Everyone tells me I'm a dreadful, heartless conservative. But if I'm a conservative I don't know what the hell Mike Huckabee is, because not only do I not agree with him on almost any issue: his beliefs actually scare the hell out of me.
A lot of this has to do with religion. I think of myself as an open-minded atheist, in that I'm not hostile towards religion and can see the valuable contributions it has made to society. I certainly don't want to impose my beliefs on people of faith, but I expect them to show me the same courtesy in return. I think religion is a private affair between man and God. Huckabee thinks religion should be the basis of national policy.
That's my first major point of departure from Mike Huckabee. He seems to be running not only for President of the United States, but also for Supreme High Priest and Grand Inquisitor all at the same time. Two out of those three roles aren't actually authorized in the Constitution.
When he raised his hand at the debate last year to proudly reject evolution you probably knew where he was coming from. You can get a lot more details of Huckabee's philosophy of life and his view on many issues by reading his book Character Makes a Difference, in which he lays out his basic position on the separation of Church and State:
Those who believe God created humans have a different worldview from those who believe humans created God. Politics are totally directed by worldview. That is why when people say, "We ought to separate politics from religion," I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible.
This perspective is in pretty much direct opposition to the Constitution, but that's okay, because earlier this week, in the Michigan debate, Huckabee made it quite clear that he considers the Constitution an impediment to his vision of theocracy, and he'd like to do away with it.
[Some of my opponents] do not want to change the Constitution, 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 is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards.
How he's going to square that viewpoint with swearing an oath to support and defend the Constitution if he gets sworn in as President is hard to fathom. Maybe the Bible he takes the oath on will burst into flame or something equally biblical.
Once Huckabee gets into office, he ought to have an easy job, because the usual practice of addressing specific problems is outmoded. In the new theocracy we're going to solve all the nation's problems by reading the Bible more as he explains in Character Makes a Difference:
Our problems do not result from economics or deficiencies in education. They result from the selfish decision to ignore God's standards of integrity. Standards based on anything else are relative, and relative standards are meaningless.
But fear not. God has given him the word on some specific issues. He wants to expand farm subsidies, tax businesses on the Internet, and put homosexuals in AIDS quarantine camps. And he's got a different take on marriage. Not only does he want to ban gay marriage, but he wants to make divorce illegal as he explained in a GOP debate in September of last year:
Marriage is a relationship between one man, one woman, for life … I would support strongly and lead — not just support, but lead — an effort to have a constitutional amendment to affirm marriage as between one man, one woman, for life.
This is definitely not what I want my government to be wasting its time on, or the kind of thing I want to see amended into the Constitution in the spot where the First Amendment used to be. The Constitution is the foundation of our government and ought to be treated with respect. The Bill of Rights is absolutely essential to maintaining a free society. Huckabee would like to write over them with Bible verses and that seems like a bad trade.
I have to admit that Huckabee is charming, personable, and witty. But it doesn't make oppression any better just because it comes in an appealing package. Every despot probably looked good to the people when they first yielded up power to him. An perhaps worst of all, Huckabee seems to have it in for free speech on the Internet. In his book From Hope to Higher Ground he wrote "Read the Bible more; blogs less." Now does that seem like a good idea?
To find out much more than you probably want to know about Huckabee, visit his page at On the Issues.