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. Pat A

    Did anyone see the recent Palin Interview with??? on Wolf Blitzer just awhile ago? She was speaking on Joe Biden's comments at his last rally. It is more than disturbing how she twisted, mis-quoted, disected and re-wrote to suit her needs, Joe Biden's actual words! This woman needs to be stopped! She shouldn't be allowed to get away with her lies and distortions of an honest man's truth! It is totally unnerving to listen to her. She comes comes across as an Idiot on a Destroy and Conquer Mission! Conversaionally, Reputationally, and Politically this woman is truly dangerous and will single handedy destroy America in two short weeks if she should EVER get to the White House! Spine Chilling!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  2. Dianne

    There is only ONE AMERICA. It is a truly a shame that our political process has come down to destroying the other party at all costs to win this election. Where is CIVILITY, RESPECT and TOLERANCE for all PEOPLE. If either candidate is running for the highest office in the land, it should be clear that they are both PATRIOTIC and committed to service. WHY is there even discussion about this. How are we being PERCEIVED by the world? Does ANYONE/CANDIDATE care? Senators McCain and Obama, let's stick with the issues. AMERICA needs to get back to being a Smart, Intelligent and Inclusive Nation and thoroughly ignore all of this pettiness. ENOUGH!!! We have enough problems to deal with in the coming months. We need Honorable Debates. AMERCIA DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Ryan

    It's insulting to compare Edwards's two Americas theme to Palin's statement about the real America. One is a simple (and obvious) observation about income inequality in this country, while the other is a nasty statement about the patriotism (or lack of) of those who, essentially, do not vote for Palin. I will give her the benefit of the doubt that it was just a poor choice of words, but to compare Edwards with this is despicable and shows a total lack of intelligence (or good faith). Not everything must be made to appear equivalent. This is just another of the zillions of useless analysis we get from the media that says "Both sides have done bad things! See, I am so independent! And smart!"

    October 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |

    There are two America's, and there is certainly class warfare. It has been going on since 1981 through targeted tax cuts and trade policies, subsidies, and various other scams. The top layer of income has grown rapidly, while the rest of us stagnated and then declined in the last seven years.It has robbed our economy of the demand and consumption it needs. It has reduced the standard of living for most of us, while benefitting a few of us. The Republicans seem to be trying to split us along racial and cultural lines in order to convince some of us that we are like them, part of their group. This favor-the-wealthy policy was supposed to create jobs, stimulate the economy. Instead we get mergers and layoffs.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  5. Rhonda

    Sarah Palin was trying to lift the moral of the small towns. Your comment is trying to make it racial somehow. Shame on you!

    October 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Chris

    As a European and a conservative, I am astonished by the McCain/Palin campaign. I used to think McCain was a genuinely sincere politician but his decision to attach his campaign to, what in Europe would be regarded as the extreme right fringe, is more than disappointing.

    However, I expect those who support Palin would tell me that it's none of my business and they don't care what others think. I'll remember that next time I defend the US against those who try to run it down.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  7. Lance LeVar

    Here are the two Americas I see:

    "Those who work hard and expect their deserves from their efforts."
    Those who work hard and expect everyone to benefit from their actions.

    One is working for a better America and one is working for themselves. One party is working for more for the individuals and the other is working for a better nation. When those with the least are given more it raises us all. I am proud to support soon to be President Barack Obama.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Ken

    For the life of me, I can't understand why any American would vote for Senator Obama concerning the economy. (Unless it is just for a hand-out) Overwhelmingly, the leaders of the American business community are extremely concerned over his economic policy proposals. Their thinking is that his policies are exactly opposite to what is needed to get our economy back on track.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  9. tracy

    Of all the issues out there...after the economy, this issue troubles me the most. It astounds me that the party whose supporters shout U-S-A at every rally and calls itself Country First is the party whose members are continually speaking of the "good" the "real" the "pro" Americans. Makes me feel like I might BE one of those "anti" or "bad" or "fake" Americans, and I assure you I am not. My vote will never go to those who seek to divide us.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  10. King

    What has come out of this election is very interesting and disturbing. If there was ever a time when America "all America" needed to pray, it is now.

