By Johnny Firecloud
The 2008 presidential elections will mark a crucial turning point for the future of our country. The United States is desperately in need of some real changes, and after eight years of corruption being honed to an art form by the current administration, we can’t afford to elect a president with anything less than a desire to completely overhaul the current system and return at least some sense of balance to the force.
I’m not here to tell you who to vote for in November, but if I’ve learned anything from the past eight years, it’s how to spot a power-hungry lunatic religious zealot with no regard for the views and ideals of the people he (or she) is chosen to represent. And that’s why it is now time to call bullshit on Republican presidential candidate Michael Dale Huckabee.
At first glance, Mike Huckabee appears to be a likable guy. He’s witty, he’s charming, and as he’s shown in his appearances on several late-night talk shows (particularly Comedy Central’s "Colbert Report"), he’s not above having fun on the campaign trail. But strip away the Gomer Pyle doppelganger/friendly-neighbor facade, and we’ve got ourselves a Republican presidential frontrunner that is nothing short of an evangelical extremist with a very specific plan to force-feed this nation an agenda of intolerance and fundamental Christianity. In his own words, Huckabee believes that it is time to “answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ.”
On Huckabee’s campaign website, he says that he does not separate religion from his professional life, and that religion “drives” his decisions. Additionally, the candidate pledges that, as president, he would “staff all relevant positions with pro-life appointees.” His extensive efforts in Arkansas to prevent a woman’s right to choose “are the accomplishments that give (him) the most pride and personal satisfaction” in his career as a politician.
Not a fan of a woman’s rights to her own body being delegated by an old man in a suit? Then chances are you’re really not going to like this:
Huckabee signed on a 1998 ad placed in the USA Today supporting a statement made by the Southern Baptist Convention, including this particular gem: “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.” What year is this again? 1940?
Furthermore, Huckabee disagrees with the separation of church and state. The United States Constitution never makes any mention of God or religion, drawing its sole authority from "We the People," and that doesn’t sit well with the former governor.
"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," he told a Michigan audience on the campaign trail Monday, "but I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that’s what we need to do, amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view." Contemporary view, as in, a set of principles that don’t adhere to one specific dogmatic perspective in this big ol’ melting pot of a country?
This is the same man who supported a proposal to rewrite the 14th Amendment, denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil to undocumented immigrant parents. He’s the only presidential candidate to have called for the elimination of birthright citizenship, but his distinguishing ideals don’t end there.
Offering a glimpse of what life in the Oval Office would be like, Huckabee set up online gift registries while governor of Arkansas, allowing lobbyists to know exactly which gifts to buy him in order to win his favor. A former Arkansas state government official was quoted as saying: “He’s using the trappings of the governor’s office to get everything he can, and the sad part of it is, I honestly believe he does not see anything wrong with this.”
Huckabee, who does not believe in evolution, favors teaching so-called “intelligent design” in public schools. According to him, scientific evidence of evolution from all over the world is wrong. The Bible explains everything. The earth is only 6,000 years old, and dinosaurs were evil spirits that God purged of the Earth to make way for the divinity of mankind. But according to him, you shouldn’t take any of that into account when considering his competency as president because, as he put it, he’s "not running for 8th grade science teacher."
In a 1998 book entitled "Kids Who Kill," Huckabee compared environmentalists to “pornographers” and homosexuality to “pedophilia and necrophilia.” That’s right, two consensual adults following their hearts are no different from the disgusting monsters that rape children or the dead. He also referred to non-religious Americans as "a direct and immediate threat to the nation." Am I the only one who finds this kind of talk terrifying? How long will it be before the Prayer Police are kicking down doors?
Huckabee has also called for HIV/AIDS patients to be permanently quarantined from the general public. "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus," he argued, "we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague. It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population." His plan for dealing with Americans who suffer from contractible viruses are to forcibly remove them from society. Huckabee apparently didn’t know that HIV/AIDS cannot be spread by casual contact (like a "genuine plague"). But, you know, science schmience. Let’s all raise our government-issue "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets to the sky, and go with Mike Huckabee’s version of God.
Michael Dale Huckabee longs to create a singular, exclusive ideal for what every American should believe, how every American should behave. His pleasant demeanor is the sugar coating concealing a bitter pill of anti-intellectualism, a trait that has already turned the American presidency into the laughingstock of the world. Granted, we’re talking about a presidency that is currently occupied by a man who claims to have been visited by Jesus Christ himself and told to lead this country, a man who has prided himself on his willful ignorance and committed innumerable, unforgivable blunders and criminal acts while in office. But can we not learn from our mistakes? This country cannot afford another divider. This country cannot afford another leader with an agenda that does not represent the will of the American people. I’m not just talking about the war in Iraq, I’m talking about issues on the homefront that we all face, each and every day.
We cannot afford to let Mike Huckabee run this country.