A little man in search of a balcony: Mike Huckabee, practitioner of pseudo-Christian statism.
The gang at Fox & Friends was happily engaged in their familiar morning routine – applying a glaze of insipid cheerfulness to their network's authoritarian partisanship – when one of them made the mistake of asking Rep. Ron Paul about a campaign ad produced by a rival presidential aspirant, Mike Huckabee.
If the object of that odd query was to solicit a trite soundbite it was the wrong question to ask, and the wrong person of whom to ask it, given Dr. Paul's unflinching candor. Rather than indulging in the expected morning show banter, Dr. Paul offered this assessment of the Huckabee ad, in which the former Arkansas Governor, bathed in beatific light and flattered by the camera's soft focus, appears to have a cross floating over his shoulder:
"It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, 'when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.' Now I don't know whether that's a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don't think I would ever use anything like that."
By vowing never to use “anything like that” Dr. Paul was not foreswearing the use of Christian imagery in his campaign materials. He was effectively promising never to depict himself as the embodiment of Christian virtues and as God's anointed vessel of political redemption. That's a conceit that Huckabee embraced when he publicly attributed his recent political good fortune to the power of the One who miraculously multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry multitudes.
But it was Dr. Paul's boldness in using the “F-word” that caused his hosts at Fox & Friends to suffer a brief fit of the vapors. It's not as if the inhabitants of the Fox News Universe are unfamiliar with the term; it's just that they have been programmed to assume that it can only be used in a purely historical context unless it follows the prefix “Islamo-.” The morning show pixies were pixilated that Dr. Paul would apply that term to a fellow Republican, even – or perhaps especially – one as deserving as Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee's "cross" wasn't the first artfully staged GOP photo-op.
Let there be no mistake: Huckabee, like every other major Republican presidential candidate save Dr. Paul, is unambiguously a fascist. He is an ardent supporter of the welfare/warfare/homeland security state and all of its works and pomps. His objective is to expand, not to diminish, the power of the State.
And Huckabee has displayed a perfectly abhorrent enthusiasm for State-sanctioned bloodshed: It was Huckabee who insisted that although the Iraq war was misbegotten, the “honor” of the government requires that the killing continue for the indefinite future. Just this morning (December 19), Huckabee expressed the view that Washington has used “underwhelming” force in Iraq, when victory requires overkill. And in reacting to a recent ad from the polyurethane candidate Mitt Romney, Huckabee boasted that he had signed sixteen death warrants as the Arkansas chief executive, "more than any other governor in my state's history."
That last fact offers a telling contrast between Dr. Paul (who was an obstetrician) and Rev. Huckabee. Dr. Paul's campaign literature highlights his role in bringing thousands of new lives into the world; Huckabee takes conspicuous pride in presiding over the execution of more than a dozen people. Even those who support the death penalty (a position I can't understand, given the corruption and viciousness of the Regime that rules us) should agree that trading on the death of human beings, even those who “deserved” it, for political advantage is entirely depraved.*
Here's the difference: Unlike other politicians, when Ron Paul admires a baby, he's not looking on the child as merely a future taxpayer or coffin-stuffer.
Celebrating the State's power over life and death is a familiar fascist theme, but not one exclusive to fascism. The same is true of the cynical co-mingling of politics and religion. To understand why Republican statists like Huckabee deserve the description “fascist” it's useful to review the analysis offered by John T. Flynn in his 1944 book As We Go Marching.
As a critic of the New Deal and one-time leader of the America First movement, Flynn was effectively blacklisted from the prestige press on the orders of FDR. Such obscurity was both frustrating and liberating, since a consummated threat no longer has the power to paralyze its target. Freed from worrying about the consequences of tactless truth-telling (for there is none so free as someone with nothing to lose), Flynn used As We Go Marching to dissect and document the kindred relationship between German National Socialism, Italian Fascism, and the American equivalent that had its origins in the New Deal and was brought to malignant maturity during the war.
While stinting not at all in his loathing for Hitler and Mussolini, Flynn quite properly pointed out that “good fascists” like FDR and his clique represented a far more immediate threat to American liberty. As if specifically foretelling Mike Huckabee, Flynn also predicted that the future would bring those devoted to “the impossible task of purging fascism of its ugly features, cleaning it up, offering us a polite, religious, democratic fascism.” (Emphasis added.)
