In his commencement address at Southern New Hampshire University this afternoon Jon Huntsman continued to display the rationality that will distinguish him from the rest of the GOP field and endear him to independents. He made an appeal for civility and bipartisanship, which will surely stand out amidst 18 months of doom, gloom, and bashing the President from the right.
If we Americans remain civil to each other we can deal with our problems, including the debt crisis that hangs over all of us. After the shooting in Tucson when Representative Giffords was injured, we talked seriously as a nation about civility. Many Republicans and Democrats even sat together at the State of the Union.
Now, if we can just sit together and solve our problems.
I believe America’s values are stronger than her challenges. This country truly does have the democratic and economic resiliency to change without breaking. And civility acts as a lubricant to make the system work.
This is exactly what Huntsman needs to do. While many on the far right recoil in horror at (gasp) bipartisanship, the vast majority of Americans just want the branches of government to work together to figure things out. There will always be challenges from both extremes, but it is the middle that steers the ship. Appeal to the center and you will win. Work with the center and you will govern.
Some republicans think that independents and moderates are crying out to be governed by a far right, socially conservative hothead who would ‘really let Obama and the liberals have it!’ on the stump. I do not believe they are. For all of President Obama’s faults, and in my opinion there are many, he won by running a campaign heavy on optimistic sounding ideals and by presenting himself (with massive amounts of assistance from the press) as a “uniter.” Many have since discovered that it was all a bit of false advertising, but it worked. Huntsman’s tactic, which appears to be reflective of who he has been as a politician, may well prove successful (though hopefully, in this writer’s opinion, without empty slogans like “HOPE”).