Although they didn't do much good in affecting the outcome of the election, the smear tactics of the RNC, the McCain Campaign, and their most zealous supporters have left behind a grimy residue that, I fear, greatly threatens the unity of our country--if not the physical security of our 44th President.
They said he was un-American. They said he was a Socialist. They said he was a Communist. They said he was a Muslim (even if this was corrected by McCain in that hilarious exchange with the "he's... he's an Arab" Crazy McCain Lady, it was alluded to in RNC mailers, emails, robocalls, and reiterated at every one of their rallies). And the ultimate sling of mud, of course (although it didn't smell quite like mud), was their associating Barack Obama with terrorists--or implying he was a terrorist himself.
Now, this was all done, to be fair (even if they weren't), in the name of winning an election. The McCain Campaign knew that none of it was true, but they learned the lessons of their 2000 Republican primary loss and embraced the tactics of Karl Rove in order to make Obama seem dangerous and fracture the electorate. The only problem is they didn't win the election. Most Americans--this time--didn't buy it. Barack Obama is our President (elect). But--and this is what's so troubling--now we have a significant percentage of Americans that actually believe their soon to be Commander-in-Chief is a Freedom-hating, Commie-loving terrorist.
In addition to being very, very scary, this is clearly insane. In order to accept this nonsense, you've got to be so close-minded as to not consider any other opinions out there, never mind the facts. You've got to be one of those people who UFOs target for probing or who's actually participated in a demolition derby. But, make no mistake about it, there are a lot of those people out there--and demolition derbies are an absolute ball! So let's, at least for a moment, embrace this perspective of delusion. Let's believe what they believe. Let's see things the way they see them and find out if any good at all can come from it. Because if you're accusing someone of being closed-minded, it's a little bit hypocritical not to at least consider their point of view.
What if Barack Obama is a terrorist? And what if, as this irrational bunch believes, his election was welcomed by our enemies and they'll be empowered by having one of their own in our highest office (never mind that the terrorists would've actually preferred if McCain--a Bush surrogate, in their eyes--had won because it would've strengthened their case against the great Satan and helped recruitment across the globe)?
Well, given this highly absurd brand of logic--President Obama, the terrorist--my contention would be this: if terrorists have an eye fixed on Obama, seeing him as a leader and one of their own, then that's actually a good thing. Because he sets a wonderful example.
You don't need to blow yourself up and hope for seventy-two virgins, Obama demonstrates, because having one beautiful wife, a strong woman that you cherish and respect and don't keep hidden behind a burka, is much more fulfilling. You can devote your life to public service, helping people find jobs and homes and a sense of purpose, instead of offering it up to the cause of destruction, murdering enemies and innocents alike. You can teach people about a document of laws that govern a free nation of equal men and women, instead of twisting and misrepresenting texts to promote violence and intolerance and hate. You can be a real man; you can raise a beautiful family; and you can let nothing--not your absent father or your skin color or all those that would spread lies to see you fall--keep you from greatness.
So, okay, Obama is not a terrorist. He's not a terrorist because of everything he's said and done and believes in and stands for. But if certain people still feel the need to attribute that awful label to him, then, fine, go for it. You can call him whatever you'd like--as long as you call him the President of the United States of America. Because Barack Obama is a great and brilliant human being. And maybe, if everyone follows his lead--even terrorists--so too can we all be.