Politics Magazine

Jon Huntsman - A Reasonable Republican

Posted on the 23 February 2013 by Jobsanger
Jon Huntsman - A Reasonable Republican Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has once again proven why he didn't stand a chance of getting the Republican presidential nomination last year (or at any time in the near future). It turns out that he possesses common sense, an ability to reason, and seems to actually care about his fellow citizens -- all qualities that are not respected by the Republican teabagger base nor desired in their choice of a candidate these days.
A couple of days ago, Huntsman wrote an article for The American Conservative. In it he urges the conservatives in America to rethink some of their positions on issues like education, closing tax loopholes, and immigration reform. But one of his arguments that I found most compelling (and was a little surprised by) was on the issue of same-sex marriage. Here is what he said:
While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of. That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love. All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience. Marriage is not an issue that people rationalize through the abstract lens of the law; rather it is something understood emotionally through one’s own experience with family, neighbors, and friends. The party of Lincoln should stand with our best tradition of equality and support full civil marriage for all Americans.
This doesn't mean that I'm now a Huntsman supporter. But I do have to admit that he makes more sense than any other Republican in the public arena these days. I'm sure I would disagree with him on many issues (especially economic policy), but he has displayed an ability to think and to compromise -- and it would be worthwhile to at least hear him out on issues. Frankly, I'm surprised he has lasted this long in the extremist GOP.

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