October 21st, 2008
12:46 PM ET

"Real America" = "Two Americas"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/21/art.americanflags.jpg]

John Avlon
Author, Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics

Back when this presidential election began, John Edwards was criticized by many conservatives for using the slogan "Two Americas." It was a vision of America divided between the haves and the have-nots – evidence, many said, of Democrats' instincts toward divisive class warfare.

But recently Republican surrogates have begun using their own equally divisive framing device: "real America".

A McCain adviser argued for their electoral edge in Virginia by saying their candidate would do well in "real Virginia" rather than northern parts of the state – unconsciously echoing former Virginia senator George Allen's infamous "Macaca" moment captured on YouTube when he invited a dark-skinned volunteer for the Webb campaign to visit the "real world of Virginia."

Then Sarah Palin got in the act: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation." So if real America is pro-American, than there is an unreal America – by implication, the urban areas where most Americans now live – which is somehow inherently anti-American.

Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann helpfully tied it all together by saying that Obama "may have anti-American views" and calling for the media to investigate other Democrats with "anti-American" views in congress. [This would presumably require their removal from office, not just because they would be serving an institution they do not support, but because they all take an oath of office to uphold the constitution].

This is ugly and it has to stop. These may be just slips of the tongue, but they are evidence of an attitude that is just as divisive as John Edwards' "Two Americas" riff. It is an extension of the same analysis – an America that is fundamentally divided and mutually incomprehensible, by values if not economics. And it reinforces the subterranean attacks against Obama, questioning not just his patriotism but his essential American-ness.

As Colin Powell said this past weekend, "We've got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and our diversity."

Dividing our politics into Real Americans and anti-Americans is not just insulting – especially to those urban Americans who were attacked on 9/11 – it draws on nativist and tribalist instincts that do not reflect the best of America, but the worst.

America is great in large part because patriotism and nationalism are not the same thing. We are not a tribal culture, we are a melting pot – being a fully evolved American requires transcending our tribalism.

Dividing America does not represent the politics that John McCain has fought for all his career. And it is not smart politics for the Republican Party in the long-run. Because the base that they are playing to is parts of the country that are less populated and less diverse. That is not betting on the future of America- it's betting on the past.

Filed under: John P. Avlon • Raw Politics
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Jody Mac in Atlanta

    A great article, at a great time as well.
    We all are anxious and frightened and taking it out on one another.
    We may not agree w/ a particular candidate/running mate's views but that doesn't give us the right to treat another blogger w/ disrespect. I'm glad we can get our views out there but I'm hoping we can be nicer to one another.
    We all need one another. Democrats/Libertarians/Republicans/Independents
    United We Stand.
    God Bless America
    Good luck to your candidate.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  2. Don_A

    The truth is not much changes in America and particularly not in small towns. I grew up in a town of 200 in rural Texas in the 50's.

    These "real America" people are the descendants of the same people who spat upon me and called me names in the 60's for wearing my hair a little longer than what they thought appropriate. I try not to think what they said and did to black people. I don't know all the psychological reasons for it and nor do I understand why our country's level of education, tollerances and understanding won't grow after all these years. Maybe people just don't have time to learn and improve themselves. That is what kept us in the cave for eons, we didn't have time to grow our minds, only gather food.

    I really don't know what answer could fix this horrible problem. All I do know is from this campaign I see today that not much has changed in many, many years. Still the same closed mindedness and projected hate toward anyone or anything that is different, be it thoughts, looks or skin color.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  3. sheryl


    I assume by your statement that the 'racial divide already falls in to those 2 categories' of 'the ones who work hard and expect their deserves from their efforts and those who just want hand outs' is an implication that whites work hard and non whites want hand outs.

    That's ridiculous, but fortunately, based on these postings, you are in the minority.

    I, along with virtually all African Americans and non whites that I know and see, work very hard. In addition, virtually all whites that I know also work very hard. So whichever way your insult was intended, it is without merit.

