I’m still trying to process this whole “and now we boo at the military” and “and now we politicians don’t even bother to thank a dude for his service” change in the Republican party. I’m liberal, so I’m used to there being some jackasses in our crowds who don’t know how to comport themselves. And I know how it usually plays along class and regional lines. Liberals with rural and/or poor roots are the least likely in any crowd to be booing military people, because we know so many people in the military. Our boo-ers are almost always young idiots who are just becoming politically active and their anger feels, to them, righteous and therefore unquestionable. If you don’t like it, get out of their way. Occasionally, it’s some older idiot. But only rarely.
I don’t know how to read the few jackasses at a Republican presidential debate who would boo gay service-people. I just don’t know what to make of it.
But I have to tell you, the part I find stunning is that not a single politician on that stage said “Thank you for your service.” Or said to the audience, “Enough of that. We can disagree in this country without disrespecting the people who are willing to give their lives for it.” It’s not like they don’t know the possibility for jackasses in the audience is there. They had people cheering for letting uninsured people die, for executing a bunch of people–they know the crowds are rowdy and prone to outbursts that play strangely outside of the room.
And no one had thought through potential responses? No, they couldn’t have known it would be the gay soldier that set the crowd off. But they knew the chances were good that the crowd would be set off by something.
And that it was a soldier?
This is the other thing I don’t know. The mere rumors of people spitting on Vietnam soldiers was enough to put a sliver of permanent doubt between the military and Democrats. How does silence by presidential candidates when a soldier is booed play? How does not one word of thanks play?
My feeling is–who cares about the crowd? There’re always assholes. But I find it stunning that the people who want to lead us would show such an open lack of respect, a refusal to not even defend, but just to stop the rudeness directed at, a member of the military?
I don’t know how it reads to others, but it read like cowardice to me. How can you stand there and say nothing when you are arguing that you’re fit to run the country? How can you lead a nation if you won’t even lead at a debate?
And what does the military make of that, watching Americans back home booing a guy on active duty?
Could the Republicans be stupid enough to loose the military vote?