The political conversation turned ugly before the New Hampshire primaries when an anonymous group of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) advocates released a video to make a personal attack against fellow Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman.
Referred to as the “Manchurian candidate” in the video, Huntsman was criticized for his questionable sense of liberty and patriotism. Although this advertisement was meant to bastardize his legitimacy as president, it backfired and worked favorably for him. Because sweeping generalizations are being made without much evidentiary support, I can't see anything worthwhile in the content that is provided.
The first of many problems that exists with the video is the lack of context. It operates like a “let-the-facts-speak-for-themselves” slideshow. It first presents random and unrelated dialogue clips of him speaking in Chinese, then a series of questions are posed “What's he hiding?” and “American Values or Chinese?” To suggest that there is some distinguishable connection between the two, or ulterior insidious motive in being able to speak Chinese is laughable. Under the Obama administration, Huntsman was the ambassador to China for two years. If anything, his background in the language only makes him an ideal candidate for higher office His fluency in Chinese is not substantial enough evidence to support the great accusations that the presentation makes.
And the advertisement continues to lose its worth when his children are up for discussion. Huntsman’s two adopted Asian children appear on the screen after asking the question “Weak on China, wonder why,” as if to imply that his personal family attachments adversely affect the foreign policy decisions that he made.
What was not revealed however was the story behind his two adopted children. They were both born into unfortunate circumstances. He has one daughter named Gracie Mei from China who was abandoned at two months and left in a vegetable market. His second adopted daughter, Asha, was born in India and left to die on a dirt road before she was safely sent to an orphanage. By taking these kids under his wing and providing for them, Huntsman proves that he is a real man of character. This admirable side of him was obscured so that these allegations could sound somewhat plausible, but it is certainly not the case.
Also, reservedness is not a sign of weakness. He stresses the importance of maintaining an amiable relationship with China because it is an economic powerhouse that has provided much financial aid to our country, over $400 billion-worth. And although there seems to be an ensuing cold war, keeping peaceful relations with China for the last 40 years has been an invaluable economic advantage to the United States.
And finally, the video ends with a ridiculous photo-shopped image of Huntsman's head cropped on Chairman Mao's body and uniform. Comparing him to a Communist leader is a radical statement that immediately thrusts doubts in the viewer's mind. He has been active in government since the late 1980's under the Reagan administration. He was governor of Utah for four years. Anyone who believes that he is a Communist is as Huntsman calls the ad, “stupid.”
This advertisement was only a poorly constructed montage of absurd statements created to undermine the governor. But Jon Huntsman leaves unscathed from the slanderous tactics of the Ron Paul supporters. When voting, none of this should be used to evaluate his legitimacy as president.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons