Sunday, June 13, 2021
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The Candidate Who Should Have Been

This month's Penn Gazette, the journal of the University of Pennsylvania, has an interview with Jon Huntsman, C'87, the one candidate in the Republican field who displayed reason and critical thinking skills during the GOP primaries. Of course, that meant that Huntsman, former governor of Utah and President Obama's ambassador to China, was one of the first candidates to drop out of the race,

In the interview, Huntsman has some stinging criticism for the state of politics in America and for his own party. He notes that his candidacy was doomed from the start because of "too much in the way of well thought-out and developed policy papers, and not enough in the way of pandering" to the extremists in the Republican base.

Huntsman remarked on the difficulty of getting a reasoned message out in the political and media climate of today. "Nobody in today's world really wants to have issues rolled out in the context of solutions or problems to be resolved. Everything today is...pitched in hues of politics based on personal destruction and vilification of your opponent."

A prime example Huntsman gave is climate change and global warming. "Climate change is one such area. It's fallen victim to politics. Yet when I look at Congress, I don't see a lot of physicists present. I don't see any climate scientists...If you let science do what science is supposed to do, they're going to render a good judgment that's peer reviewed and based on rigorous scrutiny, and we're going to have good information on which to base public policy."

Now that's a position that was bound to get you kicked off the stage during the GOP primaries. Some other remarks by Huntsman show just how far he's grounded in reality and how extreme his opponents were, and are.