Sunday, November 2, 2008

"The culture of life versus the culture of death."

From via HuffPo

Note the feudal terms "dueling" and "fight," even though there was no dueling or fighting, just peaceful demonstrations. What's up with our war metaphor, anyway? Why is everything a war?

Dueling rallies in Phoenix fight for Arizona votes

On one block, they wanted U.S. Sen. John McCain to be their president. On another block, they wanted to divorce him.

Two competing rallies for and against the Republican presidential hopeful were held within blocks of each other in Phoenix on Saturday.

The messages couldn't have been more different leading up to Tuesday's election.

More than 400 people attended a Get Out the Vote rally in support of the Arizona senator at Desert Storm Park near his downtown Phoenix office on 16th Street near Missouri Avenue.

Down the street, a rally protesting McCain's policies at Madison No. 1 Middle School drew about 100 people.

Nancy Bennett of Phoenix listened as U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl and Rep. John Shadegg, both Arizona Republicans, told McCain supporters to talk with their neighbors and take to the phones to help their hometown candidate.

"A lot of people are reevaluating their feelings about Obama because they've really been basing their decision about Obama on feelings," Bennett said. "I think most Americans can get past their feelings and vote for what really makes sense."

Kyl began his comments asking the crowd to yell for McCain loud enough for the other rally to hear them.

He also questioned the validity of polls that show the presidential race is close in Arizona saying they aren't an actual reflection of who will vote for the Republican ticket.

"We need to surprise those guys with a very strong vote on election night," Kyl said. "Not only do we want to show those folks they wasted their money coming to Arizona because it's McCain country, but we got to think about the next two years and four years as well."

Bart and Brenda Tesoriero of Phoenix brought their 13-year-old daughter Hannah to the rally. For the Tesorieros, this year's presidential election is about maintaining support for pro-life policies and preserving the America they know for their children.

"This election is one of the most important in our nation's history," Bart Tesoriero said. "What's at stake here is the culture of life versus the culture of death."

Outside of the rally, people dotted Missouri Avenue holding signs supporting Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Stephanie Hayden of Ahwatukee, along with several other mothers, call voters in swing states when their children are at school to talk about Obama.

"We are just fed up and want our country back," Hayden said. "The past eight years have been a nightmare, and John McCain would be a continuation of that nightmare."

The anti-McCain rally ended with protestors marching to his office where a symbolic divorce ceremony between Arizona and McCain was staged.

Clad in a wedding dress, Lisa Blank, local coordinator of the women's peace organization CodePink, represented Arizona.

"We've been married way too long," Blank said. "A lot of people in Arizona don't agree with his policies, and for him to come out and say he'll be the change for the new Washington, he created the old Washington."

Tim Carpenter, national director of Progressive Democrats of America, said several traditional Republican states are beginning to turn blue.

"Arizona is changing it's not going to be a red state much longer," Carpenter said. "These people know they are progressive and are organizing."

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