I saw parts of last night’s debate and was surprised by this response, too:
A bit of a startling moment happened near the end of Monday night’s CNN debate when a hypothetical question was posed to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Wolf Blitzer asked.
“Yeah!” several members of the crowd yelled out.
If you listen, it also sounded like a few people booed at that reaction.
This comes just a few days after the audience applauded the news that over 200 people in Texas had been executed under Gov. Rick Perry. Meantime, last night, Perry reiterated that he feels his executive order on Gardasil was a mistake, but one that he made because he is in favor of life.
UPDATE: A few other people are noting the “let’s applaud death” phenomenon at the debates, including Peter Wehner, over at Commentary:
Sometimes deaths can be justified; other times they are merely tragic. But whatever the circumstances, there is a troubling coarsening of people’s moral sense when they begin to cheer the loss of life. Even if you believe in the death penalty, it strikes me as inappropriate to applaud hundreds of executions. And to cheer even the hypothetical death of a comatose individual because he decided against having health insurance is slightly sick.