Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huckabee Shamelessness

Today I saw an ad by Mike Huckabee.

"Are you about wore [sic] out of all the television commercials you've been seeing? Mostly about politics. I don't blame you. At this time of year sometimes it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is a celebration of the birth of Christ, and being with our family and our friends. I hope that you and your family will have a magnificent Christmas season, and on behalf of all of us, God bless and Merry Christmas.

"I'm Mike Huckabee and I approve this message."


Paid for by Huckabee for President, Inc.
Approved by Mike Huckabee


I don't know that it is necessary to point out the blatant hypocrisy in this political ad, but for those who need the guided tour, this is a shameless appeal to the Christian vote. Mike Huckabee in one sympathetic breath criticizes the rest of the presidential candidates for their political commercials, and then proceeds to emphasize that Christmas is about Christ, a statement that warms the heart of any Christian. However, and this is the important part, Huckabee would not be saying any of this if it were not for the fact that he is running for president. This message does not come from him out of the goodness of his heart but out of his presidential campaign, paid for by his campaign organization, and underscored throughout by a reference to his campaign website.

I'm sorry, but this is scandalous.

And I afraid that the Christian community will be as suckered by this cynical ploy as Huckabee thinks they will.



V & E said...

I was talking with E. about this post, and she made the comment that this kind of political invocation of the deity was "business as usual."

Perhaps it is naive of me to be outraged at this kind of hypocrisy...

But isn't there a moral difference between using "Christian values" as a political weapon and using the name of God as one?

The former is mere hypocrisy. The latter seems to border on blasphemy as well. And that this is a man who should know better, a former pastor who is billing himself as the representative of God ... it grates.

Or am I off-base on this?


Anonymous said...

At the very least it is blatantly hypocritical, for as you say, he wouldn't be doing TV ads if he wasn't running for President in the first place.

He is touching a nerve, however. This time of year has become the contest for the most politically correct goofy pandering award. Some corporation removing Christmas trees, some municipality refusing to allow a nativity scene, etc., etc. We have the same nonsense every year here in Canada. Some multiculturally sensitive music director in some school recently, I think it was in Nova Scotia changed the words in Silver Bells to "it's 'festive' time in the city" or something to that effect. Just goofy. And Silver Bells isn't that deep of a song anyway, much less classified as a carol, so the whole thing seems somewhat frivolous. But there is an uncurrent of resentment that snarls and snaps each year at each of these latest attempts to de-Christianize the celebration of the birth of Christ. What Huckabee is clearly doing is not only wishing people a blessed Christmas but saying that he is not ashamed to call it for what it is, the celebration of the birth of Christ. Despite the obvious pandering, it likely will resonate in a subtle way.

You will know how effective it is if the other candidates start running ads to similar effect. And also, this comes also in the context of Romney's recent "JFK" moment when he tries to separate his Mormonism from his politics, in order to allay the fears of the Bible belt.

The irony is that Huckabee is trying, in a blatant piece of pandering, to say that he is a man of conviction and not a panderer like the others. Personally, I think it is hilarious.

V & E said...

Hilarious and hypocritical, eh?

The irony is funny. Unfortunately, the neo-conservative politics of the man aren't.

I just want Christians to wake up, stop being passive consumers and become aware that their knee-jerk reactions are manipulable.

We need our leaders to probe, seek, question, and guide.