Let me first be very clear about one thing: I am a life-long Democrat and I will be voting to re-elect President Obama next year. But I am also rooting for the smartest, sanest Republican in the race, Jon Huntsman Jr. Not to win the general election, but the GOP nomination.
So why am I supporting Huntsman? The state of politics today is the ugliest it's been in decades, if ever. The partisan divide has never been greater and is plagued by rabid, vitriolic hatred. We're no longer a society of Americans but instead one of two angry armies of blue and red. Our political system is broken, brought to a virtual legislative standstill by one party whose leaders are more obsessed with defeating Obama than they are with actually doing something to fix the economy, put people back to work and have government run as the Founding Fathers envisioned.
Which is why America needs an Obama/Huntsman election in 2012. The former Governor of Utah is a decent man. An honorable human being. A patriotic American who's served four presidential administrations on both sides of the aisle. He's exactly the sort of candidate conservatives should be nominating but likely won't because his party has been hijacked by its radical fringe element which advocates everything from eliminating taxes and entitlement programs to eviscerating the EPA and Department of Education all the while seeking to turn America into an evangelical empire.
Huntsman, on the other hand, is a moderate who respects education and human/civil rights; understands climate change; appreciates diplomacy; is experienced with global economies; and has intelligent, rational positions on Social Security, Medicare, health care, immigration and Afghanistan.
Huntsman should be the Republican nominee not simply because he deserves to be, but because his candidacy would restore civility, integrity and sanity to a political process that has driven off a cliff in recent years. Americans deserve a presidential election with two candidates of substance and intellectual curiosity who would shift the critical issues of the day, and fixing America's problems, to the forefront of the debate rather than having them co-opted by the politics of personal destruction and distraction.
I may disagree with several of Huntsman's positions, but I wouldn't lose any sleep were he to become president. I know he would do right by America, as Obama's attempting to do. It's time the nation's presidential candidates start, well, acting presidential.