Explaining the Booing: Perspectives from Texas and Taiwan

I try to resist quoting messages that merely exemplify, rather than explaining or effectively advocating, points of view that I think are wrong-headed or bigoted. But every now and then....

Here is a message from a lawyer who is the "name partner" in a firm in the Dallas area. He objects to my saying that people at the Fox News/Google debate were wrong to boo a soldier now serving in Iraq, after the soldier said he was gay and asked about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy -- and that the candidates on stage should have said something about the incident. The lawyer sympathizes with the booers and says:

>>They weren't booing his "service."  They were booing the fact that the United States military now has sacrificed the ability to effectively defend us to accommodate someone's fetish.

Of course, the irony is, that by basically doing away with national defense, we make it much more likely that our gay "soldiers" will be killed by some sharia compliant morality goons back home once we have succumbed to the anti-Semites we saw at the UN [during the Abbas and Netanyahu speeches].  (I'm sure your old boss, Jimmy Carter, couldn't wipe the grin off his face thinking about establishing a Judenrein Israel.)<<

Lawyers make their living by their skill in drawing distinctions and their precise use of words. If you'd like one who thinks and writes this way, I can steer you to him.

For an alternative hypothesis, here is one from an American reader:

>>Perhaps it is a small and very silly fantasy but suppose a gay Navy seal announced himself and it turned out to be the man who shot Osama?<< 

And another from our friends at Next Media Animations in Taiwan. This one has its overly coarse moments*, but it gets its point across.

*In response to some puzzled queries: the most gratuitously coarse part of this video will make more sense if you think about the problems that the candidate on stage during the "soldier-booing" episode, Sen. Santorum, has had with Google.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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