The more I read about Mike Huckabee, the less I like him. But in reflecting on his record, it occurs to me that he, in many ways, epitomizes the problems the Democrats have had over the past 35 decades.
Since the 1972 Convention, the Democrat Party has been dominated by their more liberal wing. With that domination has come an inflexible support for abortion on demand and in recent years, a decidedly anti-religious bent in their policies. (Yes, they often make happy talk about their support of religion, but who do they think they’re kidding?)
With those slants in their political stances, the Democrats have lost many voters who would rather be voting for the Democrats due to their stances on economic issues. But the Democrats strong position against traditional values on abortion, sexuality, and religion in the public square have driven many would-be Democrats out of the Democrat party. In fact, the “Reagan coalition” wasn’t so much about Reagan himself, but the policies he supported: a defense of the right to life, allowing prayer in public schools and traditional values in general. These stances, in stark opposition to the perceived “godlessness” of the Democrat party brought long-time Democrats of a religious bent into the Republican fold. Some in my own family meet this criteria. Some have taken the full journey to become Republicans, fully joining the Dark Side, so to speak, while others are mere “fellow travelers,” voting Republican in elections due to their social conservatism, but longing for the Democrats to return to their religious roots. (In fact, part of the goal of those rewriting the delegate rules for the 1972 Democratic convention was to take power from the Catholics who controlled many city Democratic machines.)
So what does this have to with Mike Huckabee? Well, look at his economic stances:
- he’s no opponent to tax hikes
- he favors a nation-wide smoking ban
- he’s running against large corporations
- he refers to the Club for Growth as the Club for Greed
- he generally favors an activist government
- His campaign strategy in 1993’s race for Lt. Governor was summed up this way: “What we wanted to do was run a progressive campaign that would appeal to all Arkansans.”
Those are just off the top of my head. If you were given that list of policy positions, which party would assume the candidate who held them belonged to? Right, the Democrat Party.
But….Huckabee’s strongly pro-life and favors traditional morality in other areas. In fact, he almost perfectly fits the mold of the old style Catholic Democrat who abandoned the Democrat Party in the 70s and 80s. I have no idea if Huckabee used to be a Democrat, and it doesn’t matter to me when determining my vote, but in many ways, he is the stereotypical person lost the Democrats since the 70s. By rights, he belongs to the Democrats, but like so many others of his political views, he was pushed out of the Democrat fold by their anti-religious stridency. Had they not lost them, they would have been far more successful in the intervening years.