    I am not worried about the provisions that are made or need to be made by our government during this election or any election. What I am concerned about is the attitudes that have come out of this election. It seems to have been about race, gender, religion, and association (family) only to distract us from the real issues that matter such as health, war, education, and housing.

    When I hear someone say this America and that America, I expect them to say north or south at the beginning not dividing the United States of America into sections of towns and counties. We are united, we must remember the saying a “house divide will fall”. and the saying “where there is unity there is strength”. We are the United States of America that is who we are and that is who we should be referred as, the United States of America. Let us vote and pray and when the election is over let us continue to pray for the United States of America that they will forever be united.

    October 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  11. Laura

    All I have to say....Alaska Independent Party....

    October 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  12. Anais

    So Palin says if I live in an urban or suburban area, I am not a real American? Excuse me, but MOST of the people (read: voters) of America live either in cities or suburbs. For Palin to imply that most of America is not the REAL America is just plain stupid and alienates most voters. I notice that she was thrilled to be on "Saturday Night Live," which is produced in New York CITY and throw down a hockey puck at a game in the CITY of Philadelphia. While I love small towns and have friends who live in them as well as in cities and suburbs, I think ALL of us are REAL Americans. After what we have all been through with the divisive politics of the last eight years, I think we need to elect a president who has worked hard all his life instead of having things handed to him by virtue of his father's and grandfather's positions - a candidate whose extended family is the very embodiment of inclusion.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  13. Audrey

    Having recently moved from a large metropolis to a small town, population of 3900, I am discouraged by what I see. I once believed that the small towns were where the best morality was taught, but I now find myself at odds with the narrow minded ideas that permeate this small community. Religious intolerance, cronyism and economic classes are much more exagerated here, and I find it disheartening.

    Tthis is not what America is REALLY about.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  14. Paul Elford - Ottawa Canada

    This could be a choice between vice presidential candidates. McCain is old and has health problems and could die in office. Some redneck could assassinate Obama. I don't know much about Biden but Palin scares me.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  15. Linda, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I've watched the last 8 years in quiet bereavement for a country I feel is lost. What no Islamic terrorist could do, the Bush-Rovian playbook has accomplished, making sure that differences between the Left and the Right becomes hatred, pure and simple. So sad that we worried all these years about radicals from other countries, when our own government has worked to divide and destroy from within. May God forgive us all.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Alex in Los Angeles

    There are two Americas already. In one America people believe in science, technology, progress. In another America people believe world is flat and Bush is a good President.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  17. Mari in NW Indiana

    ~ Amen !!!!!!!!!!! Beautifully stated and oh so true. It is a shame things seem to be progressing in this direction, and as you stated this does not represent the politics John McCain has fought for all his career.......well, it appears he condones them, as it's his party spurring them on. Libel......Slander......and Spindoctoring. It's no wonder so many Americans trust NO ONE and are worried about what "IF" the Republicans win the White House....will this all just get worse?. Sad, sad, sad.......but kudos to you on a great article.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  18. Chad in Iowa

    Jennifer – Well said. It's too bad more reasoning people don't post on these boards. Thank you!

    October 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  19. BM - Minneapolis

    I am a real American. I work, contribute, pay lots of taxes, vote, believe in God, and care deeply about my country. That is precisely why I am voting for Obama and against Bachman.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Katran Miller

    Bush ran on a platform of "real Americans = people who agree with me" and called people unpatriotic for having other opinions - as if it was anti-American to disagree. The 2008 RNC flashed images of "patriots" - always Republican - and made a sharp distinction between "us" and "them". The McCain campaign's rhetoric has largely been about "real Americans" versus "you other folks" who are equated with terrorists, socialists, Muslim (which is now a dirty word), blacks, liberals, and so on. Colin Powell was right on, just as Lincoln was: a house divided against itself cannot stand. Whereas Obama has consistently arguing for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for years (see his powerful 2004 DNC speech). His approach is desperately what this country needs, not more polarizing speech that encourages the nut jobs to spew and foment MORE hate and fear.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  21. Carol

