At last night’s GOP debate, a soldier serving in Iraq asked an important question of Republican candidates for president:
Let me list several quick points:
– It’s important to note that not all or even most of the audience booed the soldier. But some clearly did. More importantly, the number of those booing is less important than the fact that none of the candidates on the stage dared to rise in the soldier’s defense and ask that he at least be given a basic level of respect for serving this country. All they saw was gay. As far as I can tell, the only candidate to have personally condemned the booing since the debate occurred has been Jon Huntsman.
– The mere act of appearing on that video took a degree of courage that those booing anonymously could never muster. (I’d also suggest that those who question the ability of gay soldiers to fight and defend this country might not be so willing to say so in this man’s immediate presence.)
– Finally, can you imagine the uproar if members of a Democratic audience on national television had booed an American soldier on active duty in a war zone? The mind boggles at the outrage that would ensue. But again, simply because he’s gay, Stephen Hill is considered fair game. Normal rules of patriotism and simple decency do not apply.
– Jay Bookman