Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can America Reclaim its Integrity?

It's all about reverse polling, planting seeds of doubt, smear jobs. It's becoming a defining part of American society.

Remember John McCain and the whispering campaign claiming that he had an illegitimate, black baby in his past? You can't forget John Kerry and the Swift Boat brigade.

A low and vile element has crept into American politics that works to confuse voters and play on their worst instincts, an element that is robbing America of its integrity.

Who can forget the Kim Campbell campaign in which the Tories ran an ad mocking Jean Chretien's face? I clearly recall people in my neighbourhood going out and tearing PC campaign signs from their front lawns. There was a torrent of outrage that swept across party lines. It was an affirmation that our integrity would stand above partisan politics and that we would punish those who dared to do these things.

Now this same ugliness is surfacing again in the United States in a campaign to smear Barak Obama. The con job tries to spread the word that Obama is from a radical Muslim family and was educated in a fundamentalist madrassa or Islamist school. It's false but that doesn't matter to a society that has grown indifferent, perhaps even tolerant about these things. The vision is of a closet, radical Muslim with a name one letter off that of America's arch-enemy, taking hold of the White House and subverting the United States to the will of Allah.

Why do people resort to these smear jobs? Because they work. They work well enough to let a completely unqualified Frat Boy with an unaccomplished and chequered background to squeak into the White House to wreak havoc on his nation.

When will this end? Not until the American people repudiate these tactics and punish the perpetrators at the ballot box.

We should all keep an eye on this because there are some in this country who want to take us down this same path. There are those who watch carefully what works in the states, who even consult practitioners of these dark arts, and who would not hesitate to take our integrity from us.

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