Friday, January 4, 2008

Huckabee's Victory and What it Means

Huckabee’s victory has put me in a position of great discomfort. I, just like the neocons, are deeply troubled by Huckabee’s victory, but for completely different reasons. The neocon strategy has always been to build a pro-business coalition, using wedge issues important to the religious right to get most Americans to vote against their own economic self-interest. Americans, concerned about health care, education, declining standard of living, and jobs moving overseas, have overlooked these issues and focused on abortion, gay rights and internal security as the main issues. Huckabee, with his populist side appeals to the issues the neocons wish to ignore.

The religious right, has always been welcomed on the Republican flight to power. However, it has always been a given that they would be riding coach. Huckabee’s rise threatens the neocon strategy. The monster they’ve created is now at risk of devouring them. And though I can’t help but snicker at the irony, I also realize the threat the religious right is to our Republic and to our future progress as a diverse and vibrant society. More than Huckabee’s campaign, it is the fuel that is moving that campaign forward that I fear.

1 comment:

just-commenting said...

I don't think that anyone can yet know what his victory means. Half of his support in Iowa was from evangelicals who were less concerned with any of his positions or politics than with the idea that "he is one of us" and that "God told me to vote for him." He received only 1 of 7 votes (according to the news media statistic gurus) cast by non-evangelicals who participated in the Republican caucuses, a group that reportedly voted for Romney at least 2:1 over Huckabee.

I suspect that he has momentum that will serve him well in the near future, at least in Bible-belt states, but a loss by a wide margin in NH and Florida could expose the fact that his support is not very broad among mainstream people, and he certainly is not the choice of the power brokers within the party. He played the religion card very skillfully, but will that carry other states?

I am discouraged about the political process and climate, with the mean-spirited demonization of anyone who disagrees with one's ideas. I cannot find anyone in either party who is a decent match for my own views. I took one of the candidate compatibility tests that are avaiable on the internet, and the HIGHEST match was only 33% (a tie between Obama and Richardson) with Romney a close follower at 30%Huckabee was dead last with only 15% concordance with my views.

What am I to do when the election comes around? I suppose that I'll have to vote for the least slimy candidate on the ballot, as there will be no one who matches well as a total package with a desire for decency, honesty, personal integrity, compassion for the disadvantaged, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, tolerance for the views of others, support of education, encouraging a robust and healthy climate for small business, access to health care, a reasonable solution to illegal immigration, security for our country and people, and the ability to compromise when it is appropriate and for the good of as many people as possible.

All of those things can be found here and there in various candidates, but none seem to have very many of them in one person.