Flynn's brief description of fascism was a dictatorial political system “in which the government assumes responsibility for creating adequate purchasing power through the instrumentality of national debt and in which militarism is adopted as a great economic project for creating work as well as a great romantic project in the service of the imperialist state.”
What Flynn describes here was known – until the phrase became an embarrassment – as “National Greatness Conservatism.”
Flynn went on to list eight defining “devices” of the fascist system, however labeled and in whatever country it has taken root:
* “A government whose powers are unrestrained” -- what, if any, are the limits on government power currently recognized by Republicans?
* "A leader who is a dictator, absolute in power but responsible to the party which is a preferred elite";
*An economy in which property is privately owned, but politically controlled;
* The all-encompassing influence of “great government bureaus which have the power to make regulations or directives with the force of law”;
* The “socialization of investment” through “comprehensive integration of government and finances” -- a characteristic that has become quite salient during the era of Bush the Lesser;
*The creation of “streams of purchasing power by federal government borrowing and spending as a permanent institution” -- once again, a process that has thrived under the reign of "Borrow-and-Bomb" Bush;
*Militarism as an all-pervasive cultural attitude, and the military as a pillar of the industrial economy;
*Imperialism as the organizing principle of national life, whether overtly embraced or tacitly understood, with the population constantly presented “with some national crusade or adventure on the heroic model touching deeply the springs of chauvinistic pride, interest, and feeling.”
"Where these elements are found," concluded Flynn, "there is fascism, by whatever name the system is called.”
Apropos of Flynn's final point – the central role of “heroic” national crusades in a fascist political system -- it's worth noting that Huckabee recently told the New York Times that (in the paper's paraphrase) “the next president of the United States will have to lead Western civilization in a worldwide conflict with radical Islam.”
Huckabee, like Romney and Giuliani, doesn't see the president's role as one of seeking to mitigate conflicts, but rather that of maximizing them. He believes in subordinating the rights and interests of the individual to the power of the State and the ambitions of the political class; he assumes that the lives and property of Americans (not to mention those foreigners who would be on the receiving end of his belligerent piety) would be his to dispose of in whatever grandiose ventures “God” lays on his heart.
Were he a genuinely Christian statesman, Huckabee would recognize that our government for decades has eagerly courted Ruin, and Ruin is about to grant the government's entreaties. He would understand, and tell the truth about, the economic consequences of Washington's imperial foreign policy, and demand immediate and dramatic changes to it.
Changes will come, as the value of our currency evaporates and foreign coalitions take shape to rein in Washington's arrogant adventurism. It would be more desirable, of course, for change to come on terms favorable to individual freedom and national independence, but this would require a measure of humility foreign to the make-up of those who embrace pseudo-Christian statism.
The version of “Christian” statecraft that has prevailed under Bush II, and that would be taken up by Huckabee, has no use for truth and justice: It is preoccupied entirely with power – the power to conduct aggressive war; to order and carry out torture and indefinite detention; to bend the law to the whim of the Chief Executive; to confer material blessings on the powerful and privileged through government redistribution, both vulgar (as in the Iraqi "reconstruction" effort) and subtle (through monetary inflation).
This is what is hiding in the shadow of Huckabee's cross. And that's why only an authentic Christian statesman had the wisdom to perceive it, and the boldness to call it by its proper name.
Dum spiro, pugno!
Great read as always...Appreciate the eloquence in which you convey truth...Bravo!
Apparently, nobody can find documentation of the Sinclair Lewis quote supposedly pulled from It Can't Happen Here, though it does sound like something he'd say...
Another truthful and excellent article. Will Grigg is as good an author/blogger as it gets. Thank You!
Yeah, of course Huckabee is a fascist, as are the rest of the Republicrat cabal campaigning to be our next Führer, with the exception of Dr. Paul. The Lizard Queen is also a socialist, as are the rest of the Demublican cabal campaigning to be our next Führer.
I guess I'm not at all worried about yet another fascist residing in the White House since it really doesn't matter; we'll either have yet another fascist, socialist, or other form of collectivist entering the mansion in January '09.
Nothing new under the sun...
