Editorial: Restoring statesmanship

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  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 5, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    A voice of Reason says:
    " Democracy doesn't exist when people claim they have a right to one outcome of a vote."
    "We all know that freedom is the right thing."
    ---

    Let me fix that for you:

    "A Constitutional Republic doesn't exist when people claim they have the right to vote on whether or not other Citizens get to share those same rights." (We are NOT a true Democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic - the majority isn't always right.)

    The BOM, like the Bible, has no place in Secular Society; they are religious tomes intended for religious people as "faith promoting" tools. Your faith is yours to practice in your home and church and life; you don't have the right to impose them on any other people.

    "...democratically told what's "right and wrong"... According to Mormon Doctrine, that was Satan's plan.

    "We all know that freedom is the right thing."

    --- Unless it's a freedom you don't like, then you want to put it up to a vote, right (back to your earlier comment)? That isn't "freedom", its tyranny.

    I think I'm going to miss Sen. Snow.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 5, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    Statesmanship is not about far right or far left, it is not about political parties or platforms, it is not even about compromise. It is about doing what is best for the country not the party, not the state not the person. It is about respecting other points of view, listening to and working with others to solve the problems and meet the needs of the country. It is about disagreeing without being disagreeable. The current republican presidential race is defined by a lack of statesmanship beyond anything heretofore seen. These candidates are not trying to show us they are the best, they are trying to show us they are not as bad as the other guy. How about articulating a vision, how about focusing on the positive, how about seeing a better America and help us create it. How about treating everyone and their opinion with respect. That is a statesman.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 5, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    It is hard to argue with any of the principles discussed in this editorial. Reality, though, is quite another thing. The question must be asked what Sen. Snowe did to end the standing filibuster of the Republicans, holding up most of the Senate business and impeding the functioning of our government. How many times did she vote for cloture, instead just falling in line with her party which was more interested in bringing down the duly elected President of the United States. She decries the gridlock in the Senate, but she was in a position to do something about it.

    And the editorial calls on Utahns to get involved and participate in upcoming caucuses. How did this work last time? Utah ended up electing one of the leaders of Senate gridlock in Sen. Lee. He puts holds on all nominations and refuses to allow the Senate to act on Presidential nominations, then complains when the President engages in recess appointments (far fewer than previous presidents). He then condemns others in fundraising speaches and other appearances, justifying his actions for his own reasons. He he is a major cause of the Senate's gridlock. (Look it up, DesNews and report on it).

    The Senate can mend its ways, but it has to decide to focus on the needs of the country rather than the needs of the party. The minority party has to renounce the statement of its minority party that their publicly stated objective is to bring down the President. It is offensive and un-American. It is time to end the madness and the hate. Snowe's feelings are understandable, so she should call on her party to change its ways, use her remaining time to act on it, and not just go running away.

  • Charityalways Centerville, UT
    March 4, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    I can appreciate the idea that there may be extreme differences in political positions and our constitutional system can still work if those with differing views can find common ground to move forward.

    I am concerned the more I hear about people telling other people what are the basic rules we have to live by whether from "natural law," historical concepts of morality, religious principles, or modern political correctness. It seems to me the most basic rules to live by for a civilized nation and our constitutional system are as simple as the most basic religious rule of all, common to pretty much all religious traditions and even modern philosophies, that is, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I think we can find some common ground there. Please spare me all the other dogmas, political or religious.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 4, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    Fourth try

    The media has a role to play in restoring statesmanship. Over the past 20 yrs there has been an increasing embrace of "shock
    jocks" on the radio and propaganda presented as "news". I am often surprised that older church-going people can consume 1-3 hrs/day listening to misogyny and at times, racist views on the radio. I'm also surprised at some of the letters and articles that appear in newspapers especially in church-owned news sources. Clearly people have learned there is money to be made from a fearful, angry, misinformed audience. But it is damaging to our country when those monied interests crowd out sensible, factual consideration of issues and civil discourse. NPR and PBS represent media outlets that attempt to achieving those aims. One can tune in and hear people from both sides of the political spectrum discussing issues in a civil, respectful manner.

