For the second week in a row, talk of letting people die has elicited cheers from the audience at a Republican presidential candidate debate. If once is a "one-off" or a "one-time" thing, what's twice? The start of a trend perhaps? Death, it seems, gets the Tea Party off.
At last night's Tea Party Express sponsored debate in Tampa, Debate Mediator Wolf Blitzer asked Congressman Ron Paul if a 30-year-old man should be left to die if he suffered a major catastrophe but had no health insurance, eliciting screams of "yeah" and applause from the audience. The screams echoed those shouts of encouragement when last week's mediator, Brian Williams, mentioned Texas Governor Rick Perry had overseen 234 death row executions, more than any other governor in modern times.
Ironic, huh? This is the group that tried to bring down President Obama's health care proposition with wild (and fabricated) warnings that the Democrats would be creating death panels. I seem to remember Tea Party hero Sarah Palin claiming that the Democrats would decide who lived or died "based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy." That, quite obviously, would have been a bad thing.
So what about letting a young man die because he didn't get health care? Or being excited about executions?
Health care and the death penalty may be wildly different issues, but the markedly similar responses at the debates bring but one conclusion: human beings are merely pawns in their political and financial game. They pretend to value life when it pleases them, but when it will cost them money, humans aren't worth a whole lot. That's not simply macabre. It's hypocritical.
It's OK, it seems, if society abandons a man who can't afford health insurance and allows him to die because that person was dumb enough to get hit by a drunk driver, be sitting on their own porch when a train derailed, or be walking down the street when a gang member starts shooting off a gun. And if you want to go by the volume of the cheers -- hey, it worked for vaudeville -- it's even better for society to actively kill a person, to be the one to plunge a needle into his arm. Because despite the fact that nearly 200 people have been released from death row in this country based on wrongful convictions, speeding people's way to the pearly gates is cheaper than making sure you got the right guy.
Does cheering the concept of people dying feel wrong to you? How about hypocritical? Check out the cheers and the "yeahs" during last night's debate:
Image via YouTube