I did not vote for President Obama. I am not writing to defend his policies or his administration. Many posts on the Internet about the president cross the line and engage in personal attacks and hate speech. It is obvious that many Americans hate this president in ways that I have never seen before. I have seen rhetoric that in my opinion surpasses the far left and their disdain for President Bush.

Is it any wonder many Americans feel that attacks on the president are racially motivated? I am not calling anybody or group racist, but I do believe there is a perception that personal attacks on the president are motivated more by race than politics. This perception is hurting the Republican Party and the conservative movement. I find it interesting that the far right refer to the left as uncivil and then ignore the incivility from within their own ranks.

I hate to see contention, extreme partisanship and political polarization destroy all the good that America has accomplished and stands for. My plea is for those who consider themselves conservatives to tone down the hateful rhetoric and never-ending criticism of our president and focus on restoring civility to our political discourse. We can set the example and rise above the name calling and personal attacks and focus on the issues and challenges that will define our future.

Neil Thomas