Having lived through the second week of September in 2001, I never thought I'd see a week that terrified me more. But as my wife and I made plans to move to England if Barack Obama is assassinated, I realized that this week might just top it. On 9/11, after all, America was attacked by foreign terrorists. This week most of the madness was homegrown.
Watching the stock market plummet at record speeds. Seeing the rest of the world follow our lead, as it were, and tip towards financial chaos. Reading articles about "the end of American capitalism." Watching Iceland -- an entire country, for Pete's sake -- throw in the towel and effectively go out of business. All that was unsettling enough.
But it was even worse to watch the hate-filled crowds at McCain-Palin rallies spewing their rage at Senator Obama, punctuated with cries of "Terrorist!" "Treason" and "Kill him!" You could almost hear the entire country ripping messily in two.
This week has been like the scariest elements of 1929 crossed with the scariest elements of 1968. And it made me wonder if Sarah Palin wasn't just whistling Dixie about "the end of days."
All week, it's seemed like America is a nation coming very close to a complete economic, political and social meltdown. And much to my surprise, it was John McCain -- the man who's helped to unleash a lot of the hatred that's now running amok -- who took the first baby steps away from the edge.
It may be a case of too little, too late. I don't know. I'm just happy that McCain has finally attempted to quell his most rabid, vitriolic supporters by reassuring them that they have nothing to fear from an Obama presidency, and that Senator Obama is a decent family man. And, oh yeah, NOT an Arab.
Who knows if the haters will pay any attention? And who knows if the increasingly erratic McCain campaign will back off from what he said at that Minnesota town hall? But I think America has now seen the real John McCain for the first time in a long, long time. And it's a shame, because that man would be doing a lot better on the campaign trail than the partisan nitwit who's been running for the office these last couple of months.
So thank you, Senator McCain, for showing your true colors. I still think you'd make a lousy president, but for a few hours, at least, you've brought back a little decency and dignity to America.
Follow Tony Sachs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RetroManNYC