I continue to be shook by our partisan divide, a concern that has begun in recent history, but taken a steroid supplement in recent years. I wrote about it earlier this week about Hitler references. The conservative base either does not understand the definition of socialism, or just use the word as a political ploy. Now, we see a complete lack of compassion from the new conservative base.
There have been three times during GOP primary debates where the audience has booed, displaying a disgusting, cold, offensive display of ideological groupthink:
1. September 8, Rick Perry: As governor of Texas, you have executed 234 death row inmates, more than any other governor in modern times.
The crowd booed this statement before the sentence was even finished by the moderator. There is no doubt that the audience was cheering the use of the death penalty. I want to make it clear, this is not an ideological objection for me, I am a supporter of capital punishment, just not to a level of cheering a necessary evil.
This highlights as important difference between the two parties. Conservatives support capital punishment. Progressives support abortion. When leading progressives discuss abortion, their usual quote is “we need to keep abortion safe, legal…” and what else, “and rare”. I cannot imagine at a Democratic debate hearing a moderator ask a candidate if they were proud that their state led in country in abortions, and the crowd would arouse in applause.
For conservatives, there is no concern over the reality that we have killed over 100 innocent people, or the exoneration of over a dozen innocent people schedule to be executed, or that the rate of exoneration are increased to almost two dozen per year as the ability to conduct DNA testing is more and more common. These are the facts and they have no bearing on reality for conservatives. They do not think of the necessary evil, that if we are executing someone, that there must have been a heinous crime behind it with a family that will never recover.
Remember, hard work breeds success in the mind of a conservative. It is black and white. If you are poor, you earned it. No matter what. If you are rich, you earned it. If you are anywhere near a courtroom, you earned it. There are no special circumstances. And while our government is incompetent in every other department, our justice system is flawless (and the military, can’t forget the military). So, we cheer any application of the death penalty as justice.
There is nothing to cheer about with capital punishment.
2. September 13, Ron Paul: Should society let a hypothetical man in a coma die if he were uninsured.
Clearly, the health care law has become prime catalyst for the Tea Party movement and the new conservative base that defines everything the government does as socialism (in the coming weeks, I will have a series about socialism and the economy). So this one doesn’t surprise me, except for the complete lack of humanity.
We are cheering letting the over 40 million people in America, most of which have full-time employment, and should be covered by a conservatives own theory. Instead of at least requiring an employer cover their employees, they simply cheer people dying from medical necessity, and simply denying them anything at all.
The Republican Party has become mean. They want to be the bully, who care for no one at all.
3. September 22, Rick Santorum: Asked by a serving soldier who is gay, would you repeal DADT?
This is admittedly the reaction that could be taken in a mild manner — but after the first two happened only two weeks earlier — the assumption made by most people is that the crowd booed a soldier asking a question about his rights.
This time though, the crowd waiting until the soldier finished his question, and only booed after he asked about repealing DADT. So, they may have booing anyone supporting the repeal of DADT.
What many people do not understand is why has compassion become a partisan value? How can you fly the U.S. flag, talk about the American people, but have a complete disconnect from the issues that are actually affecting the people you love in the country you love. They seem so narrowly focused on taking out of context statement made by men 250 years ago, and theories written on paper hundreds of years ago that they fail to look up and see the situations we are in today.
It is a new day, a different world, a more complex global society.
We need modern answers, unique ideas to solve all these problems.
I remain unconvinced that theories written centuries ago which have never been proven in practice will solve these issues when there are proven answers, implemented in other countries recently, to address the same exact problems we have now, have worked perfectly.
I think this is called something.
Oh. Yeah. That’s right. The scientific method.