John McCain spent months fanning the fear-filled fires of folks scared of terrorists, socialists, and anti-Americanism in his campaign for President. On election night he made a fine concession speech and walked away – but the fires are still burning. John McCain apparently thought it was OK to turn fears on high for as long as possible to help his quest for the presidency. But he cannot now just expect the flames to turn off. He owes
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John McCain professed to be deeply offended by Congressman John Lewis’ warning that the campaign of McCain and Palin was stoking fires that could not be put out. They spent months pounding away at supposed connections to terrorism that they knew were bogus. They spent months screaming that socialism was on the advance if they lost. Their campaign gave comfort and support to their fellow travelers of the hard right to scare and scare and scare people. And guess what, people are scared. And scared people do scary things.
Congressman Lewis warned them in October. "As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."
Senator McCain was “offended,” seriously offended by Rep Lewis’ comments. “Congressman John Lewis’ comments represent a character attack against Governor Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale. The notion that legitimate criticism of Senator Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Governor George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign.”
Maybe this is all just a coincidence since the election. Coincidence? I think not. John McCain owes this country a real and full apology for fanning the fires of fear. And he also owes John Lewis an apology.
Bill is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at [email protected]