I once bought into that ideology that privileged "independence" over party affiliation. As proof of this independence I spoke against hate crime legislation: charge for the crime, I said, not the motivation. And then I read a column by, I believe, Leonard Pitts, who explained that a hate crime is something perpetuated against an entire community, with the primary goal of striking fear into that group. "Oh," I said, "that makes sense."
9/11 changed everything, we're told. But how often do we hear about the effect of 9/11 on Muslims in America? So, when I hear of this, and think of the desperate, scurrilous behavior of the McCain/Palin campaign now, I get scared for my country. And ashamed.