    The Republican Party is infused with rigid ideologues that has moved the party far from the center and who view compromise as evil and a moral failure. Mike Lee is a member of that faction. Even life-long members of the Republican Party acknowledge this. Norm Orenstein of the American Enterprise Institute has written about it. Bruce Bartlett, David Stockman, David Frum, John Dean all served in Republican Administrations and have spoken of the change in their party. There are many others.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 4, 2012 8:53 p.m.

    "Today's conservative Republicans are the only ones that are tough on crime and advocate for strict limits on the power of government. These conservatives are the true moderates. They are the only ones in the middle, between anarchy and tyranny.

    Others are soft on crime. They oppose the death penalty for murder. They refuse to enforce our borders. Thugs standing outside voting sites, carrying clubs, are never prosecuted. These same people also see no problem with ratcheting up the power of government until freedom ceases to exist. They are destroying freedom from both ends; promoting both anarchy and tyranny."

    This quote above is probably the most crazy justification I have yet heard. The idea that any system where power in consolidated into a single entity will lead to anything but an assured path to tyranny is foley. Blind statements like "(the) others are soft on crime" only prove how distorted this conversation has become. It makes the assumption that if you are fiscally conservative, that you then must be pro death penalty, or that if you are socially "progressive" that you must be against the death penalty. People are just not so single faceted. It is this brand of seeing the world as being neatly divided between one of two colors that absolutely has this country at each others and throats - when what divides us is far less than what those who wish to profit off of a divided country would like us to believe.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    March 4, 2012 8:01 p.m.

    A Voice of Reason,

    I'm glad you brought up that point about some values needing to be a line in the sand. The founding fathers implemented many ideas of the great writers like Locke and Winthrop who believed that natural rights are derived from the generally accepted ideas of right and wrong from most societies. So yes, we believe there are a few absolute truths that are eternal and must be defended at all cost. Freedom of speech, right to life, liberty, etc. Important point.

    But, some people use those for their own narrow interpretations and entrench. I seriously do believe that the new trend to never compromise on anything (aside from those narrow natural rights) is going to fracture this nation to its destruction if civility and some compromise do not return.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    March 4, 2012 6:40 p.m.

    What is a political centrist? If we look at the political spectrum in terms of government power then at the far rights, where the government has zero power, you have anarchy. You can't even leave your home because when you come back somebody else will be in it with a gun. Under anarchy the people abuse each other.

    At the far left the government has total power and the government abuses the people. We call this tyranny.

    Freedom is between anarchy and tyranny. Freedom is the absence of abuse and is very elusive. Government must be strong enough to prevent anarchy and strictly limited in power to prevent tyranny.

    Today's conservative Republicans are the only ones that are tough on crime and advocate for strict limits on the power of government. These conservatives are the true moderates. They are the only ones in the middle, between anarchy and tyranny.

    Others are soft on crime. They oppose the death penalty for murder. They refuse to enforce our borders. Thugs standing outside voting sites, carrying clubs, are never prosecuted. These same people also see no problem with ratcheting up the power of government until freedom ceases to exist. They are destroying freedom from both ends; promoting both anarchy and tyranny.

    Those we call moderates reach across the aisle and work with these enemies of freedom.
    We are at the point where we need to clean the inner vessel before the outer vessel self destructs.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    SammyB,

    Thanks. I think this is a very interesting way of wording it- "civil discourse helps bring an environment that allows a government to function"

    I'd actually say that civil discourse is required for government to function. Without a willingness to listen to each other then any democratic process would fail. People are more concerned with passing their version of the law instead of a law that serves everyone. Where disagreements aren't reconciled, we put it to a vote. Then after voting, whatever party loses the vote will make every effort to have the vote declared unconstitutional by the courts. It's a constant battle to be right instead of focusing on where we agree.

