Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello & Goodbye to Huntsman.

Huntsman Says He's Quitting G.O.P. Race
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.

Good run, Gov. Huntsman. I look forward to seeing you four years from now. From The New York Times:
Huntsman "formally announced his candidacy in June, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, calling for a more civil kind of presidential campaign and promising a better future than the one that Mr. Obama would provide. 'He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love,' Mr. Huntsman said of Mr. Obama. 'But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.' 
But the campaign of ‘civility, humanity and respect’ that Mr. Huntsman promised quickly faded into the background as his Republican rivals seized the attention — and the support — of a party faithful that seemed more interested in red-meat politics.“
Is this really the party the GOP aspires to be? One that revels in hatred and division, blame and vilification, rather than representing an open-minded and deliberate, but principled, political alliance? I mourn the day that an intelligent, humane and successful leader such as Governor Huntsman is driven from this party -- or at least for all intents and purposes, barred from victory. It signals the disappearance of justice, decency, civility and truth as watchwords of the Republicans, and highlights how ideology, conformity, tribalism and fear have gained ascendancy. Patriotism has been stamped out by nationalism.

This was once the Party of Lincoln. Where is the courage to do what is unpopular but right? Where is the leadership that unites a people, that venerates humanity, that speaks truth to power? Where is the voice for the voiceless, protecting the downtrodden and the minority citizenry? Where is the beacon that seeks reform? That busts the trusts, secures the safety of our comestibles, and offers a Square Deal to every American? The Republicans created the National Parks, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, signed into being the Clean Air and Water Act.

The "grand" vision of the GOP has been lost in the squalor of American politics and small-minded partisan fighting. It has been lost to the plutocratic clutches of corporate donors. It has been ceded to self-absorbed and self-interested wealth. It no longer seeks to educate its citizens to be more broad-minded, noble and loving, but to barricade themselves against science and reason, while xenophobically attacking the new as alien.

I am looking for Republicans, but I see only the mob carrying torches, with demagogues in their midst whispering poison among them. Moral leadership to open the hearts and minds of men has fallen into disfavor. Polls and consultancies do not inform but control. Inspiration has fled, and incitement has moved into its stead. These men do not seek to lead the crowd to protect their rights and the rights of their brethren. They beguile and play rhetorical tricks, stoking the worst of emotions and striking the most frightening of notes. They levy threats, sell destructive tales, rend humanity.

It is the road to disenfranchisement, the atomization of men. It is the splintering of the solidarity in democracy and mutual responsibility that once helped strengthen and guide our Republic. It is an abdication of the worst kind, for it leaves our country vulnerable -- destitute of reason, bereft of a universal sense of ethics.

The Republic is breaking, and we need women and men who care enough to mend it. They will heal society by building communities -- not by tearing them down -- and halt the blasting apart of the nation that has been built over generations by so many dedicated, enterprising, creative and caring hands. Such were the hands that belonged to Americans (plural) -- federalist, democratic, republican, liberal, constitutional Americans. They created a new kind of society that represents a unique and courageous experiment for mankind. May it live for many more lifetimes.

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