Now I know all of the Republican candidates are going to be reading this blog for opinion because they agree with my positions on issues (don't worry, I'm kidding). However the CNN "debate" (more like an anti-Obama rally) on June 13 raised and presented a serious problem about respect and presidential behavior with a just about all the candidates on the stage that night.
Keep in mind when I tuned in, I knew many shots were going to be taken on President Obama. Politics is a messy game, and when you play prepared to get dirty. However, it got disgraceful when each of the candidates where questioned on social issues and religion. For the next few paragraphs I will be using this Poltico article for my quotes.
For instance, Hermain Cain said at an earlier interview “A reporter asked me, would I appoint a Muslim to my administration. I did say, ‘No,’” Cain said. “And here’s why. … I would have to have people totally committed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. And many of the Muslims, they’re not totally dedicated to this country.”
Got that? OK. So at the "debate" he tried to retract that comment by saying “And I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us,” Cain said during the debate. “And so, when I said I wouldn’t be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us, No. 1."
Well, I don't think any president would want to have a militant-any-religion in their administration, so that is a pretty bad cover. What empirical evidence does Hermain Cain have that Muslim-AMERICANS aren't loyal to this country. Why would one single out Muslims also? There have been plenty of Christian terrorists in our past. To think, how could Cain get away with this outward hostility to a group of fellow Americans, judged solely by the religion they practice? If you ask me, it seems contradictory to our values to judge people based upon their religion, and it is clear Cain doesn't have the capacity to be president of ALL Americans.
Also at the debate, Newt Gingrich "tumbled over the historical cliff with the idea, announcing some kind of loyalty oath to serve in his administration, similar to that used in dealing with Nazis and Communists.” I really can't begin how offensive it is to relate Muslim-AMERICANS to Nazis, and to the now evil-stereotyped communists. But to have loyalty oaths for just Muslims? Why not everyone in your administration, Newt? If a candidate is willing to ridicule a portion of Americans based upon thier religion, they are not being presidential; rather acting like pundits.
Though the other candidates were smart enough to not stoop down at their level, it was very apparent that NONE of them called out the other. By not defending Muslim-Americans, or other groups, it was clear that the candidates couldn't muster up enough courage to act like a president, or it was that they tacitly consented. Though each are vying for the party's nomination; it is a shame that defending Muslim-Americans may hurt their chances (if you're going with that defense) and that none of them stood up above partisan politics and acted like an adult to defend their FELLOW Americans.
Noticeably absent from the "debate" was Jon Huntsman. Huntsman is the most moderate Republican running for president. Maybe I am giving him too much credit, but I have enough faith in Huntsman's ability to be a good person that he would have been the only one to defend Muslim-Americans.
The point of this post is when you're running for president, you're running for president. You're not a pundit, an ex-governor, a businessman, or whatever you are. Your not the president of one group of people ether. You are running to represent every American, no matter political view, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. The presidency is for individuals who embody a higher set of values, and ideals; for those who are tolerant; and for those who respect every American no matter who they are and what they believe.
In order to be treated as a presidential candidate, one must act like they want it. As of now, Huntsman is the only one of the Republicans in my view whom carries these qualities. When engaging in partisan game playing, a necessity to win a party's nomination, one must keep the ideal of president in mind and have the ability to represent all Americans.