Golden Rule forgotten

Guest Column by Brian Westrick

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The Golden Rule is considered a popular maxim in nearly every culture, religion and people in the world. It notably appears in the Holy Bible, Matthew 7:12. What could be more simple?

We’ve all been taught this rule as far back as kindergarten. It was truly the first rule we were taught when we were children, before we were asked to memorize handbooks, sets of traffic laws, codes of conduct and other restrictions to our own behavior.

It was simple: if you didn’t want someone to do something to you, don’t do it to someone else.

With Christianity being a cornerstone of the modern Republican Party, and the Golden Rule being a cornerstone of Christianity, why is the Golden Rule not only being forgotten by the Christian Right, but being outright booed in the latest Republican debate?

I felt as though I was finally staring into the great abyss where true American values had finally devolved into a pure bloodlust, based entirely upon American Exceptionalism.

However, the scariest part wasn’t that we were applying the typical version of American Exceptionalism, in which America was not subject to some rules that have ruined nations in the past, but that we were not even required to act in any reasonable fashion, or treat our fellow residents of the world as though they matter.

Ron Paul was booed and hissed in South Carolina. Why?

Perhaps, for attempting to introduce to the bloodthirsty crowd the notion that perhaps if the United States wasn’t so aggressive overseas for economic and political gain, that we would have fewer enemies. Therefore we would keep other nations from wanting to do us harm.

Who can really say what it was that incited the hostile reaction from the crowd?

Whether it was painting America as the aggressors in the conflicts in which we are now involved, which is about as ludicrous as… well, gravity. Or perhaps it was the notion that even if we are the aggressors, it would involve admitting we were wrong in our militaristic pursuits. The latter is more understandable, as admitting fault has never been much of a staple of the GOP.

However, it was not the booing of Ron Paul’s suggestions that realized the true terror that I felt from the debates.

It was combining this observation with Mitt Romney’s reaction to Ron Paul when he said, “The right way, Congressman Paul, in my view, is — to keep us from having to go to those wars is to have a military so strong that no one would ever think of testing it.”

This statement was met with cheers. Not only cheers, but a raucous applause.

Gov. Romney not only advocates, but has also largely campaigned on the idea of intimidating our enemies into leaving us alone: creating a military so terrifying that the rest of the world fears to disagree with what we value politically.

This article opened with The Golden Rule, a phrase which appears within the Holy Bible multiple times, which was booed in the GOP debates. You have just read a quote that was massively applauded. Just as a refresher, I would like you all to acknowledge the definition of terrorism, keeping in mind Mitt Romney’s stance, and the resulting applause.

The definition is: “The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”