    Because, as objective citizens of the world,they see McCain for what he truly is- An unwilling prisoner of an unpopular war who now thinks that he is entitled to the Presidency of our great country. My father was a WW2 vet who spent 3 years of his life in trenches all over Europe- McCain doesn't measure up to him. My father was honest, intelligent and NEVER expected anything in return for his service to this country! Barack Obama will restore Americas' Dignity and respect abroad and will help us pull ourselves out of the cesspool into which we've been thrown under Bushs' "leadership". By the way, for all you Rush Limbaugh groupies, this is not a racist endorsement- I am a Caucasian, middle class, working woman (RN)-and my family income is less than 250,000/yr. (I suppose that those of you voting for MCCain won't mind being reminded that YOUR votes are all about race- that is, if we are to follow Limbaughs' logic...

    October 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  22. Phil

    If the news media would do their job and report the facts about the candidates in this election – the emotion would subside. People are not stupid. So much is being covered up about Obama by the news media. If McCain had the shady connections as Obama – McCain would have been history a long time ago. The news media would have reported fully to the voters. Not so with Obama. They do not report and cover for this candidate. Obama is so far left – he cannot see the mainstream democrats in this country. Obama makes John Kennedy and Johnson appear to be republicans by today's standards.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  23. Anna

    "This is ugly and it has to stop."

    October 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  24. Jeremy

    When I was attending Florida State University in the late 90s, I was regularly treated to lectures on the evils of white males, or just whites in general, or Christians, and nobody ever called it divisive. In fact, this chopping up of people into various groups and focusing the ills of some while celebrating the other was considered healing and unifying.

    Although I had done nothing wrong to anyone, I was simply born with a certain color skin and gender, I graduated feeling like I wasnt even part of teh same country as the self-described "healers".
    So, dont like the "two Americas" rhetoric? Boo hoo hoo.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  25. Mark

    Part of the reason why America is so divided is people obtain their news from extrememly bias new outlets. For example, liberal folks watch Keith Oberman and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, while conservative americans only obtain their news from Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly on Fox. Both groups refuse to watch the other groups news programs. Same holds true for talk radio. So, this results in people only hearing one side of the story over and over again. ALL Americans must take the initiative to open their mind to a different view, then make a decision and form an opinion.

    Equal responsibility must also be placed on media outlets and require journalists to engage in journalistic integrity – relaying a news story in an unbiased fashion, and allowing the viewers to make their own opinions.

    Rachel Maddow, Keith Oberman, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and the like all need to go back to Journalism School and learn to report FACT, not OPINION.............

    October 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  26. Brett from Oriskany,VA

    Remember Nixon's silent majority,same folks different name. The republicans have used division as a tactic for years. In the 60's this nation was almost as divided as it was in the Civil War. Bush used this tactic in 2 campaigns when relatively nationally unimportant issues like gay marriage and abortion were use to solidify the religious right and take the center of real issues like Iraq, Now the republicans in McCain raise up the old silent majority from the grave, focus on "patriotism" and Obama's uniqueness from their America. They can't mention race but out here in SW Virginia talk of Obama being,Muslim, the Antichrist, a socialism are really euphemisms for race. People out here are voting for Obama because he's black. These are Pain's people. Republicans seem to think that they have a monopoly on "patriotism". Clinton gets impeached for sexual misconduct, but Bush lies to start a war and its patriotic. Kerry, a decorated Vietnam vet is "swift boated" but McCain, whose military record is scarred with misconduct, death, and accusations of being a traitor in Hanoi is left to perpetuate his sel made myth of heroism. Why? Division, in the final analysis, is not what we need in times of war and economic crisis.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  27. Kenneth

    The McCain campaign does not have a set of consistent messages and a clear vision for this country and it's role in the global arena like Obama's campaign has, and McCain proved how reckless he can be when he chose Ms Palin as his running mate, a disastrous choice only uniting a conservative base that has always lacked understanding the strenghts of the diversy...

