Courage and Leadership

During the Fox Republican Presidential Debate the other night, an openly gay soldier was jeered by some members of the audience, after asking a question about “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.”

While the audience’s reaction was disappointing, it wasn’t all that surprising. There will always be a certain percentage of knuckleheads in every crowd.

What was surprising was the reaction from the candidates. None of them spoke up or challenged the crowd in any way. I know I have come up short myself in the courage department from time to time, so I may be dancing on the edge of hypocrisy, but didn’t every would-be president miss a leadership opportunity that night?

I would have felt a lot better about any candidate who would have said, “How can anyone in this auditorium possible jeer one of our soldiers, especially someone who has deliberately put himself in harm’s way in order to protect our liberities? There is something fundamentally un-American, and something downright cowardly in jeering someone who has the courage to be himself.”

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