Even those who support the death penalty (a position I can't understand, given the corruption and viciousness of the Regime that rules us) should agree that trading on the death of human beings, even those who “deserved” it, for political advantage is entirely depraved.
I understand the sentiment to some degree, but I have to ask this question: If the Regime is so corrupt and vicious that it cannot be trusted to apply the legal death penalty in a righteous manner, which is actually the jury in most cases handing out such punishments, how can these same cynics (inexplicably in my mind) harbor the same faith that that same Regime can then be somehow trusted to NOT apply an illegal death penalty at some point? BTW, when you say "Regime" in this context are you also encapsulating federal and state governments? I assume you are, naturally, because the states are these days Leviathanettes and subsidized by Papa Leviathan in Washington, especially concerning matters of LE.
I think, by your position on this matter, it's quite obvious that you also think the commoners themselves can't be trusted with awesome power. I agree, but you disconnect government from the people and that's what's perplexing to me. I guess you don't wish to piss off the people themselves who may be visotors here, so you're always emphasizing "government" "the Regime" and "the people" as being totally separate unrelated entities in the society, but it's beyond clear you know better ;).
Anyway, concerning Ron Paul, I saw that piece on Youtube yesterday and Ron Paul was correct in what he said, but as always, his utterance, like similar utterances from others will be picked up by the ignorant across the political spectrum and will unintentionally energize those, who loathe Christianity and despise Christians, into attacking and marginalizing them.
It's an unfortunate side effect and - with the culture already so depraved and increasingly influenced by homobillies these days as it is - not at all surprising. When you also add some of those megachurch pastors endlessly spewing imperial WAR, the attacks and marginalization of Christianity will only increase that much more.
Yes, it's a shame that people, who claim they believe in true freedom and liberty, shamelessly support men such as Huckabee, but the same kind of nonsense applies to people who claim to believe in universal socialism shamelessly support Ron Paul. Because I think those folk will, in the end when the vote actually counts, inevitably return to supporting their like minded socialist candidate - the Lizard Queen or Obama - who also want to use government to coerce and compel the populace into acceding to "their way." IOW, the usual Right and Left contingents supporting who they perceive to be adherents of "their [respective] way."
You might at this point be asking, "Is he serious? What on earth is he talking about?? It's fabulous that these folk would support Ron Paul, geez!" Sigh, please allow me to explain, which will take another load of verbiage to do, but bear with me.
For example, If anyone has viewed the Candidates@Google video, it's quite apparent that the moderator at least seemed to be obsessed with topics like gay marriage and other related matters. The crowd seemed thrilled by his making clear that he would not discourage or ban gay marriage, prostitution, and other acts related to a depraved culture, etc., ad nauseam. Yet, on the other hand, the moderator especially, but probably many in the crowd as well, seemed to not understand his similar stand on guns and other matters that this largely "progressive" crowd obviously disagreed with. The moderator also seemed perplexed somewhat by his opposition to "free" trade and he explained that government-managed trade isn't really free trade. Perfect explanation he gave, IMO.
In any event, I believe after viewing this video, by the particular questions asked and Paul's responses to those questions, that many if not most of these folk within the "progressive left" will not vote for Ron Paul and will, like the "religious right" on the other side, support their philosophical Demublican brethren.
Again, nothing new under the sun.
By the way, Will, you should consider Haloscan commenting. I think it's much better than Blogger's commenting and probably would attract more comments from some of those who are otherwise reluctant. And you would likely not have to moderate them either.
Just my two pence...
I hate to add yet another comment, but I forgot to mention this in the earlier comments.
If you've seen this already, please ignore, but if not I thought this might be of interest to ponder since you have mentioned this before and I know I have mentioned the possibility of Ron Paul experiencing a "Wallace moment" in past comment threads as well.
Another aspect of the hoopla over presidential elections in general, and Ron Paul's campaign in particular, is that it's indicative to me that, as usual, the electorate is as misguided as ever.
Even with the very remote chance of a RP presidency being sworn in, RP won't be able to do much constitutionally, if the electorate doesn't also vote in congress(wo)men and representatives with the same resoluteness that they may harbor in selecting RP for president.
Just thinking out loud...
D.D., thanks for the Haloscan suggestion; I'll look into it. And I do intend to nick your very useful expression "Leviathanettes."
