Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
Ron Paul supporters aren’t the only ones who can claim spontaneous grass-roots activism online: Mike Huckabee enthusiasts point to a new website founded by teenage twins that’s organizing worker bees nationwide for the former Arkansas governor’s presidential effort.
HucksArmy.com, created by 19-year-old Brett and Alex Harris, homeschool graduates from Portland, Ore., boasts over 3 million hits thus far – and if the Harris twins’ track record of online success is any indication, the new site could attract considerably more visitors.
Alex and Brett Harris
The Harrises are founders of TheRebelution.com, a site targeting Christian youth that fosters “a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.” The site currently gets around 24,000 visitors daily.
HucksArmy.com displays a prominent map of the U.S. from which visitors can click on a state to get information about leadership and events planned.
“One of the most important lessons any grass-roots supporter ever learns is to never just sit around waiting for the campaign to tell you what to do,” states a page on the site. “‘Grass-roots’ is just another way of saying ‘from the bottom up.’ Real grass-roots starts with ordinary citizens taking the initiative (e.g. this website) to make things happen for their candidate.”
The site includes a page listing “16 things you can do now for Mike Huckabee,” including signing up for forums, joining local Meetup Groups and donating to the candidate’s campaign.
One suggestion is to “wave Huckabee signs during rush hour”:
“While no one likes to admit it, they do notice people on the sidewalk waving signs and they usually remember what the signs say. Since that is true, waving signs during rush hour is a great way to bring people’s attention to Mike Huckabee.
“Gather your signs (homemade are great here) and your little ones (no one can resist an 8-year-old with a Huckabee sign) and make it a family adventure at the busiest intersection in your area. If you are part of a local Meetup Group get other supporters to join you.”
Military symbolism adorns the site – things like its logo – the image of a large tank – and an invitation to join the “Special Forces.”
“The Special Forces are for people who are willing to really get on the ground and fight in their state caucuses and primaries,” explains the site. “These people are not only going to show up to vote, but are going to bring a whole bunch of people with them – even if it’s snowing outside. Joining the Special Forces is a real commitment because this election is serious business. Lives are literally at stake.”
A fundraising appeal asks supporters to “Do with less so Mike will have enough,” urging activists to give up an “extra” in their lives so they can set aside $10 a week for Huckabee’s campaign.
So, why did the high-achieving media-savvy teens (whose new book is entitled “Do Hard Things”) choose Huckabee as their man?
“What really grabbed our attention initially about Mike Huckabee is that he is a great communicator,” Alex Harris told WND. “He says things like, ‘I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anybody about it.’ And that’s what young voters today are looking for, honestly – someone who can get things done not by compromising or by just plunging ahead regardless of what people think, but by communicating and inspiring people to reach for more. And that’s what every great leader has been able to do.”
Alex says it was Huckabee’s “fresh thinking on critical issues that really got us hooked” – like “developing creativity through arts and music” in the schools.
“What he realizes is that the reason so many young people are dropping out of school or taking naps in class is not because we’re dumb, but because we’re bored.”
Brett Harris rebutted criticism by Huckabee detractors that he favors big government.
“Conservatives hold to the idea that the government that governs least governs best, but by that standard Iraq has a better government than we do,” said Brett. “Mike Huckabee is not a big-government conservative; he is a right-government conservative. There is a constitutional role for government, and Huckabee recognizes that.
“The reason the people of Arkansas repeatedly re-elected him was because he got the results. He got a life amendment passed and a marriage amendment. He turned a $250 million deficit into an $850 million surplus. He improved the roads and the schools. He cut taxes and balanced the budget every year. The reason some people hate him is because he didn’t always do things their way – but they haven’t gotten the results doing it their way.”
Said Harris: “I think the people of this country are ready for a new way that works.”