    October 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  28. Dave

    I hate to break Mr. Avlon's bubble, but many would agree that there are no less than a myriad of Americas, depending on where you go and whom you talk to. This presidential election has done a lot to uncover "the real America", by virtue of how people have responded to the candidates.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  29. Ryan

    We are a "house divided". We have been divided into competing groups, one against the other: Red v. Blue, Rich v. Poor, Black v. White, and in this division we have been utterly complicite. James Madison warned against the dangers of "faction" in "The Federalist", that it would be one of our country's greatest challenges. Agreeable disagreement seems a thing of the past, indeed to actually listen to an opposing view these days is seen by some as a sign of weakness.

    The problem is that we are facing real problems that demand real leadership. We The People may no longer have the luxury to treat politics as a reality TV show. Basing our decisions upon irrational fears and a narcissistic desire to see ourselves in our candidates are indulgences we simply cannot afford. Maybe 10 years ago, not now.

    Whoever wins this election is going to actually have to lead this nation in challenging times. How will that be accomplished if the candidates spend the next 2 weeks alienating roughly half of the country?

    October 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  30. RSB Texas

    I couldn't agree more. If I hear another friend explain that he supports McCain because they 'just don't trust' Obama, I'm going to puke. I wish we could have a campaign about the issues rather than painting opposing candidates with mean spirited and often misleading or deceitful personal attacks. We as Americans are better than this.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  31. Nat

    It's naive to think that this country will ever be inclusive of other races.
    America tries to portray itself to other nations as the leader of the free world while it's citizens are still shackled by injustice and hate.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  32. Ken H

    But did not the Democratic nominee state that things were different for BLACK America versus White America and that he was going to bring it together. And that Sunday is the Most segregated day .

    All my life has been largely defending my blackness in a white suburb..but not to the whites but to my black relatives. they want it black so that they can get special treatment for the wrongs done to their parents and ancestors. I choose to rise above and possibly become President myself one day.

    There are 2 Americas in my view and mostly caused by my own race.

    My friends accept me but many of their parents do not because of how they feel treated by reverse prejudice.

    I think we should turn the government over to 16-18 year olds and let us be our natural accepting selves.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  33. Sandra

    I still believe in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA not the divided states of america.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  34. Mac Texas

    I really believe it is time to allow our government to address the important issues like a crumbling economy, a failed foreign policy and a war that was based on lies. Churches and families have
    stepped forward to deal with the social and moral issues for many decades, so our government needs to stay out of that. I have lived a long life now and can honestly say that no group or individual has ever tried to force me to have an abortion or to marry a homosexual,
    Our Republican Party needs to keep it's mind on government and out of everything else. Once they have mastered all of our government issues, then they can devote some time to trying to police my Religion and moral life.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  35. Rachel Farris

    I totally agree that we need unity now more than ever in America. Now you see why Colin Powel has gone to Obama. He is tired of the McCain/Palin rhetoric and so am I and probably a lot of other people.
    Palin should be talking about how to solve problems instead of making them. She is no more qualified than the ordinary alley cat. I can't even stand to hear her voice. McCain is just as bad and if they lose.....good enough. They should. I am a senior, white female who has gone through many elections but this one is absolutely the worse of the worse and therefore, I am voting for Obama. Not just because of that because he has offered solutions that only McCain/Palin have parroted and ridiculed. Get her off the streets! Remind McCain what he fought for and not just for freedom of speech. It is being abused.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  36. Juju Taylor

