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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Huntsman Shows Weakness in Opening Campaign

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman inadvertently conveyed weakness by pledging to run a civil campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, which he officially kicked off earlier today in Jersey City, NJ.

Our campaigns need candidates to draw sharp distinctions amongst each other on issues, principles, character, judgment and temperament.

It is not uncivil to make these distinctions; it is a sign that one puts the needs of the nation first. It is likewise not civil to intentionally blur or ignore these distinctions; it is cowardice (both intellectual and emotional).

In politics, civility is a dangerous code word. To accuse one of incivility is to impugn the character and motives of the person being accused, and to ascribe some of the worst motives and traits to that person. Such an accusation is thus often as effective as the slanderous accusation of racism -- and so often as unjust.

Our politics need fewer civil candidates, and more real men (and women) who are not afraid to confront the real issues, make tough decisions and risk being unpopular.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer who handles election law and ballot access for political candidates. Mr. Dixon has previously helped two presidential candidates qualify for the New York State primary. Mr. Dixon is presently not working with any declared candidates for President.

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