By Tim Peacock
|Photo: Dallas Voice|
While they claim to be the most liberty-loving, patriotic people you'll ever meet, many conservatives seem to forget themselves when presented with an image of the country that doesn't conform to their ideal of what our nation should be. Specifically, a good number of conservatives opposed to LGBT protections in San Antonio, TX booed an openly gay disabled Marine veteran yesterday when he voiced support for proposed LGBT and veteran city ordinance protections. The speaker - Former Marine Staff Sergeant and veteran Eric Alva - was the first solider from our country injured in the Iraq War (he lost a leg after stepping on a landmine). According to the Dallas Voice:
Alva, a Marine staff sergeant who became the first U.S. soldier injured in Iraq when he stepped on a landmine, was booed by the crowd when he spoke in favor of the ordinance. Alva lives in San Antonio.
“To all you people that preach the word of God, shame on you because God loves me, like the day I laid bleeding on the sands of Iraq and that’s why he saved me,” Alva said before he left the podium.
Alva wrote on his Facebook page later: “Well I just left city council chambers and I feel like crying. I have never seen a city so divided and hateful towards each other. All of man kind should be ashamed. I already spoke and even some of the religious groups even boo’ed me as I spoke. Such disrespect as they preach the word of God.”
The proposed addition to San Antonio's law would add sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status as protected classes to existing law.
This isn't the first time conservatives have disrespected our military forces, either. Last year during the GOP Republican debates Stephen Hill, a gay soldier serving in Iraq, posed a question to Rick Santorum relating to Don't Ask Don't Tell and what his beliefs were concerning LGBT people openly serving their country. Those in the audience - who can and should be considered core GOP constituents - booed the soldier for his question and opinion. Only when Santorum rebuked the solider for wanting equal access to serve openly did the audience stop booing and begin cheering.
Why is it that many conservatives are pro-liberty and pro-freedom until those liberties and freedoms apply to people and groups they disagree with? Why do they claim to be pro-military and "support the troops" when they openly disparage our men and women in uniform in public settings? The answer is quite simple (and was actually foretold in the adage "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross"): their vocal support of concepts like liberty, freedom, and patriotism are hypothetical and non-dependent on actual events. They've compartmentalized their politics to the point in which they can claim to "support the troops" while they simultaneously boo active and former soldiers to their faces.
This isn't the Republican Party of old; rather, it's the remnants of the GOP post-Tea Party fallout.