    You need to evolve and figure out how to become part of this American adventure.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  4. Andy

    I think when Palin said real and pro America, she was referring to those that agree with her and follow her lead. We already know that she is narrow-minded and has no use for anyone who disagrees with her. The thought of her being one step away from president scares the crap out of me.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  5. Cathy

    I do not ever remember an election that was so hate-filled and brought out the ugliest part of America. The predjudice that I have seen and heard because we FINALLY have an African American running for the highest office in the country is astounding. These ignorant uneducated bigots have totally forgotten or ignored the fact that Senator Obama's mother was as white as they are and that he is a Christian, NOT a Muslim. I have a great deal of family in Canada and believe me when I say that it is embarassing to hear what they are thinking about the American public at this time. By the way Canada has socialist programs they are not a communist country! There seems to be a correlation between these two entities in the minds of some Americans. The people in Canada, no matter what the race or ecomonic standing have health care. That is something this country should strive to equal. If we are the greatest country in the world why are we letting the ones who need this care the most go untended? Finally I would like to ask a question of Mrs Palin. Could it POSSIBLY be that the parts of the country that are more "PRO_AMERICAN" are the parts that are voting Republican? How convenient for her and Senator McCain. I certainly would appreciate an attention to issues and less character assasination over the next two weeks. Thank you

    October 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  6. Darrin from Canada

    There are more than two americas there is millions of different americas, wach which needs to be represented at the federal level. Who do you think is going to protect the balanced interests of those groups, I know that it isn't Palin. As much as I beleive that McCain genuinely cares about America, his time for helping the country improve its domestic and global standing has passed.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  7. Amber

    I would really like to respond to Cindy's comment. Palin was talking about middle class America that does all of the work and keeps this country running. OK, well if she's so concerned about the middle class who mostly make under $250,000 a year then why not support Obama'st ax plan that would protect these hard working people from getting a tax raise. I just heard her say something about hardworking people and McCain's tax plan. Was she saying that middle class america are not hardworkers? This woman is an idiot and so are you Cindy.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  8. pete

    It's foolish to believe that the United States can survive forever. This nation was a grand experiment conjured up by a group of non-conformist dreamers.

    I see a future where what is now the US being divided up into 3-5 separate countries. Whether Obama is elected or not, he and George Soros have started that ball rolling and there'll be no stopping it.

    I guess that, in some ways, the world will be a better place without military, financial, and cultural power being concentrated in one country.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  9. Patricia J Dean

    McCain is going to use his military uniform when he gets sworn into office, his military mind along with his temper aren't exactly what
    we need sitting in the white house; scares me what his military brain
    would do, his negative campaign reminds me the one the German butcher run on basis of race, creating fear among the heart of Germany against Jewish people.His negative energy energized the masses to the point of cruelty, is this is what we want to happen here in America? going back to the dark ages? Romans killing Christians, Germans killing Jewish, whites killing blacks. Come on , look where we are ready to go to Mars, and explore the rest of the galaxy, please do not stop our future, i am so concern with all this crazy stuff having a vice presidential candidate that mocks the words said by her opponent, agitating the masses, creating the nest for the assassination of Senator Obama, is dangerous what this woman is doing, so cold blooded enough to send chills to my spine, let's stop all of this now!.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  10. nick

    It is as simple as this. This media driven debate is what all you who believe in the divide wants to here. McCain is driven to divide the electorate to gain`an edge. Isn't that politics. Obama makes comments like "They will say he doesn't look like the guy on the dollar bill." and the media some how spins the sympathetic Obama view. It's all designed to sway, divide or whatever you want to call it. It. Both campaigns divide and claim to unite.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  11. Presley

    I see a lot of Palin crediting, let's not forget she is only allowed to do what she seems to know.
    Frankly, at this moment, she is only interwebs fodder and made a bigger star out of Tina Fey.
    And she still has no idea what a V.P. does.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  12. JT

    McCain/Palin face an uphill battle coming off the last 8 Years of Bush and the economy spinning out of control. You add to that someone who is smooth and charismatic and a massive cult following – we will have a Democrat in office for four years trying to destroy business and raising taxes. In 2012 hopefully we will realize that we have made another mistake with our choice in president and then maybe things will get better.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  13. Kevin

    At least John Edwards was describing America as it actually is (and no, that's not debatable, walk down my street any time and you see it) as opposed to implying that people with different views were somehow less patriotic or less American. I spent six years in the US Navy and have a progressive liberal view on governance. What does that make me, GOP?

