I was struck by recent commentary asserting that Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, made a huge mistake in accusing Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, of using his “risky traits” to instill fear.

I think we could all pretty much agree that there are numerous ways to disrupt or halt conversation. For some, it might be bringing up religion or politics in casual conversation. When talking about race, one sure-fire way to shut someone down is to accuse him of being racist. End of conversation. You win. They lose.

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