    This report is great. How can a house divided stand? It cannot. American has always been place for people to rebuild their life. by chance some people become part part of a small commuity of people, and other's like the glam of big cities. it's does not change the fact that we are all blood. We have thoughts alike, we eat with the same type of mouth. But, we all all here to live. Some American's tend to attack what they consider non-breeded Americans when the ecomony is bad, and when they want others to feel inferior. It's a weakness that grow hatred. It's a weakness that grow rapidly in some parts of this nation. The botton line is this, this nation has to regroup. We have sold ourselves to nations that are not people of God. The nation was temporary wealthly for doing it. Now everything this nation sold, in reagrds to our Beliefs, our ethics, or cultures, enjoyment had been sold for money. The same money that is now gone, or lost in investments and the stock market. When a nation place cards with the Satan, they always lose. Don't divide the nation, or worst times are on the way. A nation called by God's name should always honor His word. The Consitution, the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and Morals should always be the forforth of our decisions. Let America Be an Honest America! Let America stand for Americans first! When I say American's I do not mean American born, but everyone that has become a citizen of this American and that want to honestly follow what it is to be Americna. When a person lives his country, he must leave the negative influences. Let freedom ring, but let us stay America.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  37. Shawn the Partisan

    There are two Americas, but it's foolish to divide them simply among where people live. It's cultural, and cultures defy physical boundaries. Some in America believe the answer to our ills is government, others believe it's the root of our problems. Some demand universal health care, others find it laughable to trust government with such a task. Some think they entitled to the wealth of others, while others believe they are entitled to the fruit of their own labors. So when one boils it down, you have one side that believes in being self sufficient, self reliant, and independent from the nannying of the state. The other does not. The leftist notion that the slide toward socialism is "American" is a farce and insulting to the founding of this republic.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  38. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    Wow– well said, John P. Avalon

    Now, if only those "real Americans" would go back to schools to learn what the constitution is really about, and what it really means to be American, maybe we can find some common ground here.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  39. henry massie

    both parties are pulling the country apart. where are tip o'neil and ronald reagan and the good old boy network that understood the importance of compromise?

    October 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  40. Mik

    When my father come home after fighting in WWII, he said "no matter what you think, you have to treat every one as an equal, anything else is un-American".

    We confirm that every time we pledge alligiance to the flag, "...One Nation...".

    Those who would divide us are un-American. Real Americans believe in "One Nation".

    October 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Pierre ehe

    Please this is a great country. do not divide us when we all are trying to stay together. I have question for Palin. Is Palin a Christian?
    it look like this woman is going to destroy and divide this country if she gets to the White House. Believe if America elects Obama for President, this country will change forever and the entire world will see America briantly with new development. Also the racism will go down, that is the good this for the country.
    pierre EHE

    October 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  42. kaydeedee, nashville tn

    Thank you for echoing my feelings and those of my family and friends. I watch and hear this vitriol and a shiver of fear runs up my spine. No one who ACTUALLY puts "Country First" would utter the condescending, divisive words that are stoking the fires of hate around our nation. Perhaps "Win At All Costs" should be the slogan of McCain/Palin. Pundits keep talking about McCain's honor, but that ship has sailed, folks. He would rather divide our country, stir up fear and loathing, than lose the election. And the machine behind him, from Palin to Schmidt and Davis (you too, Rove), are despicable in their scorched-earth strategy, one that doesn't give a damn about the damage they've done to our nation. A divided country is one that will have more difficulty rising up from its many serious problems. Thanks a lot, Dividers.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  43. C. D. Rossini, Jr.

    It may not be good leadership to say it, but there two very different value systems in America, held by most of elite America (media, government, the academy) and one held by most of main street Americans. One need only look to the huge audiences for conservative and religious radio and FOX news. There are also audiences for conservative Web sites, books and magazines.

    The content of this alternative media goes well beyond disagreement with policy issues to address a different understanding of American values than most mainstream media and even the fundamental understanding of the Constitution and common law.

