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woodcutter's avatar

Are those "YEAH" answers from the audience in the last Tea Party debate going to come back and haunt them later?

Asked by woodcutter (16224 points ) September 18th, 2011

When our man Wolf was questioning DR. Ron Paul about what to do with the guy who was in a coma with no insurance…let him die?
And his reply was the guy should make his own decisions. While in a coma? He’s the Doc so what did he mean by that? Apparently there are T. partyers who want people to hurry up and die already? Is that right? I would appreciate some explanations from the T.P.ers here. I already know how the liberals might feel.

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14 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sorry, Colbert says it better than I could.

Nullo's avatar

Well, there are documents that you can sign stipulating what to do in case you find yourself in a coma…
You know perfectly well that the Tea Partiers don’t want people to hurry up and die already. It’s possible that they haven’t thought it all the way through, but they’re not a bloodthirsty lot.

The question as stated suggests that there is no alternative to dying if not insured; this isn’t the case now, and I don’t think it will be in the future, either. Indeed, a universal health care system would be more likely to sever someone’s support – they could hardly afford to keep a vegetable around, year after year after year.

sinscriven's avatar

I would assume he meant the right course of action would be things that were declared in things like living wills, DNR orders, and things like that. Paul isn’t a very compassionate or humanistic guy, so his answer was consistent with his platform and libertarian ideals.

I hope that guy who yelled “YEAH!” chokes to death on a stale walmart brand twinkie.

woodcutter's avatar

It sounded like there were 3 maybe 4 different YEAH votes if I heard it all right. But did it taint the movement some or will it be brushed under the rug before nomination time? The thing is, I didn’t see any of the people perched behind those podiums on stage seem repulsed by the exited calls for pulling the plug. We all understand that at this juncture of the campaign the candidates have to appeal to the crazies of their base to get approval, and after that they try to chill out to harvest the middle voters in the general. This just seemed fucked up…even for conservatives.

kheredia's avatar

It worries me that none of the candidates said anything to correct those guys in the audience. None of them came forward with a responce to that unruly behavior. It makes me wonder if they even considered that responce to be wrong and unreasonable. What ever happened to compassion in this country? I thought we were the UNITED states of America not the EVERY MAN FOR HIS OWN states of America. I was very disappointed with all the candidates because of their poor responce to this repulsive behavior.

CaptainHarley's avatar

This whole thing is overblown and ridiculous.

woodcutter's avatar

I know the lead up to election time can get heated but this is new territory. Was it people just getting ahead of themselves in the moment or, is it really the way the right feels? I’ll go out on a limb and assume there were more than a few in the audience who felt embarrassed by that. You can’t be the party of no and cry “class warfare” and do that at the same time, and not look like hypocrites.

woodcutter's avatar

@CaptainHarley Thanks Captn for those words of wisdom right there. If you overheard someone talking that hooligan talk about someone you cared about, it would not sound overblown. I’m thinking you would be ready to fight. I would.

nikipedia's avatar

I think the tea party has already shown itself to be so outrageously offensive and stupid that this incident is par for the course. It won’t alienate anyone who hasn’t already been alienated.

“Let him die” is a logical extension of their philosophy. At least they’re consistent.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The “yeah” shouts came before Ron Paul responded to anything, so I don’t see how they can be set to his account. The same could be said of the other candidates, as well. As for not making an explicit comment on the audience’s behavior, Oratory 101 tells us the best way to disagree with an audience—especially one that is on your side—is not to call out individual audience members. The proper response is not to say “you’re wrong,” but to try changing minds with your answer. Then, when asked about it later, Paul and the others should just say something like this:

“People started shouting in the middle of the question. Was it because they thought it was a good question? Was it because they thought we really should just pull the plug on everyone without insurance? No one asked them, so we don’t know. What I think, however, is that it was a good question and that the proper response is more complicated than either killing them all or covering them all.”

They will then need an answer to the original question, of course, but this is just a response to the controversy. It has several advantages, not the least of which is that it’s both true and sets the proper rhetorical tone. It respects the fact that people were put off by the shouts without giving credence to the view that they have any deep meaning. It also gives people a way to change their position without embarrassing themselves.

For however much we might not like it, people are more likely to dig in their heels and say “I really think we should pull the plug on everyone without insurance” if the options we given them are “admit you were wrong” or “raise the ante.” But if we give them the options of “you were misinterpreted” or “raise the ante,” people are willing to back off from what may have been merely an extremist impulse that they later thought better of. Did certain audience members reveal something distasteful about themselves? Perhaps. But I’m more interested in getting them to back off of that view than I am in flogging them for their mistake.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Keep in mind that during political activities, there’s always a segment of the audience which has a tendency to get carried away. Approached outside the policially charged atmosphere of things like debates, most people would aver that “pulling the plug” on those without insurance is hardly the humane thing to do.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@CaptainHarley Indeed. Another reason not to get too hung up on this moment of the debate.

cletrans2col's avatar

Since the media has tried their hardest to destroy the Tea Party and many Americans have the share the same uninformed opinions with folks like @nikipedia, it doesn’t matter.

woodcutter's avatar

Are politicians the face of their constituency? Of course no one running for office is ever going to say anything messed up like that, not even in their sleep. But is telling of the people who want them in office. Blitzer handed them a really far fetched example for them to chew on. A guy in his 30’s? who makes enough money to even afford insurance is probably no dummy. Meaning he would be among the last to be caught without coverage. What about those who have no way to have coverage, in the same situation? Would they feel a little more compassion for the poor guy? No.

If nothing else that question, and audience response, and to some extent candidate’s opinions has pulled the hood off the tea party in plain view of everyone. Is it anything we didn’t already know? Probably not, but it’s out there in a structured setting of what was hoped to be some intellectual discussion.
We all have seen the demonstrations with the Hitler signs and all but that was an outside free for all where the nutjobs always gather. In a televised debate? Hmmm.

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