In a previous comment, I used the word Nigger.
Does that make me a racist, a bigot, or a "hate-monger"?
It just seems to me that in the current political arena, all three sides, the liberal republican, looney liberal and absolutely batshit insane liberal, are afraid of words, lest they disenfranchise even a single voter.
Not that I want a bunch of candidates sitting around the debate podiums screaming "Bitch!" "Coon! "Conservative!" But I do expect people who want to lead our country wouldn't toss veiled accusations of racism (or any other -ism) each other. Simply because such attacks cause the other candidate to defend themselves--and you can't prove a negative.
You can't prove that you are NOT a racist. You can't prove that you are NOT sexist. You can't prove God does NOT exist. So tossing around poorly-veiled accusations should be beneath our candidates.
The other reason I used the word "nigger" was to illustrate a point.
If we can't as a society address an issue as simple as an impolite word, without having to refer to it euphemistically, how can we expect to address issues which require intelligence over emotion like stem cell research, religion, and war. It's roughly the same thing as referring to menstruation as "a monthly visitor" or the mentally retarded as "challenged." While both terms are descriptive, neither of them refers directly to the issue. If candidates will dance around an issue as ridiculously unimportant as choice of adjective, can they be expected to address issues as diverse as race relations?