    October 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  14. Matt

    Michele Bachmann is a monster. I can't believe the Minnesota Republican party in that district nominated her for congress last election. Her opponent was politically inept in that election by the way which led to Bachmann's victory so the democrats failed as well. She has no place representing Minnesota or any U.S. district. She is now an incumbent so the republican party will try to get her re-elected. The district in question is about 60% republican, but I hope they overcome that and vote her out Third Party, Democrat, Write in Republican I don't care who wins just not her.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  15. Robert

    My view of the Republican party - a few smart people with emphasis on sound fiscal policies, self-reliance, personal freedom, etc. and millions of ignorant rednecks who know nothing about the rest of the world, are religious fanatics, can't think for themselves, and are swayed like herds of sheep at the whims of the conservative leadership. It's really pathetic. Semi-thoughtful conservatives are left to either vote with these sad people or choose someone like Obama. I think I'm going to write in Ron Paul.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  16. Tom

    I was an Independent, but the more I listen to this ill woman the more I lean Democratic. Someone gag her please !!!!

    October 21, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  17. Melanie in GA

    Sarah Palin hasn't said anything !!!!!! At least nothing that gives me a warm and fuzzy. All I see is hatred, rage, desperation, racism, redneck-ism in her eyes and when she speaks. And now that the McCain camp is saying that Colin Powell has slapped them in the face is just wrong. If he was for McCain, he would be the best thing since sliced bread. McCain's pick for VP was just awful !!! His judgement is a clear display of bad judgement. I agree picking her has revived the base but it was a gamble that was a "sin against nature."

    October 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  18. Ken

    You Obama supporters want so bad to punish someone for how you feel the country has been run for the last eight years that you accept everything that comes out of Obama or Bidden's mouth. Obama has run a campaign just as nasty as or more than the McCain camp. Remember the add about McCain not being able to use his computer because his war injuries prevented him from using his arms very much. Or how bout the one ran on MSNBC that talked about how many times McCain has had skin cancer and could he last the whole term. If you Obama supporters want to blame someone for the state of the country right now blame yourselves. Where was all this support for Kerry in 04, if its there than Bush only has one term. Furthermore, this attitude of the Republican Party being the only ones to divide the country is stupid. This left wing holier than you, I'm smart and your a religious idiot attitude has did plenty of damage on its own.

    October 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  19. Michael

    Mr. Mccain... please do something in your campaign that doesn't involve rumor starting and nation dividing

    October 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Matt

    CINDY, GA – You are clueless to say the least.

    Why is it that anytime you Republicans have someone disagree with you, you call them a "Liberal". This shows just how messed up you Republicans are. You can't have a debate about real issues, you can only label people as being 'something' that you think has a negative connotation.

    Stop carrying the GOP's water for them. McCain doesn't need your help, he's a war hero for Gods sakes!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Personally I am really tired of being told how I feel and what I think. by people who don't know anything about MY life.
    I am a former elementary education teacher, stay at home mom, small business owner, wife of a teacher, who lives in South Eastern Idaho. Now for you Urban elists snicker now...huh Idaho.

    But for those in my area of the world we have seen two worlds, a "real" one and a fabricated one, for years.

    In my view there aren't to many policticians left who live their lives with FULL integrity. They are willing to parse words and plans to make their "side" look good. I'd love to get rid of ALL of them and find men and women of principle. People who will actually say what they "really believe" verses what the think they should say to get the most votes.

