1. a person who shows zeal.
2. an excessively zealous person; fanatic.
Zealots are easy to fire up. They are much more difficult to calm down. It looks like the McCain campaign has realized that and, at least John McCain himself, is getting a little uneasy with what’s been unleashed.
Sam Stein/The Huffington Post: McCain was responding to a town hall attendee who claimed he was concerned about raising a child under a president who “cohorts with domestic terrorists such as [Bill] Ayers.” Despite the fact that McCain and his campaign have repeatedly used Ayers to hammer Obama in recent days, the Arizona Senator tried to calm the man.
“[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,” he said, before adding: “If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”
The crowd groaned with disapproval.
Later, McCain was again pressed about Obama’s “other-ness” and again he refused to play ball. “I don’t trust Obama,” a woman said. “I have read about him. He’s an Arab.”
“No, ma’am,” McCain said several times, shaking his head in disagreement. “He’s a decent, family man, [a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
It’s important for this election to be heartily fought–for ideas to be vetted before the voting public. We should know what each candidate stands for. What is wrong is to fire up zealots through incendiary language and vitriol. That can’t be turned off and could easily become a ticking time bomb.
Do I need to go into specifics here for you to know why we need to worry? The language needs to be toned down now. Senator McCain’s answers today are a good start.