Cheering, booing debate goers should be ashamed
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 21:10
The Republican Party and its supporters showed their true colors during each of the last three nationally televised Republican and Tea Party debates.
The parties, known for their pro-life stance and conservative, Christian values, drew harsh criticism this week from President Barack Obama over their lack of support of all military personnel, including those service members who happen to be gay.
But that's just the latest in a string of bad behavior from debate goers who have received silent affirmation from the GOP presidential candidates.
During the debate on Sept. 7, the crowd erupted in cheers at the mention of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's record of 234 executions since he took office in 2000 — an average nearing 20 executions per year and a number that has grown since the debate.
When Ron Paul was posed a series of questions about government health care versus personal responsibility during the Sept. 12 debate, several members of the audience cheered and someone yelled out "yeah!" in response to a question about allowing a hypothetical sick man without insurance to die.
Later in the debate, the same crowd offered boos when Paul rejected the notion of blaming "the entire Muslim world" for the actions that led to and continue to feed the wars in the Middle East.
Most recently, Stephen Hill, a United States soldier currently serving in Iraq who also happens to be gay, asked a question via video feed during the Sept. 22 debate.
His question concerned the repeal of the controversial policy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which was officially repealed two days prior.
He wanted to know if the candidates would work to reverse the repeal.
Before former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum could answer, the crowd booed and jeered. Santorum, who claimed not to have heard the response of the crowd, went on to answer the question without mention of the inappropriate response.
What has American society become? Will we allow ourselves to be defined as a nation of contradiction and hypocrisy?
What does it say about us when those who tout pro-life ideals not only approve of, but also get audibly excited about state executions?
Have we become so hardened and uncaring that we should not only let the uninsured die but cheer them along as they go?
Are we supposed to blindly hate others based upon nothing but their religion?
Do we support some but not all of our military personnel?
These are some tough questions.
Unfortunately, the presidential candidates at the last three debates have perpetuated acceptance of a distorted system of values by not standing up to audience members.
People cheering death: It's deplorable and the audience members involved should be ashamed of themselves.
Booing a U.S. soldier because he's gay: It's disheartening. Our service members put their lives on the line for our freedom. They don't just fight for Democrats. They don't just fight for Republicans and Tea Party supporters. They fight for every single person within the American border.
They fight so that those on death row, the sick, the healthy, the unemployed, the middle-class and the rich can all enjoy the rights bestowed on us by the Constitution of the United States.
They make no distinction, so why do some believe it is appropriate to selectively support our service members based upon their sexual orientation?
Wake up, America, because it's not appropriate at all.
Note to readers: In an interview on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, GOP candidate Herman Cain said that he should have defended Stephen Hill when the audience booed.
Jenny is a junior majoring in environmental engineering. She loves the Boston Red Sox, riding roller coasters, writing poetry and watching science fiction programs.