During John McCain's run for the presidency in 2008, he famously defended his opponent, Barack Obama, when a McCain supporter said she didn’t trust Obama, insisting that the Illinois Democrat was an Arab. McCain interrupted her and said, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about." At the same rally, another supporter had said that Obama “cohorts with domestic terrorists” and that Americans would have to fear an Obama presidency. McCain replied that Obama was a very decent person and that there would be no reason to be scared if he won the White House. Instead of indulging his supporters' innuendo, he corrected them and was gracious towards his opponent.
In the current congressional primary contest, it is profoundly disappointing that Becca Balint is allowing a policy disagreement with her opponent, Molly Gray, about campaign financing, to devolve into an insinuation that Gray is anti-LGBQT. Senator Balint would do well to channel Senator McCain’s character and civility and make it clear to her supporters that she and Gray may disagree about campaign financing, but that Lt. Governor Gray is unequivocally an advocate and a defender of the rights of LGBQT+ Vermonters.
Susan Paris Borden