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Looking for Reagan-and not finding him

By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 08 September 2011

The words of Ronald Reagan's daughter could not be more powerful or accurate as we digest the GOP debate/circus we witnessed Wednesday night. Yes, Ronald Reagan would be very ashamed today.,8599,2092425,00.html


...Ironically, the one man on stage who did comport himself with dignity, John Huntsman, is now being dismissed as having not made an impact. The moment he brought the discussion back from airport security to the sweeping poverty and economic panic that is gripping this country was, I thought, profound. It was something my father would have done. But that moment isn't making the news. The zingers like Perry's Ponzi-scheme comment, in reference to Social Security, are getting more attention. Maybe the candidates should have wandered over to my father's gravesite before going on stage. Maybe they should have lingered over the words carved in stone there.


The moment that would have broken my father's heart was the moment when applause broke out at the mention of more than 200 executions ordered by Rick Perry in Texas. It was stunning and brought tears to my eyes. This is what we've come to? That we applaud at executions?

I remember the first time my father ordered an execution when he was Governor. He and a minister went into a room, got down on their knees and prayed. The real shame of our times is that there doesn't seem to be anyone on the political horizon with that compassion in his or her heart.


It was downright creepy when the crowd exploaded in applause after Perry's spoke about the death penalty. I'm in favor putting our worst criminals to death, but I could never see myself cheering for it. 

There's these weird militant strain that runs through some parts of the hard right. They really seem to get off from those who instigate violence.

Actually, the crowd broke out in applause before Perry spoke I believe. 

Personally I might have cheered too, despite having some reservations about the the system leading up to such a penalty.

I support the death penalty. I just don't think I would ever applaud it.

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