CNN Western GOP debate: Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Kurt Cobain - draft
Bernie Quigley, for The Hill 10/18/11
Jon Huntsman made a comment regarding Kurt Cobain there a few weeks back after comments here that some of these musician/politicians who were in the Presidential race seem like leftovers from the Sixties. Was said that only Wolf Blitzer got Huntsman’s reference. But Kurt, the maistro of his generation who sought God in his own way carried a warning: "I'd rather be dead than cool." Good to know that Jon is up on the pop culture. Did I mention that he looks incredibly like Carlisle Cullen, the benevolent patriarch vampire in the Twilight saga which comes to fruition on 11/11? And did I mention that theory passing on the Internet that the vampires in Twilight are not bad boys like in the old school but really-high minded angels or gods come to help us out and it was widely suggested they are Mormons?
Whatever, never mind. More to the relevance of this race is a contrast between what might be called new world and old world. Not U.S. and Europe, but the old world receding east of the Mississippi and the new world rising west of the Mississippi. Mitt Romney straddles both, straddles all and none, but Rick Perry and Huntsman personify the New West rising in energy, resources, commerce and karma. It is a booming new land where new immigrants are scorned as they were here in New England in the 1830s. Here then the century could be seen beginning to rise to a boom in both new classes and masses with Irish workers and European Jews just over. Today there is virtually a mirror image in the southwest and northward with new immigrants from South America and Asia which will build a booming America again to the New South of Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal and the New West of Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman if it is allowed to awaken. Immigrants are a sign of prosperity: They bring joy. They bring families. They bring desire and work ethic.
But the old people back east don't get it. Maybe that’s why the Dartmouth debate was so boring and predictable. Take the journey west with Frasier. Give up the Boston Irish bar patrons of Cheers for the Hindu waitress in the Seattle coffee shop. Because Kurt would never have found his path to certitude and conviction back east. Or Joseph Smith or Stephen Austin or Sarah Palin for that matter. It is a west thing and Rick and Jon could awaken it. Like everything that will happen next in this country, if it doesn't awaken in the west, it won't awaken.