    It is naive for those who live in the urban parts of this country to EVER believe they will see the world the same way as someone who lives in rural areas. We DO have a different way of life, sometimes better- sometimes worse. And with that difference comes a different level of acceptance – sometimes good and sometimes not.

    Senator Obama will not CHANGE that , he has no basis of where "we" come from. By the way neither does Senator McCain.

    So where is our "hope"?

    October 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  22. Kailet

    The statement "America is great in large part because patriotism and nationalism are not the same thing. We are not a tribal culture, we are a melting pot – being a fully evolved American requires transcending our tribalism" is so true.

    It's not just about racism; we have polarized into "us vs them" when it comes to Democrat/Republican, conservative/liberal, rich/poor, and tolerance for religious differences and many other perspectives. Anyone who is not "us" is to be ridiculed and attacked as enemies of the state.

    We are all Americans and we can never come to consensus with viewpoints like this.

    Stop the attack ads, stop the hate-mongering. Foster understanding and respect. This starts with each of us, but our leaders in particular need to rise above the negativity and embrace the fact that people can disagree and still be patriotic Americans.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  23. John

    Palin's latest recanting shows she a seasoned liar, I mean politician.

    Besides, what about her and Todd pallin' around with terrorists and secessionists? Some of the speeches I've seen on internet video have been angry, hate-filled, and clearly anti-American. Where is the press on that?

    October 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  24. kp

    The problem with taking a high horse, if you are more susceptible to injurious falls.

    For example, Sarah Palin talking about "real" Americans, and "pro-America"....while her husband is a sympathizer with the secessionist party in Alaska.

    If the Obama campaign had nothing else to talk about, they'd be drawing attention to that, but fortunately, they are talking about their plans for our country....

    October 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  25. Karen R Rodgers

    Palin needs to shut up about Obama, she's not one to handle foreign affairs either. But I do know McCain is a BUSH MADE OVER!!!!! WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER BUSH FOR OUR TROUBLED COUNTRY. Somebody that has all the houses he owns KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THR POOR OR MIDDLE CLASS.... Go BACK TO YOUR HOMES, EAT YOUR STEAKS, ENJOY THE RICHES YOU HAVE and LEAVE THE RUNNING OF THIS COUNTRY TO A MAN THAT KNOWS WHAT IT IS TO BE POOR!!!!!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  26. leetz

    I also agree very much with the essay and it is a major reason why I am not voting for McCain (don't know yet if I'm voting for Obama, but definitely not giving my vote to McCain). I fear though that the damage is already done and might be beyond repair. It's been going on for years now, and is now hitting a fever pitch. Half the country hates the other half, and there's some deep hatred here that I don't think is going away. And the conservatives represented by Palin seem to be so vehement towards Barack Obama that electing him will probably just deepen their hatred. It's their way or the highway; they're not going to be open-minded to accept anything other than what they believe. So it may well get worse, and yes, I think eventually someone's going to get killed.

    We read a lot about the failures of the Bush administration, but this is one that isn't brought up as much - instituting fear and division as an accepted political strategy. Thanks GWB and Karl Rove. Hope you're enjoying what you help create.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  27. Harald Humble

    Only way for John McCain to win is to somehow portray Obama as someone who would tax the average folks and give it as welfare to the poor (read black people and immigrants). McCain has a chance to win only if he scapegoats the poor people who happen to be people of color as the culprit of all our problems. His only way is negative campaigning and smearing the heck out of Obama. Cant talk about economy, he was on the side of deregulation. Cant talk about failures of not being able to catch Osama and mess in Iraq. Cant talk about how his freind Bush who he voted with 90% of the time has reduced America's prestige worldwide and created lots of enemies in the Arabia.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  28. David

    Please note that the headquarters for the McCain campaign are located in Northern (Fake) Virginia. I was watching one of his people going on and on about how northern VA wasn't the *real* Virginia with an Arlington, Va, sign right above her! Do they have no shame?

