Day: November 22, 2011

Jon Huntsman And Ron Paul Shine At CNN National Security Debate, And Newt Gingrich And Rick Santorum Have Some Sensible Thoughts!

CNN held a National Security debate in Constitution Hall in Washington, DC this evening, and it is clear that two laggards in the public opinion polls, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, shone brightly in the Republican debate.

Both Huntsman and Paul came out against the Patriot Act as a denial of civil liberties, with both warning that losing liberty for security is a bad bargain!

Also, both came out for withdrawing from Afghanistan as soon as possible, and focusing on America’s needs, with Huntsman saying intelligence gathering, special forces, and the use of drones could resolve the problems in Afghanistan, and that having large numbers of troops in a foreign country in the modern world was counterproductive. Paul, of course, came out for American withdrawal from the world, an isolationist nation, which as great as it might sound to many, is totally impractical! Huntsman did not go that far in his comments.

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also had moments of good thoughts, with Gingrich arguing that we cannot deport illegal immigrants who have been here for a long time and been lawful, and that children of illegal immigrants who wish to serve in the military should be given the chance to become citizens, in effect supporting the DREAM Act. Meanwhile,Rick Santorum backed foreign aid as important to continue, while Ron Paul called for an end to all foreign aid, not a great position making any sense in the modern world, particularly when foreign aid is only less than one percent of the national budget.

By comparison, Mitt Romney did not do as well as he has in the past, coming across as very hawkish, and hardline on illegal immigration, both views probably part of his plan to attract more support from right wing Republicans and conservative talk show hosts.

Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann continued their downward spiral, none of them making any impressive statements during the debate.

So, if all things are equal, we might see the rise of Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul in the public opinion polls, as they both stood out dramatically from the other six candidates!

The Dangers Of Political Extremism: Assassination Of Political Leaders

Today is a day to dwell on the dangers of political extremism, the kind of rhetoric that we have been witnessing more than ever since the Great Recession occurred in 2008 and after. The election of the first African American President in 2008 has added to the cauldron.

The chasm between the political parties is wider than ever, and the hot rhetoric displayed on much of talk radio and Fox News Channel is more intense than ever, and will, unfortunately, get worse as the heat of the Presidential campaign intensifies.

Political extremism of the past led to political assassination in American history, as witness:

Abraham Lincoln, murdered at the end of the Civil War, April 14, 1865, by a Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth.

William McKinley, murdered by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, on September 14, 1901.

John F. Kennedy, murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, a supporter of Fidel Castro and Cuba, 48 years ago on this date, and being commemorated today.

Martin Luther King, Jr,, murdered by a racist, James Earl Ray, on April 4, 1968.

Robert Kennedy, murdered by an Arab sympathizer, Sirhan Sirhan, on June 5, 1968.

These five assassinations, along with the assassination by mentally ill people of James Garfield and Huey Long; and the attempted assassinations of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan are constant warnings of the dangers of violence once passions are aroused to a dangerous level.

When one considers that an individual was recently arrested for having shot at the White House, and perceived as a danger to President Barack Obama, it makes one feel a chill go through his spine, this on top of a similar incident under Bill Clinton.

Our nation’s leaders are under constant threat, and we need to tone down our rhetoric in memory of the death of John F. Kennedy nearly a half century ago, as we do not want to go through the horror and pain of such an event ever again!