Thursday, May 19, 2011

A New Generation

Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and (just resigned) Ambassador to China, is beginning his race for the 2012 Republican Nomination, and the media is beginning to pay attention.
Certain Republicans, even youngish ones, mistake conservatism for orthodoxy. They seem out of touch, as if they were selected by a Republican College of Cardinals, like George W. Bush actually was. So former China Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr.’s call for “new thinking” at the University of South Carolina, where he gave the commencement speech, should be heeded. We need “new thinking.” We need new generations. And new ideas always need new packages.

"Our system needs new thinking,” he said. "We need a fresh generation of innovators, leaders, risk takers, entrepreneurs, scientists and activists — that's you!"

In contrast, the orthodoxy finds representation by Dick Cheney, who, like the Officer in Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony,” nostalgic for the torture machine of the old days, said he would reinstate waterboarding if he were president. Cheney is poison to any Republican hopeful.

At no time since 1963, when Jack Kennedy spoke words similar to Huntsman’s about “a new generation” at the Democratic convention in LA, have we so urgently needed new people and new ideas. Huntsman is thankfully free from that paternalistic attitude of the cloistered partisans.
I think one big hurtle is going to be: can Jon Huntsman take the heat from the national media scrutiny? He hasn't really had to deal with that before, in Utah as Governor or in Washington as Ambassador to China. But it's going to come fast and furious now. That will be a real test of whether he's up for this.

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