At the Fox News Google GOP debate Thursday night an American soldier serving in Iraq was booed by the Republican audience after revealing he was gay.
In a video submission, Stephen Hill, an active duty soldier serving in Iraq, told the Republican presidential candidates that he was “gay,” and that he “had to lie about who he was” because of his sexual orientation. Hill asked if the candidates would “do anything to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers” now that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has been officially repealed.
The Orlando debate audience booed Hill. No one in the Republican audience cheered the American soldier serving his country in Iraq. There were no applause for the brave young serviceman. For many Americans watching, the moment was one of disbelief and profound shame for the Republican party.
Once again a Republican debate audience came across as indecent and insensitive to the pain and suffering of their fellow Americans. This is not the first time a Republican debate audience has engendered disgust and disbelief from their fellow Americans.
Earlier this month, at the Reagan Library, NBC’s Brian Williams directed a question to Texas Governor Rick Perry, a question that began with: “Your state has executed two hundred and thirty-four death-row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times.” At this the Republican audience erupted with cheers, giving what was perhaps the loudest, and what was definitely the most disturbing, ovation of the night.
At yet another recent debate, Republicans cheered the hypothetical death of a fellow American due to a lack of health care. For many Americans, the cheering of state sponsored executions, and the cheering of death by lack of insurance, is a distinct turn-off.
The following is a sample of relevant tweets from Monday nights Twitter stream:
Stephen Hill has to be saying to himself, even the Taliban don’t boo when they see US soldiers. They try to kill us, but they don’t boo.
Can we get a party that’s pro-life, pro-markets, pro-ballsy foreign policy? But doesn’t boo soldiers or threaten Fed chairs with lynching?
Fact: A democrat would not boo any soldier or cheer for #DADT to be re-instituted.
If you are going to boo a solider, please be brave enough to travel to Iraq and say it to his face.
can we go ahead and draft everyone who boo’d this soldier into the military? I think that’d be pretty fair.
Updated tally: 1. Applaud executions. 2. Applaud dying uninsured. 3. Boo soldiers.
Strict Rules for Life: 1) Never hit a woman; 2) Never welsh on a bet; 3) Never boo a soldier.
They boo our solders. How very sad.
GOP debate audiences: YAY executions. YAY poor people dying. BOO deployed soldier. Awesome.
Did people really just boo a US soldier? Shameful.
Applauding record executions in Texas, cheering the death of the uninsured, and now boos for an American serviceman: the GOP is suffering from self-inflicted wounds. Such an insensitive and callous disregard for their fellow Americans is certain to drive the undecideds, the Independents, and even moderate Republicans away from the GOP and into the camp of Obama and the Democrats.