    At the same time, J Thompson's example is spot on in that some things can't be compromised on, such as murder, freedom, etc. We all know that freedom is the right thing. How best to legislate it is obviously disputed; but only through listening to each other can any progress towards that goal be made. The more we refuse to listen and only justify our own ideas- the farther we likely will be from those true principles we all know to be true.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    March 4, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    Sunshine and lollipops? Not in Congress.

    Great leaders are known for compromise to get things done. That concerns me about our leader more than Congress. He refuses to work with anyone, and instead uses back door ploys to get what he wants.

    Locally, we have people with the same attitude, ram things through with no public input, then refuse to revisit it a year later.

    Is Congress the problem, or is the greater problem local? or in the Presidency?

  • L White Springville, UT
    March 4, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    I love watching high school sports. We went to a basketball game just a while back. Do you know what? Both teams played by the rules. They both knew what was allowed. They knew that if they went out of bounds, that they would lose the ball. They knew if they played rough that they would be called for a foul. They knew how much time was on the clock.

    Congress cannot even conduct itself like a high school basketball team. Congress ignores the rules and calls "foul" if the other side wants to play by the rules. The President calls names if either side wants to play by the rules.

    What have we come to in this country when a high school sports teams conducts itself better than Congress? They don't even know how to watch the clock. When was the last time that they passed a budget? That is one of their primary duties.

    The problem is not that they will not talk to each other; the problem is that they are talking to each other about the wrong things. The first words that they should be asking is whether they have the authority to do something, but it seems like the first words they ask is how many votes will this program buy our side.

  • Halach Huinic Mapleton, UT
    March 4, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    Let's be frank. This is not a problem of both the Republican and Democrat parties ("a pox on both their houses"). It is an empirical fact that the extremist surge and subsequent intransigence in Washington is largely, if not totally, a Republican phenomenon.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    March 4, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    I believe it is fine to compromise on procedures, time-tables and where people sit at a gathering. I don't believe it is acceptable to compromise on principles or on the constitutionality of an issue. I believe the 2 party system we have lived with has ended up with both parties being more interested in maintaining their power and pandering to the lowest common denominator to get and keep power instead of standing up for real solutions. That is why I have joined the Constitution Party. They believe we can restore the moral integrity of our country and thus, solve our problems. There is no other way to do it.

  • GrandmaJulie Layton, UT
    March 4, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    The old "go along to get along" made things appear to work; but, that kind of working together is what created the financial mess that we have in this country today. Those that have been in the Senate/House for years and years are the problem not the solution.

    What we need is real "Statesmanship" not the same or new "Politicians". Statesmen do not spend their whole life at "the public troth" (but politicians do). They go to do a job for a short time and then return home (as our Founding Fathers intended). They also do not get paid peddling their influence! They should have a Life before public office and then return to it.

    When we elect officials, no matter what party they belong to, that are willing to make the hard decisions to save this country we will see real statesmanship at work.

    Until then, we will have the "old guard" blaming everyone but themselves and digging the financial hole deeper.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    March 4, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    To Economist
    Salt Lake City, UT
    *Not to assign blame signals our unwillingness to address the issue and tackle the problem. WE all know that the GOP has veered too far right.*

    LetÂs not shift all the blame against just the GOP. I have seen plenty of veering too far LEFT in the democratic party.

    But, I hate to say I agree with some of the posts that NEITHER side is willing to compromise. I may be misquoting, but I heard a sound bite in which Rick Santorum derisively said that *some* would have him *compromise*, and take a *reasonable* stand, as if criticizing both of those virtues; as if compromise and reason were negative things. Where does this kind of logic come from? On the other side, I remember Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi being pretty inflexible as well.

