Where are the GOP Leaders? Is What we are Seeing the Fringe, or the Mainstream?
You be the judge.
Last night before some friends arrived, I was watching the GOP Debate from Florida.
Most of you know I tend to lean more to the left politically than many of my friends. However, you also know I am not reflexively anti-GOP, have worked on Republican campaigns in the past, and on occasion, when I believe it is the best option, will vote Republican.
But last night, I was stunned. After hearing GOP partisans cheer the death penalty a few weeks ago, I was taken aback. After hearing people say "Yeah, let him die" if someone does not have health insurance, I wondered how far the GOP might go.
Last night I got my answer. The crowd in attendance booed a US Serviceman serving in Iraq, simply because he said he was gay and was in support of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. If you don't believe it, follow this link to Andrew Sullivan's commentary where he has posted the video.
And just like in previous debates, not one candidate for President from the GOP said that type of response was wrong.
We have watched over the years as many conservative pundits and politicians have tarred and feathered Muslims for their faith.
We have been told that in the absence of any public rebuke of extremist Muslim views, that we can safely view the entire religion as extremist.
We have been told that at least 10% of the Muslim people are terrorists.
And we have been told that we, as Americans, have a right to look suspect on an entire people group.
Why? For two reasons.
One, a relatively small number of the followers of Islam have gone off the deep end and believe in terrorism.
And two, the apparent lack of Muslim leaders who will publicly say that the actions of that relatively small number of terrorists are wrong and have no place in civilized societies.
It is time that those that advocate this type of stance, step forward and accept their due.
Unless and until we see national leaders from the Republican Party stand up and disavow the words and attitudes of people like Mr. Santorum and the crowds that cheered the death penalty, said "yeah, let him die" and then booed a gay serviceman, it is safe to assume that these views are representative of the entire party.
Where are the national GOP leaders that will say these people do not represent our party?
Where is one elected GOP congressional leader who will publicly state that what we have been watching the last three weeks is wrong?
Republicans, this is your dancing in the streets Palestinian moment. Your masses are booing US Servicemen, celebrating the death penalty, and saying let 'em die to your fellow citizens.
In the absence of any leaders stepping forward, why should we not tar your entire party with the same brush you have used for years to tar Muslims?