What Happened to Country First?

Public Affairs Consultant specializing in Issue Advocacy and Strategic Communications

This nation is facing its worst economic period in generations as the GOP’s candidate is avoiding real issues and increasingly sounding like the grouchy grandparent you hate to visit.

Although he didn’t have the courage to bring up William Ayers in his debate with Barack Obama, John McCain and his running mate brought it up at every campaign appearance this week.

Despite being born after the 1960s, I have been familiar with the Weathermen’s despicable acts and know which Bob Dylan song inspired their name. Until this year, I had never heard of William Ayers, however, and I’ll bet Sarah Palin hadn’t either.

It appears that Obama’s and Ayers’ paths crossed as neighbors and opinion leaders involved with public policy in Chicago, but it doesn’t sound like they were "palling around" as Gov. Palin likes to say.

Now let’s take a look at who Gov. Palin pals around with, and in fact, it is people who don’t "see America like you and I do." Her husband has been an active member in recent years in the Alaska Independence Party, which promotes secession from the union and tends to attract the same kind of kooks who carry loaded weapons while expressing disgust for America. In her short tenure as governor, Mrs. Palin has spoken at this party’s conventions and encouraged them to "keep up the good work." (As a Raider fan, I’ve seen these types before–and I try to avoid eye contact to prevent from being beaten up).

And now let’s examine the angry venom that has come out this week at McCain/Palin rallies. With shouts from the audiences of "kill him" and "off with his head" (directed at Obama), their ticket seems to be attracting some pretty angry people who mean business. Instead of showing leadership and imploring their supporters to "settle down" or "let’s stay focused on our campaign," McCain and Palin seem to enjoy the fury.

Much of Obama’s appeal from the get-go has been the perception that he is best suited to unite a country that is divided. If Sen. McCain is serious about his "country first" rhetoric, he’ll drop the personal attacks and promote his plan for economic recovery—if he has one.

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