    Selfishness, extremism, and inflexibility seem to be rampant among our legislators of BOTH parties. Everyone seems to blame everyone else and not take any responsibility themselves for ANY of the problems. And yes, there are parallels to our governmental problems in the Book of Mormon.

  • The_Kaiser Holladay, UT
    March 4, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    The definition of insanity: Electing the same politicians but expecting different results.

    Take it as you will.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    March 4, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    A Voice of Reason,

    Thank you for your comment. It was my favorite response.

    I was quite interested to read the comments on this article and anticipated a division of opinion based on those who see the greater good and see we each need to change and work harder at civil discourse, and those who justify their position. Here is how I feel many position themselves:

    They never compromise and and believe that bullheaded entrenchment is a virtue. These people believe that if the other side changes, then all will be well. They feel that we are no different than the founders, not realizing how much compromise was necessary back then, even against some of their own moral principles, for there even to be a union. They don't understand that civil discourse helps bring an environment that allows a government to function, even if it gets bumpy.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 4, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    It looks like many posters can clearly see the root problem. That problem is the fact that Congress has deviated so far from Constitutional principles that no one knows what to do. Mr. Reid blocks debate and votes unless he knows that his side will carry the issue. Mr. Obama harangues Congress for not giving him what he wants - more public debt.

    What is a STATESMAN supposed to do? Is he supposed to "go along to get along"? Is that the definition of a statesman? Is he supposed to drop all ethics, hold his nose, and vote for "more of the same"?

    If there were ever a time in our history when we needed patriots who would not bend on Constitutional principles, it is now.

    The budget deficit is a huge problem, but more important than the deficit is the moral decay in our nation where wrong is right as long as enough people call for it, where down is up, if it is politically correct. Until we return to Constitutional principles, until we stop letting every petty politician ignore the Supreme Law of the Land, we will have discord in Congress.

    There is plenty to debate WITHIN the confines of the Constitution. Debating what extra-constitututional programs the Senate should approve will get us nowhere.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 4, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Both parties have turned public policy over to political professionals whose sole skill is knowing how to make the opposition look bad. Its not surprising that that a recent Gallup poll shows 82 percent disapprove of the way Congress is handling their job. Unfortunately, as long as the electorate responds to negative politics rather than demanding statesmanship, this is likely to continue.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 4, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    Let's change the venue from the Senate to the LDS Church Office building. Instead of Senators debating an issue, let's pretend that the general authorities of the Church are debating an issue. Let's pick an issue, such as whether a prospective member of the Church should believe in Christ as our Redeemer.

    How would that debate go? Would they even have a debate on that kind of issue? Belief in Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the LDS Church. It is not debatable.

    Why then should we expect that the Senate should "compromise" on issues that are clearly unconstitutional?

    The Senate has neglected its duty to uphold the Constitution as it "deliberates" and as it "debates". Before agreement can be made on a budget, each expenditure must be weighed against the Senates' constitutional authority to make that expenditure.

    When we are $15,000,000,000,000 in debt ($50,000 for every man, woman and child in America), EVERY budget item is important. There can be no compromise on ethics, on integrity, on honesty. Each Senator has taken an oath of office that requires him/her to uphold the Constitution.

    Instead of focusing on "getting along", let's focus on the basics, starting with the authority (or lack thereof) to do the things that the Senate is doing.

  • Economist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2012 10:32 a.m.

    Not to assign blame signals our unwillingness to address the issue and tackle the problem. WE all know that the GOP has veered too far right while pandering to the Tea Party extremists, Until we address this issue, it will only get worse.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 4, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    A welcome pragmatic and logically statement from a paper that spends far too much time trying to influence policy, giving air to highly inflamed proposition, and is part of the problem itself. I hope that it follows its own admonishments, to lower the rhetoric, and present the story in a balanced even manner. The media, both left and right, fuel these hyper swings we see in political speech. The media, DN included, need to look in the mirror at their role in this.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 4, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    Ah yes. Why can't we return the the days of civility and bi-partisanship? Like when Aaron Burr was in the Senate.

