I listened to a woman in her early 50s across the table mock Obama as “The One” and “The Messiah” and scorn his policy for spreading the wealth. Then she dropped this bomb: “You know if I ever opened the newspaper and read headlines that something tragic had befallen Barack Obama, I tell you I wouldn’t shed a tear.”

My spoon froze on its way to my mouth. I heard our host, a Republican, shout at the woman, his sister. “How can you say that? That is beyond the pale. That is simply beyond the pale!”

There was much more screeching and protesting, but the woman repeated her explosive comment once again, justifying her horrid thought with: “I’m just being honest.”

I must sadly assure you that I have heard as bad, or worse, from casual acquaintances as well as from people I am otherwise proud to consider friends.

However, as a semi-conservative-libertarian in an overwhelmingly majority Democrat area (Atlanta), I usually hear such hatefulness expressed in the other political direction.

In your situation, I would draw some hope from the fact that the host took his sister to task for her comment. And, if I understand you correctly, several others at the table, conservatives all, spoke up in objection. I can’t deny that her like exists, just as I have experienced her opposite number on the left, but let us be aware, and thankful, that they occupy the fringe, not the mainstream of their respective points of view.

About Barack Obama
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