    October 21, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  29. Nuwan Samaranayake

    Looking at the people sentiments today, t is very easy to realize that we the people in this nation has been submitted to the ploy of these cheap politicians who would try to divide us and conquer their political ambitions. Bush did the same thing and it was not he who failed, but the country did. The real problem is that we the people of this nation fall pray to these dirty tactics. Politicians use them because they know it works and we buy them. Palin and McCain now trying to divide us when everything else fail. This is the great republican strategy that even worked with Bush. They are clever to find some emotional reason to divide people. Do they loose in this game ? NO. They can afford whatever the outcome is. But it is we, the people who loose at the end. When the country falls, the burden falls on us. Not on those politicians who created it.

    After 8 years of destruction to this nation, Bush will leave office soon. Did he loose ? NO. Did we loose ? Yes we did. Why ? Because we were stupid enough to buy into those divisive tactics of those cunning republicans.

    Now we are at a cross road again. We the people of this country has a responsibility and a choice to make. We can all see on the judgement day on Nov. 4th whether those hypocratic political forces are able to trap us again in to this net of division.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  30. Kathryn Richardson

    Sarah Palin scares me too....there is something just not right about her and her family...I just get a feeling of unease as to what really is the truth about them. It is obvious that John McCain is desperate and ready to do whatever it takes to get elected. I wonder if the republicans have some more wicked tactics right before or on election day like the last two presidential elections. I DO NOT trust them at all. Michelle Bachmann is an airhead who has managed to buy her way into office...if she gets elected again-I give up on Minnesotans. If she had a brain she would play with it. The republicans are usually money people who don't like to spend money on anyone but themselves...in other words, greed, greed, greed. I think next time anyone questions Obama's patriotism , they should be put on the FBI's list of most wanted investigations. Kate from MN

    October 21, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  31. Tammy...GA

    As a republican, I can tell you I am disgusted. I just saw the incident that happened to the NC voters heckling and harassing voters is terrorism in itself. The exact thing our party is trying to stand up to. It is a violation of our constitution and is flat out UNAMERICAN.

    This is a sad time in America. I want to vote for Mccain, but he needs to step up and stop this nonsense. Palin's statements are doing nothing more than further dividing America. I don't agree with Barack Obama on any of his views, I have never voted for a democrat, but I will vote for Obama if Mccain/Palin continue to divide this country.


    October 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  32. Susan

    Anderson Cooper, I agree with you! This divide is dangerous and it seems to be growing like a snow ball rolling down a large hill. With the Blogs and Americans all across the country reading things that upset them and then responding and back and forth, again and again, and the media’s minute by minute coverage of every off word spoken, it is like adding fuel to a building fire! It is frightening…

    Will racism be the true down fall of the United States of America? Is this the only legacy we have to share with the world

    It is with a very sad heart I watch daily just how devious some of our fellow countrymen really are. The Republicans are inciting racism in some blatant and then quiet ways every day due to fear! I am amazed how much racism is coming out of the woodwork like roaches in the cold weather come in to get warm...

    It is as if there are Americans out there who feel they have allowed “unreal” Americans of color, to live, work, nurse, educate and have happy times with them, but when it comes to the other “unreal” Americans assisting in leading this country out of the mess it is in, and unto something better, that “real” America wishes to remind the “unreal” Americans that they are not and never will be truly at home here.

    I wish they could pretend for a while that they have dignity and pride in where we ALL (AMERICANS) have come from and how far we have gone. How can the Republicans question an American’s “Americanism”, and measure it by their own standards?! Why are we going backing time to McCarthyism? Is this newly packaged racism this much a part of their souls? This is sick and so so divisive!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  33. Tammy

    As a republican, I can tell you I am disgusted. I just saw the incident that happened to the NC voters heckling and harassing voters is terrorism in itself. The exact thing our party is trying to stand up to. It is a violation of our constitution and is flat out UNAMERICAN.

