COMMENTARY | During Monday's South Carolina debate, Congressman Ron Paul is seen in a video from Fox News being booed for having the audacity to suggest America's problems with other countries might be caused by how we behave. I suppose some folks don't like being told they're the problem.
While I'm sympathetic to anyone's discomfort during that moment when they first begin to hear the real source of their problems, being offended does not change the fact of the matter. It's understandable that some folks might find it embarrassing to be seen as the source of their own difficulties. But only the most immature and intellectually lazy would not take the lesson as a chance to improve themselves.
The platform of the congressman from Texas offers America the chance to take a new approach. We can never change the errors of our past, but we can change our country's behaviors going into the future. In a speech before the House of Representatives on Feb. 12, 2009, Paul also made valid points of how the American soldiers lost since 9/11 are "not a fair trade-off for the loss of nearly 3,000 American citizens, no matter how many Iraqi, Pakistani and Afghan people are killed or displaced." And that "conservatives, who preach small government, wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government" -- among others. Perhaps he should be booed for speaking the truth there too.
But when any of my fellow Americans decry someone for speaking the truth -- whether it's comfortable and "feel good" or not -- they surrender their right to ever complain about any other politician for lying to them later. If the truth of saying we should perhaps consider the future consequences of our own actions deserves to get booed by a crowd, then we're telling our officials we'd rather hear a comforting lie than an uncomfortable truth. If we would rather a politician tell us what we want to hear, then perhaps we've surrendered all capacity to even deserve our freedom here in America.
Perhaps we deserve no better than Mitt Romney telling us what we want to hear, or Newt Gingrich selling us all down the river for his own, personal gain. Maybe we'd rather let Rick Santorum decide what kind of morality we should all be forced to conform to instead.