I was reading this post by a favourite lefty last night and getting pretty depressed at the US’s massively greater propensity for hysteria than our own political culture – maybe it goes back to the witch trials in Salem, or perhaps the madness the South pre and post Civil War (up to around the 1960s). Voluntary voting doesn’t help and a recent alternative hypothesis is the competitiveness of communities in the US – the fact that it’s so big and economically and culturally homogenous that people are forever graduating to their own Private Crazy Idahos.
Anyway for whatever reason, after fanning the flames of hatred towards Obama – “is he one of us?” – McCain seems to have gone to one of his town hall meetings and deliberately tried to hose down the psychosis amongst (a quite sizable group of) those attending his rallies and town hall meetings. Is this because he’s reverted back to the ‘earlier McCain’ who was supposed to be a person of integrity come what may, or is it just the latest knee jerk change of pace when confronted with the failure of his escalating divisiveness. Who knows and who cares. But I must admit I’m deeply, relievedly grateful, and so somehow disposed to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’ve seen politicians at relatively close quarters who were quite different in private to the way they came over on camera (not saying their on camera persona was necessarily a less true representation of them though but! ;) Anyway, rejoice to some moderation in the American tendency towards violent extremes.