    This is a sad time in America. I want to vote for Mccain, but he needs to step up and stop this nonsense. Palin's statements are doing nothing more than further dividing America. I don't agree with Barack Obama on any of his views, I have never voted for a democrat, but I will vote for Obama if Mccain/Palin continue to divide this country.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  34. CG

    It has amazed me how the republican party, the party of small government and high moral values has stood for this campaign. Not only has the McCain campaign found the worst fringe candidate to run as the vice president in Palin, they are now fragmenting their own party. It is nearly unrealistic that a well respected states person such as General Colin Powell, along standing republican and conservative would stand and denounce his own party, due to the very divisiveness of the campaign rhetoric. Second to Powell is Burnanke, viewing Obama as the better choice to lead this country.

    Not to say that the Obama campaign has been any less negative, but at least the effort has not been to divide this country and create hatred.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  35. Mike Bruno

    The early voting numbers are in and the Democrats are ahead of the Republicans.
    This should be expected as the Republicans are at work and the Democrats are eagerly voting for more welfare in Obama's United Socialist States of America.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  36. Ruben

    It's so sad that McCain and Palin are diving our country with their rhetoric.
    P.S. To all those people that make less than $250k and think their taxes are gonna go up with an Obama administration, let me remind you that Warren Buffet has endorsed Senator Obama!! I don't know if you know that Mr. Buffet is one of the wealthiest person in the whole world, you would think if anybody be against paying higher taxes it would be him

    October 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  37. delores

    Iam getting really worried as to where this country is going if McCain and Palin dont shut up .This country does not need to be divided.
    All this hate does not need be their agenda.Go back to what ever rock you crawled out from under.,PALIN we dont need you and your buddy trying to pit us against each other.We have enough to worry about,taxes groceries school lunches,books,Icould go on but if your;e like me you know all that.{not Palin nor McCain]ALL THEY WORRY ABOUT IS WINNING

    October 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  38. Patricia J Dean

    It is really sad to see how Palin & McCain are dividing this Country
    in the most infamous ways, Americans are trying to go to about their business and create new technologies and new ways to improve our quality of life, new ways to create better choices for the American people and here we got this man McCain striving for separation,he served the country well, but alas he is not the only one one that has done it, how about all the American men and women that died in Iraq?, Republicans are uphold with this low class campaign, they are been absurdly represented and most of all the division that is creating Sarah Palin instigating racism, socialism, and all this luck of class rhetoric. Look at the people that goes to the her rallies, angry crowds getting fed on words that are misleading.
    I am a white girl, but who cares whether I am black or white, this is a new generation of Americans that are ashamed with this implications of racial bias. Enough with this dividing our Country like this, we are one and we are all together in this.My little girl says to me, Mom being racist is tacky, I love my math teacher she is a colored lady and my Mommy when I am at the school. Bless her heart of gold, so like my little girl all of us had black teachers that we love and respect, black friends that we went to school with, how can we let this go on like this, can anybody tell me, please!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  39. Rick

    And how is this different from any other election?
    The whole point is to demonize your opponent by creating an US vs. THEM scenario.

    The Democrats are just as guilty of feeding the divide as the Republicans are.
    Some of the comments regarding Obama/Biden are completely uncalled for as are a majority of the comments made about McCain/Palin.

    The Democrats are claiming the Republican party is full of nothing but hate, yet 99% of the comments written by Democrats are appaling.
    Obama doesn't need to go down the path of negative campaigning... his supporters are spewing more than enough hate on their own.

    Just read the comments posted in this very blog.
    Disgusting... every one of your are just as guilty of twisting the truth and making vile and hateful comments.

    Hello pot... the kettle is calling you.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  40. Judith in CA

    You wrote: "Dividing our politics into Real Americans and anti-Americans ..... draws on nativist and tribalist instincts that do not reflect the best of America, but the worst."

    I agree. We have enjoyed relative stability and prosperity when we have succeeded in rising above tribal politics and have worked for the good of society as a whole.

