The Sound of Silence

It was covered by Fox, but not as a major story. It was also buried in the ABC News.  But CNN, MSNBC/NBC News, CBS? Nothing. Breitbart? Nothing. Redstate.com? Nothing. After Arizona’s SB 1070, there was a general uproar for other states to follow suit. Now that Utah has, nobody’s saying anything.

Utah passed HB  497, with the same sort of enforcement provisions as Arizona’s SB 1070, except that it focuses on felony and serious misdemeanor suspects. It passed with strong support in this conservative state with Republican super-majorities in both houses. So where is all the flag-waving and cheerleading we have come to expect for such measures?

Utah even got innovative and the same overwhelmingly Republican legislature also passed HB 116. That’s the guest worker program for undocumented aliens. As I recall, a lot has been said about Washington in general, and the administration in particular, not dealing with the immigration issue, so it is up to the States to fill the gap. Isn’t this what everyone wanted? A solution by conservative state legislators to deal with all the undocumented workers?

When I saw that this legislation had passed, I thought that when or if I blogged about it, I would be lost in the thunder of all the bigger louder voices. It now appears I will be lost to the deaf ears of apathy.

Hollywood Democrats Who Want Republicans to Leave America

Democrats are very tolerant. Of other Democrats of course. Take that great political philosopher Cher, for example. At the recent Slumdog Millionaire/The Wrestler awards party in Los Angeles, she told the press, “The Republicans nearly killed me. My spirit is renewed, this is such a great time to be an American.”

And apparently the penalty for the attempted murder (or near negligent manslaughter) of Cher by the collective Republican population is exile. “Republicans: why would you want to be one, especially if you’re a minority. I wish they would go somewhere else.”

That’s right, you shouldn’t want to be a minority. And minorities should just go somewhere else. Wow, think of what would have hit the fan if a Republican had said that.

After the previous elections, the Hollywood Democrats threatened to move somewhere else, because it was better to live outside of America than to live under a Republican president.  Now that they have the presidency, they want anyone who disagrees with them to move away. They can’t stand to be in the same country with anyone who is not like them.

Doesn’t sound very tolerant, does it?

Character and Moral Leadership

I wish I could remember which blog (or blog combox) I read that said Mike Huckabee seems to be running for America’s pastor rather than American’s president. I don’t do lots of blog surfing, so it may be a sentiment that has been oft-repeated or picked up from an MSM expert or pundit.

Tonight as I was washing the dishes, I realised that if that’s what Mike is trying to do, then he has the right idea. What are Americans looking for in a president? They are looking for someone who is caring and comforting in time of need. They are looking for someone who can articulate a vision and inspire hope and courage. They are looking for someone who is not afraid to call evil “evil” and good “good”; someone with a fixed moral compass.

Should voters care about a candidate’s view on foreign policy? Not really. It doesn’t change much from administration to administration, because each has to deal with the exigencies of the day in a pragmatic way. Bush policy didn’t different much from Clinton policy until 9/11 and there’s nothing to say that Gore dealing with post 9/11 would have done it any different than Bush. Would Gore have been more forbearing of Saddam’s flagrant disregard for sanctions and the no-fly zones? Frankly, we don’t know who he would have had running State, Defense, and the NSA, so we don’t know which ways he would have been pulled. Had he invaded (an idea most everyone loved at the time), would he have been stuck in the same mire as the Bush administration? Probably so.

So much of the hype and focus by the MSM is based on red herrings. I would hope for more honesty in the blogosphere. From what I can see, the bloggers of the Northeast and the West Coast, as a few wannabes caught in the Red States in between, are stropping around the blogosphere, furious that a lot of Republicans don’t want gee-everyone-makes-mistakes-like-two-openly-adulterous-relationships Guiliani. They can’t for the life of them understand why Americans might not want a contest between a pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion Republican and a pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion Democrat.

Both sides know that these issues and others have little to do with the Presidency. It’s like Mike Huckabee’s answer about evolution. Why is somebody asking this of a candidate for president when it has nothing to do with the presidency? Those asking the questions are trying to show that Huckabee is a religious idiot – that’s what Blue Staters want to see and will see regardless of how he answers questions on evolution. No one in the Red States believes in evolution anyway, so all it does is convince them that Mike’s their man.