    You may not like it, may say it less than ideal, but there you have it.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  44. James Coffee

    Although Mr. Avlon's analysis is mostly accurate, it should be noted that, since America is indeed a "melting pot," we become less diverse over time (because we are "melting" together.) Therefore, we cannot say that the Republicans are "betting on the past;" they are quite clearly, simply fear-mongering.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  45. Barbara Bobb

    I couldn't agree with this essay more. When did we stop thinking "we" and begin thinking of "us" and "them"? I am sickened by the kinds of statements that are being made. I think it is the labeling that is dangerous because it promotes that Us and Them mentality. The other thing that really bothers me that the news media did not make enough of a point about was John McCain's answer to the lady who said she thought Barack Obama is an Arab...By saying that "no he's not an Arab, he's a good man" (that's paraphrasing), it implies that there is something wrong with being Arab. Colin Powell was the only person who eloquently took issue with McCain's response. I taught in an Islamic School and saw kids harrassed and made fun of because of their religion and "foreignness"and was constantly dismayed about it. We need to educate ourselves –Muslim, Arab, Iraqi, terrorist are not synonyms. I was so excited about the fact that both candidates promised a campaign without negative divisiveness and now I feel a heavy heart and saddened by what has happened. Negative ads that point out what one thinks is wrong about the other's policies is fine, but attacking someone as not being "American enough" or patriotic goes beyond the pale. My estimation of McCain (someone I admired) has gone down immensely. We deserve better in a leader. I hope that Obama gets elected.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  46. Marilyn Van Dyke

    The election cannot come fast enough and be over. All this pro-America voter who could only vote for McCain has truly caused a division. I'm living in rural Michigan for the last month...it is dangerous. I was told there are KKK members in the nearby town...unreal. However, Obama signs have been disappearing, and someone had their American flag taken along with it. I now bring mine in at night. I was told there was a car with an Obama sticker on it that got painted black. An Halloween is coming....I'm moving the car closer to the house and bringing in the Obama signs and just praying nothing happens. Now there are campaign ads citing Obama not holding his hand over his heart when the (they say)National Athem was played, not wearing his flag pin, and taking a American flag off his plane and replacing it with an Obama emblem. Gee, that circulated in Florida 6 months ago! However, these racist rural groups are flamed further by ads like these and campaign rallies with Palin, etc. furthering such anti-American sentiment. I'm a child of the 60's being in college then...I cannot believe I'm seeing this all again! I'm not sure anyone will be able to unite people who behave this extreme...but what about the other Republicans out there?

    October 21, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  47. Nick

    I guess dividing Americans alongs the $250,000 mark doesn't warrant a mention.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  48. Andy

    I am disgusted by the splitting of America. I recently even had a campaign flag stolen from my front yard. I did not join the United States Marine Corps and serve my country to protect only the rights of one political party, republican or democrat. I may not agree with what someone says but it is their right to say it. I am sadened that the memory of those who have fought and died for this county is being tarnished by the divisive philosophy of ignorance and hypocrisy. These politicians that spew this venom tarnish the foundation of our nation. May I remind them that the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights state:
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    It is my right to disagree with my government and many have died for that right. Please stop destroying the memory and discrediting those who have died for this right!

    October 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  49. SHERRY

    You are not red states, nor blue states but the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!! United you stand, divided you fall. Under a Obama/Biden ticket the USA will be united within its own borders and will help to unite other areas of the world that are in conflict now. Dont be fooled by the Republicans; John McCain is part of the old school, he is just too angry and eratic and his VP choice is just plain scary.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  50. Joyce from Jacksonville, Florida

    I am ashamed of these so-called Republican patriots who endorse
    black people if they are Republican, but if they are different from
    their biased views, they are BLACK! I hope that we come out of this
    election intact. I am apalled at the hate shown by people like Palin,
    Limbaugh, et al. John McCain has always been my idea of honorable,
    but no more. If he wants to be president so badly that he forsakes
    his core beliefs, he is pathetic.

    October 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
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