Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
A short time ago, I wrote in jest about what I would do if I am elected president. Of course, that was written all in good fun.
Like most of you, over the summer and into the fall, I’ve been watching, listening, studying and praying about who could lead this country as our next president.
I won’t leave you in suspense. Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Newt Gingrich called Mike “very effective … if Huckabee can find money, he will be dramatically competitive almost overnight.” Bill Clinton called Huckabee the “only dark horse that’s got any kind of chance … He’s the best speaker they’ve got.” There is even a pro-Huckabee swell rising among the younger generation.
Who he is (before what he can do)
More than anything he has done or can do, however, it is first who Mike is that impresses me most.
Part of our backward culture is reflected in the fact that we measure and value people by what they do, instead of first who they are. As a result, we nominate charisma, cast votes for articulation and repeatedly elect too many paper-thin corrupt politicians. Of course, I want a president who gets things done, but I first want one who has lived a life of integrity, commitment, truthfulness and respect. Mike is that man.
Mike hasn’t lived an isolated, out-of-touch life like so many politicians. He was raised in Hope, Ark., with a dad who was a firefighter and always had a second job. Mike and his sister grew up poor, not privileged. He was the first person in his family to graduate from high school. And he worked two jobs in college and graduated in two-and-a-half years. He is an outdoorsman too – an avid fisherman, hunter and a long-term member of the NRA.
Mike is a committed husband and father. He has always prioritized his family before politics. His wife, two sons and daughter speak his highest praise.
Mike has also faced unique adversity, from helping a young wife endure the trials of spinal cancer to aiding the victims of hurricane Katrina as the governor of Arkansas. He has a heart for helping and will fight for the causes of average citizens. He is known for having a compassionate heart, genuinely caring for all people.
Mike is also a respected and fearless leader, and he does not cower to the cries of any majority or minority. He doesn’t abandon his values for what’s expedient. Like our Founding Fathers, he’s not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs. At the same time, he doesn’t fear offending Christian leaders who give up their values in pursuit of electing their “team leader” just like everyone else.
A track record toward the presidency
Mike Huckabee has already proven his ability to lead our citizens as a lieutenant governor for three years in 1993 and governor of Arkansas for the following 10 years. Time magazine called him one of the best governors in America.
As governor, Mike led the citizens of Arkansas through difficult conditions. He balanced the budget each year, enhanced technology in commerce, was tough on crime, used tobacco lawsuit monies to better health care, initiated a toll-free hotline to report tips on government corruption and 16 times had to endure the long nights of the soul before he gave permission for executions to proceed. He also initiated the ARKids First program, cutting the number of uninsured children in half.
It’s not a coincidence that four out of the last five presidents we’ve had were governors because they proved their abilities, perseverance and heart for running our country by serving in those state capacities.
As New Man men’s magazine (July/August 2007) said, “His proven ability to cast a compelling vision, as he did while governor, that transcends party, ideology and class might enable America to unite and begin to heal, an especially important goal at this point in our history.”
Where he stands, and what he will do
Mike Huckabee will fight for the issues that lead us safely, and with prosperity, into the future. Here are several of his positions in his own words (to read or watch Mike speak about the issues, click the title)
Reviving health care – “The health-care system in this country is irrevocably broken. … As president, I will work with the private sector, Congress, health-care providers and other concerned parties to lead a complete overhaul of our health-care system.”
Implementing a FairTax – “I support the FairTax. As governor of Arkansas, I cut taxes and fees almost 100 times, saving the taxpayers almost $380 million. I left a surplus of nearly $850 million, which I urged should go back to the people. Our massive deficit is not due to Americans being under-taxed, but to the government’s over-spending.”
Creating more choices for education – “I believe that every child should have the opportunity for a quality education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a global economy. … Test scores rose dramatically when I was governor of Arkansas because of my education reforms.”
Stopping illegal immigration –”My number one priority is to secure America’s border.”
Winning the war on terror – “I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy. … With a focus on renewed diplomacy and inclusion, we can accomplish the goals of our nation without having to go it alone.”
Saving marriage – “I support, and have consistently supported, passage of a federal constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. … As governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to pass a similar state constitutional amendment in 2002.”
Protecting the right to life – “I support, and have always supported, passage of a constitutional amendment to protect the right to life.”
Achieving energy independence –”The first thing I will do as president is send Congress my comprehensive plan for energy independence. We will achieve energy independence by the end of my second term.”
(I will address the whys of these and other positions in upcoming articles)
An ordained minister as president?
Does the fact that Mike Huckabee served as an ordained minister create a disadvantage to his election or presidency? Not if one knows Huckabee and history.
First, many may not realize there was an active clergy (Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon) among the signers of the Declaration of Independence – and that two others had been previously ministers. Others were sons of clergy. Virtually all were Protestant Christians.
Signers of the Constitution even included Abraham Baldwin, a minister. “Williamson, Madison, and possibly others, had studied in this field but had never been ordained.” And again, most signers of the Constitution were also Protestant Christians, except two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, who were Roman Catholics.
Being honored to share this bi-vocational duty as minister and politician with some of those early patriots, Huckabee has advanced and fine tuned his people and oratory skills. And most of all, it has taught him to put others first. Isn’t that what we want in a leader?
Mike is a compassionate Christian conservative. Though solid in his faith and standing for traditional family values, he’s not an uncaring extremist. He lives what he believes, and respects others’ beliefs even when they disagree with him, committed to a republic that was founded upon the free exercise of religion.
In all respects, Huckabee meets our Founders’ recommendations for president.
The David among them
The one question that remains is: Can Huckabee win the nomination? The presidency?
As with the other candidates, Huckabee has, and will continue to have, his hecklers: “He hasn’t raised enough money.” “He’ll never beat Hillary.” “Our society is too prejudice and paranoid to vote for a once Baptist minister.” “He’ll never out-race the top four Republican candidates.”
I was thinking about these types of comments the other day when I recalled another leader in ancient times that didn’t match up in the line up: King David. Seven men were poised and paraded for the position of king, but David was left in the field shepherding because he wasn’t “a frontrunner in the polls.” They overlooked the best because they were too busy judging by outward appearance. But God appointed David king.
It’s time to quit choosing our leaders based solely upon charisma or one strong suit, and move back to being a culture which esteems and elects its leaders because of character and qualifications. It’s substance, not pizzazz, we should want in a leader. Mike Huckabee is the real deal.
Huckabee in ’08!
Friends, it’s time for people to get off the bench and onto the playing field. If we are going to see a man like Mike Huckabee elected, it’s time to rally behind him, support him financially, pray for him daily and spread the word of his character, platform and experience.
So can a man who was raised in a poor background from Hope, Ark., become governor then president? As Mike says, “Our country has already proven that!” What I would ask is: Give Hope another chance! This time, they want to send in the real cavalry.
Keep Hope alive! Join my wife Gena and me by electing Mike Huckabee in ’08!
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