And for all of Bill Clinton’s “It’s the economy stupid” slogan, the Chief Executive actually doesn’t have a lot of control of that either, the OMB and the Departments of Treasury and Commerce notwithstanding. At the end of the day, it is about character.

It is not about competence. Just about every candidate running in the two main parties is competent to be president. All the Republicans want to be like Ronald Reagan and he slept through much of his second term, still managing to combine his moral leadership with that of some pastors in Eastern Europe to being down the Iron Curtain.

All the Democrats want to be like JFK, whose presidency was about fiascos and philandering. Oh, and he got himself killed. Assassination is the civil religion equivalent of martyrdom, so he’s now a saint.

No, it’s about character. It’s about moral leadership. I’m a firm believer that elections give the electorate what they deserve. If the Red States lose their focus on values, they deserve to get a valueless president.

Changing Horses

I was a bit surprised to see prominent reports about the CNN/YouTube GOP debate in the UK press. I was especially surprised to see positive press for Mike Huckabee. After all, he’s the one candidate about whom there’s never been any question with regard to the place of religion in his life and if there is anything hated by Brits, it is religious politicians.

As a result, I had to watch the debate on YouTube. I was also quite impressed with Huckabee. For now I am switching my support from Thompson and following the lead of Chuck Norris in endorsing Huckabee. I’ve no doubt his campaign will be excited to learn of this. I’m not switching because he has the best chance of getting the nomination – even if he is leading in Iowa. He is the most principled candidate in the race.

I think Huckabee could be what George W Bush wanted to be. He has a vision for the compassionate conservatism that got derailed by 9/11 and Iraq. He is also a tremendously better public speaker. Let’s face it – many of Bush’s image problems, just like those of Dan Quayle, are rooted in a stumbling communication style. Mike doesn’t have that problem.

Even while running for President, the former pastor of First Baptist Texarkana still finds time to preach. He doesn’t visit a church to give a political pep talk and press the flesh, like so many candidates who, as my dad would say, wouldn’t know Jesus if he rode up on a pinto pony. Though the amateur camera work is terrible, you can get an insight into the real Mike Huckbee by watching his sermon at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas  back on November 4.

The True Huckabee and the False Novak

I haven’t heard much about what’s going on with Ron Paul lately. This could be due to my absence from the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, but most of the stirring beneath the Giuliani and Romney jugernauts seems to be coming from Mike Huckabee.

What’s Dr No done with the fruits of his historic online fund-raising drive on Guy Fawkes Day? I haven’t even seen his numbers on the imported American MSM, but then that’s not a big surprise.

Seems Huckabee has been outed as a fake conservative. But Robert Novak defines conservatism on a purely libertarian economic basis. “The danger is a serious contender for the nomination who passes the litmus test of social conservatives on abortion, gay marriage and gun control but is far removed from the conservative-libertarian model of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.” Reagan was anti-abortion, anti-gun control and no doubt would have been anti-gay marriage. Who cares about Goldwater, frankly.

Novak says, “Calling global warming a ‘moral issue’ mandating ‘a biblical duty’ to prevent climate change, he has endorsed a cap-and-trade system that is anathema to the free market.” We can disagree on anthropogenic global warming (and it looks like I might disagree with Huckabee), but Huckabee does have the concept of stewardship of the earth in mind. Should businesses be allowed to polluted at will, in the name of present economic benefit? If you say no, you are anathema to the free market.

Conservatism is not biblical. Libertarianism is not biblical, any more than liberalism is. The biblical duty of government is often compatible with classic conservativism and libertarianism. Usually significantly more compatible than with liberalism. Many of the ideas of the former harken back to an age when the idea that the Bible is the source of worldview was undisputed. Most of the ideas of the latter are sourced in philosophy that was purposefully pitted against Christianity, though some of them were later co-opted by the Christian left.

When candidates start talking about biblical duty, both sides of the political spectrum start flying the red flag against theocracy. Well, against any theocracy but that of their own secularist idols. For candidates who fundamentally believe in a biblical worldview (and given the variety Protestants, there isn’t just one)  they must interpret their politics through the same lens as the rest of their life. Pretensions of cubbyholing religion are just that. It’s just that no one outs the secularists, or those who worship the conservative-libertarian model, forcing them to defend their worldview.