproach from Governor Palin. Her fans have used intolerant, racist language designed to intimidate minorities.
It's clear that Governor Palin can't govern a crowd. Instead of controlling the blaze of emotion within civilized boundaries, she whips it up. A callow leader, she bullies the minorities and the weak. Pit bull with lipstick is exactly the type of leader she is.
At least John McCain has tried to stop the poison, at least in public. His moment with the woman who stated that Obama is a Muslim showed John McCain's best side. Unfortunately, that side is mostly gone now. The soul of the man I admired so much during the 2000 Presidential campaign has withered, due to his single-minded pursuit of the White House.
In contrast, what a relief it was to watch Colin Powell give one of the finest presidential endorsements I've ever seen. It inspired me.
My African-American friends declare that a black man has to be twice as good as a white man in order to win. If that's the case, I'll take my odds on Obama as our next president.
Because he's been whipping McCain's little-you-know-what. Starting with the $150 million he just raised last month.
In past blogs, I've questioned Obama's readiness to be president. I've questioned his strength of purpose. I've wondered whether he had the stones to make the toughest decisions. I didn't know if he was pragmatic enough to be president of a country I love.
I have no doubts now. I was convinced when I saw the way he handled the economic crisis - calm and steady. I was convinced when I saw how he has run his campaign - a brilliant ground war. I was convinced when I saw the people who wish to serve in his administration - top-ranked leaders. Obama is running for President in the same way he plays basketball: cool, smart, and on his game.
In contrast, look at the scattered campaign of John McCain. Can you remember ANY campaign in which party leaders conceded the election over two weeks ahead of time? How badly does the Republican leadership hate McCain?
Most important, can you imagine a nation run the way McCain runs his campaign? Lurching from crisis to crisis with no master plan?
Do we really want a president who acts thoughtlessly and carelessly, causing damage to people's lives? How many times will he appear on David Letterman with the "I screwed up" punch line designed to get a laugh - before we begin to feel manipulated?
These are the actions of a child - not a man.
There's another similarity between George W and John McCain - something Obama has failed to mention. They're both spoiled brats.
Last night I watched the new Oliver Stone film W. Too much of the film felt like an extended skit on Saturday Night Live. I was checking my watch 35 minutes before the film ended.
But Stone got one thing right. The essence of W's character is that of a spoiled brat who was used to having his daddy clean up his messes. And the tragedy is that W's daddy can't clean up his latest and greatest mess.
Do we really want another spoiled brat for president? Electing John McCain would give us another administration run on fights and temper tantrums - writ large in places like Iraq and Iran.
Look at his record. John McCain has always acted like a spoiled brat. He calls it being a Bad Boy. And he's always gotten away with bad behavior by slathering his apologies with charm.
Yes, I agree with Sarah Palin and John McCain. They're mavericks. If you understand that the word maverick is code for undisciplined.
But there's hope.
Take a look at The Canton Repository. It's my hometown paper in Stark County, Ohio. It takes conservative positions. It accurately represents the bellwether state of Ohio.
That's right. You read that correctly.
Perhaps - just perhaps - the same 12% of Americans who think Obama is Muslim (and that Muslim is another word for black) is the same minority who simply cannot pull the lever for a black person.
If that's true, then at least 88% of Americans are NOT racist. At least 88% will pull the lever for the best candidate - rather than the whitest candidate. And I'm betting that the latter percentage is made up of good, tolerant people who view the world through color-blind eyes.
That's something to be grateful about.
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