    The old saying, "Divide and conquer" is at the heart of McCain's campaign. He and Palin are waging fear, pitting us against each other, fanning the flames of irrational knee-jerk reactions. It's irresponsible and unworthy of a U.S. Senator.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  41. Barbara

    First we had blue states and red states, now we have anti-Americans and Flag Waving Americans. I hate typecastings like these. I consider myself to be an American. I don't care what color my state is, I don't like it being implied that because I live near a large city, that I could be anti-American, I just want the world and this wonderful country of ours to know that I am Proud to be an American.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  42. Nichelle

    GOD,,, HEAL OUR LAND! Never did I think that I would have to tell my three children some people will not like you because of the color of your skin but here it is 2008 and we are sitting at the dinner table every evening as a family in the deep south of MISSISSIPPI and my husband and I are praying that one day in this great country we call AMERICA!!! that our two sons,and daughter can live in a place that race does not matter,,,,oh how great that would be.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  43. Johnny N.M.

    I can't even bear to see or hear Palin on television, every time she comes on any channel I'm watching I change the channel as fast as I can, especially on CNN. I believe she and the Devil walk hand in hand and she is nothing but a cancer to the United States of America. I also belive a writer from Pa when he says we are on our way to a second civil war, democratic goverment vs. republican goverment. I hope it dosen't get to the point where we have to take up arms against our own fellow americans and I believe thats where Palin and Mcain are takeing us. May God Bless America

    October 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  44. Mrs White

    I'm glad that I live in America! The Home of the Free and the Brave, every heart beats true to the "RED", "WHITE" and "BLUE". Let's keep moving America away from small minds!

    Vote Barack Obama08!!!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  45. Mema

    There is not two Americas,
    There is many many Americas, its all how you look at it. We are not divided. We are opinionated. It is good. We will all come together. The news media is the most divisive branch of any part of the americas.
    They take any word, or gesture and agonize to interpret if it meant something other than what it meant. It is so sickening watching all news outlets on both sides.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  46. Stephen in GA

    Is it that hard to admit that both sides engage in negative tactics?

    And is it that hard to stop all the "well, what about what THEY did" crap and to just point out how WRONG it all is?

    And would it kill America, just for once, to have an election that actually focuses on ISSUES, not suppositions about the candidate's children (Palin) or ancestors (Obama)?

    Apparently, it IS that hard. Because then Americans would have to get past the talking points and the cute little soundbites that we latch onto and actually THINK about our vote. That's just too much work these days.

    I'm voting in November, but I'm disgusted by politics in general. This is why.

    There seems to be no such thing as a civil political discussion any more.

    Quite frankly, that simply frightens me.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  47. kate

    McCain/Palin are dividing this country with their negative campaigning. They are not uniters, but dividers and this country will divide more under McCain/Palin. They are for the wealthy. They want to help the rich by giving them tax cuts and that is conservatism but when the hard working people of this country(middle class) need tax cuts, they call it socialism. Obama has the very brightest people surrounding him(Colin Powell) for one. Obama is smart and he will have a big job ahead of him, but I think he is ready!!!!!!!Palin IS NOT.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  48. mav

    Guess we all know by now that Sarah Palin hardly says anything useful. We should STOP making her same old rant as NEWS. I hope media just ignores things coming out of PALIN's mouth until she says something useful or worthwhile to listen or read. I use to like McCain as person, but his choice of Palin goes beyond logic and does NOT reflect Country First. Please stop dividing this country for your personal benifit.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  49. karen-phoenix

    I've been a republican for 40 years!!! NO MORE–not after this awful, disgusting type of camphaigning and McCain's pick of Palin!!!
    God Bless Obama/Biden and the American Middle Class

    October 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  50. Dave

    Are you serious? Why is it that the media always singles out Republicans for being "divisive"? I think creeping socialism, affirmative action, terrorist coddling, liberal hate smears, amnesty for illegal aliens, and partial birth abortion are the truly "divisive" issues in this campaign. And because I don't swallow your liberal/socialist agenda, I'M DIVISIVE???

    You are right about one thing. There are two Americas, and believe me, if we make the colossal mistake of electing Barack Obama....you'll see division like you never dreamed of.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
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