Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why I Do Not Support Mike Huckabee

Or, a rambling critique of the Christian Right's marriage to neo-conservative Republicans.

A friend of mine recently invited me to join him in voicing support for Mike Huckabee. I didn't ask why he supported Huckabee, but I have a shrewd suspicion. Either a) he supports Huckabee on the grounds that Huckabee's Christianity will make him a moral president, in which case I point him to Ron Paul, a rigorously scrupulous politician with an unblemished voting record, or b) he supports Huckabee because he thinks that Huckabee will bring about change in America. Usually the key issue here is abortion, and the noble Christian desire to repeal Roe vs. Wade.

The problem is that while ending abortion is a truly great aim, something akin to stopping the Nazi slaughterhouses at Auschwitz and elsewhere, Americans live in a secular democracy. By secular, I mean that the United States of America is not a Christian country - Christendom is dead, even if Christ isn't (no thanks to the deicidal tendencies of Nietzsche et al.). By democracy, I mean that the U. S. A. is not ruled by a minority, and if it is, this must be corrected or else lose the democracy.

Why are these points a problem? Because in order for Christian principles (such as opposition to all forms of infanticide) to be instituted on a nation-wide scale, the will of the majority will have to be contravened. In essence, a minority (Christians) would rule.

There is no way around this. The Christian must realize that he has three and only three options. First, prayer for change. Second, peaceful opposition and protest (similar to the protests of King and Gandhi). Third, opposition through violence - whether violence against persons, violence against property, or violence against the will of the majority.

Back to Huckabee.

Huckabee is a neo-conservative (1 & 2). Neo-conservatives are happy with a minority ruling the country - themselves. Neo-conservatives (whether Republican like Giuliani or Huckabee or Democrat like Clinton) are the last people we want in power if we wish to preserve our freedoms. Freedoms of assembly, of speech, of religion.

[Tangent. Once upon a time in Germany the German peoples were afraid. They feared Communists and they feared for their economic security. So they gave up their freedoms to instate a minority group (the National Socialist party) that promised them security. They got Hitler and WWII.

The consequences of minority rule are not always so extreme, but they can be. And once the pattern of minority rule is established, it is not easily overturned or relinquished.]

What frightens me is the blind devotion of the Christian Right to neo-conservativism. What frightens me is how eagerly Christians pursue a minority rule, thinking that it will serve their own ends, forgetting that minority rule promises only one thing - the end to the Will of the People.

So, I don't support Huckabee. I think it is great that a [seemingly] practicing Christian is running for president. And were I a neo-conservative, I would probably hope he won the nomination. But I am not a neo-conservative. I am just the guy on the cliff watching the lemmings with the WWJD bracelets carefully and systematically dismantle their freedoms in the name of Christ.


[Edit: Strictly speaking, the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy. The "rule of the people" through elected delegates is tempered by a charter or constitution. However, my point stands that a government is dangerous when it no longer reflects or heeds the values of the populace. In the case of the U.S., a return to representation of the majority from the current neo-conservative hijacking of American governance is accomplished not through an appeal to democratic principles but by a return to a constitution that limits government, the Constitution of the United States.]


Anonymous said...

I believe in benevolent dictatorship, just as long as that dictator is me.

All joking aside, my belief in the political freedom of choice embodied in democracy is not absolute. As one wag put it, the constitution is not a suicide pact. And in reality, a people can and sometimes do vote their own destruction, or vote their own enslavement.
G.W. Bush for the last several years has championed democracy for Iraq. But there has been some consternation at the choices the people of Iraq have made, seeming to vote themselves leaders who would defer to the absolutism of militant Islam.
The same has been the case in Afganistan. After being told of wondrous success we hear of a convert from Islam to Christianity being sentenced to death by the state for the crime of apostasy.

I would define a "perfect world" as one populated by perfect people. If you think about it, any form of government would work in that world. In fact, there would be no need for government at all, because government is a voluntary abridgement of everyone's freedom by agreement (in a democracy at least) for the purpose of protecting each from the other. Perfect people, however, would always do what is good for their neighbour and for the group as a whole.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that government does not exist without some moral underpinning. In fact it exists to enforce a morality upon the whole for the good of the whole and the protection of each individual. When, at some point, that morality is eroded to such an extent that it no longer accomplishes its proper end, the structure of democracy becomes somewhat meaningless as an ideal. It only remains then as a practical opportunity for those of faith that they might not otherwise have.

When is that point reached? How about when millions annually of the most vulnerable slaughtered with the sanction of the government? Such a government, such a society, it seems to me, has lost all moral authority or ideological claim upon me. If a cabal of Christians execute a non-violent coup, for me it is a matter of curiosity, for I would expect less sympathy for the free exercise and practice of my faith from plurality of secular humanists whose numbers include some vicious anti-Catholics. I intend to practice my faith anyway, but the relative difficulty of that practice may be affected by those in power.

Anonymous said...


I could sum it up this way. I would prefer a Godly king, to an ungodly democracy.

But what if the crown prince turns out to be ungodly? My answer; but what if the people turn out to be ungodly? I see no essential difference, ie. the system of government itself is no bulwark against evil.