Our recent article about the rise of Huckabee nationally, and the Republican party’s fear of his ability to win, is just the beginning of a political shift in the country. Mainstream America is sick and tired of politicians selling them down the river, negative campaigning, and politics as usual – Huckabee stands out as someone bucking the system. From our previous article, one commenter called him a socialist, another basically said he’s a lock for the nomination.
Both are wrong.
Part of Huckabee’s appeal is that he’s not a business-as-usual candidate. He hasn’t gone negative, and his message appeals to voters. His final standing in the nomination process is likely to come down to money – the more he has, the farther he’ll go. If he can match Romney’s millions ($17.5 million of which came from Romney himself), he’ll likely be able to go toe-to-toe with answers for Romney’s attacks, already called “false and misleading”.
The real issue isn’t Huckabee himself, it’s the message people are tired of politics as usual and want a change in attitude. Democrats were elected to end involvement in Iraq and failed to do so; after a change of leadership in Congress, has anyone on Main Street noticed a change? Likely not. People are tired of the political fighting and negativity – it’s time for a positive message, and not more of old “I feel your pain”.
That was the point of our previous article, and since then others have echoed similar thoughts on Huckabee, with some of the reasons for his rise.
Huckabee’s surge in the GOP race reflects what appears to be a demand for less vitriol, along with conservative grounding, among Republican voters. His personality and endearing Southern charm have been assets in the debates, where he has stood out with his easy, humorous one-liners and compassionate responses on contentious issues like illegal immigration.
But while Wrighton suggests Huckabee’s surge in popularity is the result of socially conservative voters finally getting engaged and enthusiastic for a candidate, the former governor of Arkansas is now facing much closer scrutiny, and a harsh evaluation from both capitalist purists and neoconservatives concerned about national security types.
Of course, it’s “capitalist purists and neoconservatives” which turn off the majority of voters.
On Sunday, the candidate went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” to say he is running as president of all America, and not just Christian America.
“That’s how I served as governor,” he said. “People look at my record and they didn’t see that I put a tent out on the capitol grounds and had healing services, and I didn’t replace the dome with a steeple. I governed. We improved education. We rebuilt the road system. We brought health care to children who didn’t have it. We reformed the welfare system. Those were the things that I focused on as governor.
“When people take a look at that, they’re going to see that it was my faith that drove me to care about things like hunger and poverty and the people that didn’t have anybody out there advocating for them. Real faith does that for you. It makes you concerned about everybody with a sense of equality,” he said.
Huckabee is a strong supporter of gun rights and the death penalty, and he is a strong opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion. He lost 110 pounds a few years ago and wrote a book about getting healthy. He has stated repeatedly that health is a bigger problem for Americans than health care.
It’s not about whether he’s this political label or that (nobody except pundits really care). It’s what the common man wants, and the common man can’t find it in the big political party’s main candidates. Huckabee and Obama may differ on issues, but both proclaim the same message of supporting the little guy – and it’s that message that resonates with people, not some political label.
Some people disagree with his positions – that’s normal for any candidate (and misses the point). But Huckabee and Obama seem to be hitting a chord with their respective messages, and (up until now), refusal to go negative. People like that.
Let the pundits argue about if he’s this or that, nobody on Main Street really cares; they just want a guy (of either party) who speaks to them. We think this is why both Huckabee and Obama are rising in the polls as the establishment picks (Romney/Clinton) fade a bit. We’ll see if the trend continues, or the political machines of both parties are able to snuff out the rebels in their ranks and keep the citizens forever wishing for a new direction and attitude. (Of course, Romney’s personal millions give him a considerable advantage, he’s already used about $17.5 million of his own money to bolster his campaign).
It is well known that Mike Huckabee is from middle America, Mitt Romney is not. By just doing what comes naturally, Huckabee should be able to make better contact with the values of middle Americans. What is less obvious is that the traditional conservative values of America reside most securely in the God-fearing people of middle America. Whoever is best able to represent them should be the President of this country, to fight against the culture of hedonism and greed that is embedded on both coasts. This is why the media are so desperate to defeat Huckabee. The continuation of their power depends on placing the values of the nation below the drive for corporate profits. And that is why the people of America need to rally around the man from Arkansas.
I think that Huckabee is Everyman–with all the good and the bad that goes along with that. And that means it’s over for those few wealthy, elite to whom largess from the Republican leadership has become a given for far too long. To put it simply, Republican candidates who were relying on the cynical Republican elite dynamic of conning lower and middle class conservative/religious Americans into voting for them have been caught out: we’ve spent the last six years biting our lips and watching Bush and Cheney and the rest of those people, and trying to justify to ourselves why we voted for them, but we are under no illusion as to their true clients: rich, wealthy elites whose personal business interests are far more important to them than the interests of this Nation. The Republican base wants the real McCoy–and that’s Huckabee no matter what the talking head media lickspittles say about it.
The issue isn’t Huckabee himself, it’s the idea people are tired of dirty politics, and want an honest man who represents the people and gets things done. People want education, better roads, health care. Democrats used to hold those issues almost exclusively, but as they continue to pander to the uber-left, they’ve left the common man up the creek without a personal flotation device.
That’s the opening Democrats created, and Huckabee can possibly drive a truck through it.