    The nation is $16,000,000,000,000 in debt. Olympia Snowe and Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett can talk about the 'polarized' Senate and we can bemoan the fact that people like Mike Lee don't subscribe to the rules of decorum that would be fitting of the 'august' tradition of the Senate. The nation is headed for a cliff. We don't have time to entertain idiotic ideas that will drive us deeper in debt or erode more liberty.

    It is a false notion that the Senate has ever been anything but rough and tumble. (Think LBJ) The only time people are worried that the Senate might be getting too polarized is when conservatives start gaining power. The current Senate is part of a huge problem. Forgive me if I am not worried about getting along with people who have designs to make the nation more dependent on the government.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    Getting people to "raise their voice" isn't the answer. Freedom is surely our most paramount principle to uphold, and democracy is a part of that foundation, so participation is important- but it isn't an answer.

    If we as a people were murderous, cheating, backstabbing, and violent- everyone raising their voice wouldn't really change anything for the better. I don't think we are. But we are divided into groups that have an irreconcilable motive and purpose. People can think I'm fanatical and ignore my comment for this, but by all means I'm providing reason to explain my claim. Therefore I invite any who question its validity to be well-informed and study out the principles involved before making their decision.

    It's all in the Book of Mormon. Everyone has been taught freedom; we all know it and practice it. Then a few want to dictate to others rather than vote democratically. They con others into supporting them- promising an easier life where they can live how they want, without law, where anything is moral. It's an appeal of relativism, but it ends in chaos and lawlessness. Instead of accepting democratic voices, votes, and freedom- democracy rejected in favor of entitlement to more than what we can produce with our own two hands. Democracy doesn't exist when people claim they have a right to one outcome of a vote.

    Every last legal doctrine, moral principle, or function of government involved can be compared to the Book of Mormon. The same claims against democratic freedom have been made, followed by the same deceiving practices.

    What's wrong isn't people voicing, it's the people rejecting true principles of freedom in favor of being a law unto themselves and forcing that law on others, regardless of what people 'voiced' or voted. People have rejected being democratically told what's "right and wrong" by the law, but claim that their beliefs rightfully belong in place instead. It is no different than the accounts in the Book of Mormon.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 4, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    We're still too enamoured with extremism to try statesmanship. It's going to take a while...

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    March 4, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    While I agree wholeheartedly with the statement of the problem, I have serious disagreement with parts of the solution. I agree that we have lost civility and compromise as the defacto approach to legislating. The cause of this loss however, is not strong belief in certain principles of government. We need strong belief. We need strong principles. We need courage to stand for the right in spite of what others think. Trying to "get along" and not offend anyone has led to a loss of what brought our country to strength and greatness. I believe that a powerful adherence to principles of truth combined with civility and a willingness to consider and synergize with ideas of others brings us to even better solutions and the consensus that is so much to be desired.

    If you study the framers of our constitution, they disagreed, often to extremes with each other, but as they listened and considered the reasons for the opposing views, they often came to even better decisions that addressed the legitimate concerns from the "opponents".

    The reason we no longer have many we can correctly call "statesmen" is that we changed the structure and the checks and balances of our government during Woodrow Wilson's term. The passage of the 17th Amendment caused that Senators would no longer be appointed by the state legislatures to represent the states (hence the term statesmen) and be a reasoned body that considered what would actually be good for the country. Because they were never supposed to be politicians, but were supposed to be wise deliberators, they gained the respect the term statesman enjoys. We destroyed that when we made them politicians that have to sell their souls to get the money (from special interests) they need to get elected. They day that amendment passed, we decided as a nation we wanted politicians instead of statesmen. Be careful what you ask for.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 4, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Our caucus system as currently constituted creates anything but statesmanship, and rewards the more radical elements of our citizenry. Typically by their very nature, moderates are more passive and less likely to get involved in a caucus system where they have to go to various meetings that are typically very negative and where respect and dignity (see Bob Bennett state republican convention) goes out the window. Our country has very real and very serious issues that cannot be solved by the radicals on either side of the political aisle. Until the name calling stops and the desire to come together regardless of political affiliation begins we will continue this downward spiral.

