I will not be voting for Mike Huckabee (R).
Here are my reasons:
1. He is a former Baptist pastor.
That's fine, I suppose, if a former Baptist politician is able to separate his religious beliefs from his duties as a representative of people of all religions (or no religion). That being said, this statement of Huckabee's gives me the willies:
"My faith is my life - it defines me. I don't separate my faith from my personal and professional lives.... My faith doesn't influence my decisions, it drives them."
See, I am okay with having a president who is religious. But I'm not okay with having a president whose religious faith drives his decisions. I don't share his religious faith. Nor do many Americans. And to add more salt on that wound, his particular faith is not the most tolerant.
But wait, Huckabee also says this, indicating that maybe he doesn't hold the same judgmental views on gay people as others in his religion:
"Real faith makes us humble and mindful, not of the faults of others, but of our own. It makes us less judgmental, as we see others with the same frailties we have."
Hmm. Hold that thought.
2. In 1992, Huckabee wrote this, in response to an Associated Press questionnaire asking candidates if measures ought to be taken to "isolate the carriers of [HIV/AIDS]":
"It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crises it represents,"
And, he stands by these statements today saying this:
"'I still believe this today,' he said, 'I don't run from it, I don't recant it.' He said he would, however, state his view differently now in retrospect."
Okay. But, even in 1992, it was commonly known that HIV/AIDS was not spread by casual contact. And, in 1992, AIDS was still largely seen as a gay disease (even though heterosexual rates of acquisition were beginning to significantly increase). So, why the need for quarantine if this "plague" could not be spread by casual contact?
Surely he wasn't making any implications about gay men's sexual behavior...
3. Oh wait. (This is the part where we remember Huckabee's definition of real faith as being non-judgmental):
When asked his opinions about gays in the military, Huckabee said this:
"I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle..."
How very non-judgmental.
And, those are strong words coming from someone who never served in the military. I'd like to see him back up this statement before a crowd of current and former LGBT servicemembers.
4. In fact, Huckabee proudly admits that he is the most anti-gay candidate in the race saying on his website:
"No other candidate has supported traditional marriage more consistently and steadfastly than I have. While Massachusetts was allowing homosexuals to marry, I got a constitutional amendment passed in Arkansas in 2002 defining marriage as between one man and one woman."
You know, I'm reading several books right now on the history of marriage, and I'm learning more and more that the concept "traditional marriage" is a conservative construct that denies the reality that "marriage" has varied greatly over time and culture. Not that many in the "moral values" crowd concern themselves with pesky things like facts, however.
Oh, I also get the heebie-jeebies when people still use the word "homosexual" to refer to.... me.
5. Mike Huckabee also claims to support "the sanctity of life" (that virtuous yet vacuous buzz phrase). He boasts:
"As Governor, I did all I could to protect life. The many pro-life laws I got through my Democrat legislature are the accomplishments that give me the most pride and personal satisfaction. What I accomplished as Governor proves that there is a lot more that a pro-life President can do than wait for a Supreme Court vacancy, and I will do everything I can to promote a pro-life agenda and pass pro-life legislation."
"I will staff all relevant positions with pro-life appointees. I will use the Bully Pulpit to change hearts and minds, to move this country from a culture of death to a culture of life."
So, this wannabe "leader" is admitting that he sees the highest executive office in our nation as a means to be Preacher-in-Chief and that he will use his power as president to impose his religious beliefs on our nation.
Not exactly what our founding fathers had in mind.
Hmm. Well, I suppose if he is so into supporting a culture of life, we will finally have an end to war.
Hold that thought.
6. In Huckabee we would get another messianic "leader" (intentional quotes) who believes he is leading the world to be in an historic battle between good and evil:
"Iraq is a battle in our generational, ideological war on terror....I am focused on winning. Withdrawal would have serious strategic consequences for us and horrific humanitarian consequences for the Iraqis.... I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. This war is not a conventional war, and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy....As President, I will always ensure that Israel has access to the state-of-the-art weapons and technology she needs to defend herself from those who seek her annihilation."
[*side rant*Do we really still refer to countries as ladies?*side rant over*]
Reflecting on Huckabee's committment to supporting "the sanctity of life," I wonder how his eagerness for war and a military upgrade substantiates his claims of supporting the holiness of all living beings.
I'm thinking of a number. 655,00 to be exact.
Sanctity of life indeed.
7. Now, this final reason is an admittedly shallow reason, but when combined with the other reasons it is sort of the straw that breaks the camel's back: his name. Can one possibly have a more good ol' boy southern name than "Huckabee"? Oh wait, yes, yes one can.
I'll end on these slogans that Huckabee's campaign managers are completely free to use:
Mike Huckabee: One more reason to support separation of church and state!
Mike Huckabee: One reason to vote in the Republican primary just so you can vote against him!
Mike Huckabee: Doing his part to create an evangelical Christian theocracy!
Mike Huckabee: I think gay people are icky too, so vote for me!