Support the Troops – but only if they are like me…
Support the Troops – only if they are like ME
Yesterday – the GOP presidential candidates had yet another debate. You may remember that at a prior debate, when asked a question about whether to let a man die who didn’t have insurance – the audience chanted “let him die”. That amazed me – but being in the spirit of “I got mine, screw you”, I guess that is completely within their comfort zone.
Then last night, another shining example of the narrow-mindedness of this bunch. A soldier in Iraq sent in a question – and was booed. A soldier in uniform, downrange, was booed. Why? Because he’s gay; because he has come out; because he asked the candidates what they would do about the DADT repeal. A man in uniform – booed by members of a party who have made supporting the troops a center post of their “policies”; the party that lambastes liberals with the “liberals hate the troops and are therefore traitors”; the party that claims only THEY support the troops, that only THEY are the true Amurricans. I’m waiting to see the reaction from the right wing military support groups – so far “crickets”. This is a soldier. This is a man in uniform. The constant drumbeat of support the troops – does that mean ALL the troops? does it? It should. But so far… I’m not seeing it.
What was almost worse – because after all, these were the “totally randomly chosen” audience members (if these were like most debates, only carefully chosen members of the party were invited) –was the lack of response from the candidates! Where was their spine, their conscience? Where was their indignation at the disrespect shown to a service member in uniform? Where was their class; where were their manners? Are these NOT the candidates who wrap themselves in the flag and furiously denounce anyone who dares to criticize the military?
Oh, but I forgot – this soldier was NOT like them. This soldier, who puts his life on the line for those very same audience members, who leaves his family and his loved ones for months at a time, who lives in conditions most of these audience members cannot fathom is [gasp] GAY!! That somehow makes him less than the straight soldier next to him; that makes him less patriotic; that makes him less worthy of respect and thanks.
No – he’s not less worthy of support, respect and thanks. These candidates whose vapid response when asked about the audience reaction said that was “unfortunate”… any respect I would have had for any of them (and let’s be serious here, I had very little for them prior to this) flew RIGHT out the window. As for the members of the audience, they lived up to every expectation I had of them. Their behaviour simply reinforces my overwhelming distaste for everything they stand for, the narrow-minded hypocritical thinking that drives many of those in this group.