    We can change Presidents, we can change congressmen, but until we change attitudes nothing will improve.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 4, 2012 8:26 a.m.

    Statesman: one versed in the principles or art of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies

    Statesmanship - wisdom in the management of public affairs.

    Now if we could just agree on the purpose of government and define who we mean when we say Public.

    Caucuses are good for allowing people to participate in government, but they are also just one more hurdle between the people and their representatives.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    March 4, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    Thank you for your service to America, Olympia Snowe.
    Common sense, and telling the truth, among other attributes, will never cease to be valued and appreciated.

  • Well Read SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 4, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    If the legislative sessions of the past few years are any indication Utah's political process is seriously flawed. Bill Bennett was not even allowed to compete for Senate in 2008 because of these two groups. No, I am not talking about the LDS Church! It seems likely that Senator Hatch will meet the same fate as Senator Bennett. I am not a supporter of either of these gentlemen, however I feel every voter of Utah should have had a chance o vote for against them. The ultra, ultra right have control of of the state of Utah. It is my opinion that until the state does away with the caucus system and allows an open primary the situation in Utah will not change for the better!

    There is no statesmanship in the caucus system as now constituted!!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 4, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    There's a lot of wisdom in this editorial. Unfortunately, it will most likely fall on deaf ears.

    And there are still some out there who believe we need to go back to the old practice of allowing crooked politicians in state legislatures to appoint crooked politicians to the U.S. Senate. (Not that voters have managed to do a much better job.)

    But, hey, real people don't count for much any more. It's those corporate "persons" who have all the power so the rest of us might as well just stop breathing.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    March 4, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    Years ago there was a miniseries about how the Soviets took over the US. It was titled "Amerika". At one point a Soviet general says, "We didn't take you over. The job was done before we came. You had lost your passion."

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    March 4, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Question for Utah voters:

    Would it be more statesmanlike for an aged Senator (Hatch) to step aside gracefully and make way for the younger generation, or to continue offering himself in perpetuity as the answer to problems that arose from the political class of the last 36 years?

    I leave the answer in your hands to be decided at the neighborhood caucuses on Thursday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 4, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    Not to worry. Our own Senator Lee is in D.C. setting a good example for the rest of the Senate to follow. I have no doubt that thanks to the tea party obstructionists we will soon have a balanced budget amendment and our country will soon be on the right track. There not budge an inch take no prisoners approach to government sure seems to be working well.

    I don't blame Senator Senator for wanting out of such a dysfuntional and partisan group.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    March 4, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    The lack of civility and the willingness to compromise in the congress is certainly a problem. But a bigger systemic problem is the pervasive effect of money. We already have the best congress that money can buy, and the problem is much worse given the recent Supreme Court "Citizens United" decision. I doubt that grass roots efforts will have much effect on the political climate in the country unless such efforts first and formost deal with the campaign funding issues.

  • Reader Sandy, UT
    March 4, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    Both the Republicans and Democrats are at fault on this issue. And while encouragement to attend neighborhood caucuses is good, if you are an independent there is no where for you to go to make your voice heard. A friend of ours, also an independent, attended a Republican causes and was not enev allied to speak.

  • Charityalways Centerville, UT
    March 4, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    The Deseret News Editorial Board is on the right track with this. But I'm concerned you miss the whole point of the problem and greatly disrespect Senator Snowe with the statement, "Political centrism is not, in-and-of-itself, a virtue." It's not vice either. And as we should have learned in 1964, extremism in defense of anything is. If you lose the Centrists, who is going to hold our Constitutional Union together?