George Graham

Economic Collapse Is Scary But Hatemongers Are Scarier

These are frightening times. I shudder when I hear demagogues spewing hatred and lies while the economic foundation of the country crumbles around them, and I remember the things I have read about the rise of Hitler. When times are bad – as they were in Germany following the Treaty of Versailles – the recipe for seizing power is simple: Identify an object on which people can focus their resentment and frustration. In Hitler’s case it was the Jews. In John McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s case it is Barack Obama – and others who are “not like us.”

crowdDid you hear the cries of “Treason!” and “Kill him!” when those Palin rallies were telecast? Did you hear those zealots urging McCain to “go after” Obama? Do you see the glee in Palin’s eyes as she whips those crowds into a frenzy? Remember, she is not just a magalomaniac who lives for the spotlight, she is also a huntress whose first childhood victim was a bunny rabbit, who slaughters moose for sport and promotes the massacre of wild animals from helicopters. Can’t you see the orgiastic delight shining in her face as she invokes the crowd’s blood lust?

And that dangerous old man, whose mind must have been affected by his years of captivity and torture in Vietnam… Could you read the contempt and hatred in his face as he avoided Obama’s eyes in those debates? This is a frustrated power seeker who cheered the bloody charge into Iraq, who urges a war against Iran, and whose underground organization – the International Republican Institute – spreads unrest and subversion throughout the world. This is a man who has reveled in the company of criminals and enjoyed vacations at their villas, who reportedly sent a congratulatory telegram to Joe Bonanno on the mobster’s 90th birthday.

It is ironic that Palin should accuse Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” The man she identifies as a “domestic terrorist” is a college professor named Bill Ayers, who is active in Chicago’s educational and charitable programs. As a young man, Ayers was a member of a radical group back in the Sixties, when Obama was a child. As a social worker in South Chicago, Obama became a member of a charitable board that included Ayers. When Obama ran for the state senate, Ayers held a fund-raiser for him.

From this tenuous association, and from Obama’s middle name, which happens to be Hussein, the McCain-Palin agitators have invented a shadowy conspiracy. McCain shows his teeth and snarls:”Who is the real Barack Obama?” And the crowd responds with cries of fear and hatred.

I doubt that the hatred will be restricted to Obama; I think it might spread to others “who are not like us” – not like the starkly Caucasian crowds that cheer the poisonous McCain-Palin rhetoric. Will these frustrated zealots, who obviously feel entitled to power, accept defeat at the polls? Or will they attempt to impose their will by force as so many frustrated groups have done throughout history?

As one of those Americans whom Palin might describe as “not like us,” I look to the future with deep apprehension.  And I urge law enforcement agencies to redouble their watchfulness over the Obama family.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for