You probably won't be surprised to learn that I consider what we call "states" to be nothing more than administrative units of the central government, and that they have been since, oh, about 1865 or so....
Generally agreed, save one point.
The death penalty is Scripturally ordained of God through His perpetual covenant with Noah and all Noah's descendants, til the end of this earth. Whether we like it or not, the LORD God granted the power to carry out the death penalty to whatever governments that exist, good or ill. It stems from the matter of man refusing to have the LORD rule over him directly. Sorry, it happened long before you or I came along.
BTW, I have argued with the Huckster face to face. I didn't care for him in 1996, and I don't care for him now. Moreover, I haven't believed he is a Christian for quite a few years now.
Wonderful read as usual, it is usually the high point of my day. Regarding the death penalty, I agree that there is biblical support for a JUST death penalty. With the rash of unjust convictions that have been recently overturned due to DNA, I can no longer support the death penalty. So many in Florida, that the States DA’s were attempting or did pass legislation to not allow DNA evidence in retrials. Too many innocent people were walking out of jail.
I live in Iowa. The caucus is roughly two weeks away. For the past 30 years, I have been politically inactive; the candidates have been the same old, same old, socialist thing. Ron Paul has changed that for me. I have spoken to young people at my work; many have become committed to the Paul message. I have never been to a caucus, but I will be there January 3.
If you have to fly the Christian flag to let people know you are a Christian, something isn’t right. Shame on Huckster.
On Glen Beck last night, I almost fell out of my chair laughing (and cussing) when Beck “confessed” that he was a Libertarian “at heart”.
I thought Paul did a wonderful job answering Beck’s attempts to make Paul look like he was “on the fringe”, a “conspiracy theory nut”, or just not mainstream. Beck’s attempts, as others, backfired. Pray for Paul daily, it is more than a political battle.
Once again you have outdone yourself with another salient sweet serving of political prose, my friend.
Great post, Will. Does it seem that Huck's "popularity" began to soar just after he gave a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations? I find it odd that with no money and no visible backing that he has begun to poll so well. Just a thought. Louis
William Norman Grigg, your blog is a pure ball of fire. Give 'em hell, sir.
I finally figured out what makes it so easy to slag Christians and Christianity these days. It has to do with the decline of the educational level - specifically, in the dropping of classical history.
Had classical (pre-Christian) history been still generally taught, the criticism of 'warlike' Christianity would have been easily waved away with, "by comparison to what prevailed before?" The average person would have instantly understood what the point was.
Nowadays, the point - specifically, the point that Christianity treats warlike behaviour as shameful, while classical paganism generally regarded it as virile - gets lost. You could, if you want, blame this collective lacuna on the "barbarians of specialization."
I've been explaining to everyone who would listen that Huckabee is indeed a fascist, and so are most of the rest of the Republican and Democrat candidates. This essay is simply outstanding. You've saved me a lot of repetition and I shall simply forward this link to make my point better than I could've made it myself.
William Norman Grigg - After reading this and several of your posts,
I bookmarked your blog, superceeding Lew Rockwell's site to point your way.
I took minor pause where in your main text noted "since 1945...", but then saw your subsequent comment noting 1865 as the historic transformation date of our republic. Or was that in another post?
This article was right on the money. And it does not surprise me whatsoever.
Thank goodness for Ron Paul.
I wrote an essay last winter called _How the Bush Administration is Destroying Our Country and Damaging the Christian Church_. I fear a Huckabee, a Romney or a Giuliani administration will carry these pernicious policies forward. A Clinton or Obama administration will be no better, even as both major parties (just this week) in Congress have passed the Veterans Disarmament Bill to add to 25,000 federal gun laws.
I won't get started. Just see that essay at http://www.alicelillieandher.blogspot.com and then link to my others.
The problem we face in this country is exquisitely illustrated by these statements of a dear brother above:
"The death penalty is Scripturally ordained of God through His perpetual covenant with Noah and all Noah's descendants, til the end of this earth. Whether we like it or not, the LORD God granted the power to carry out the death penalty to whatever governments that exist, good or ill. It stems from the matter of man refusing to have the LORD rule over him directly."
Sir, there are two or three duly and legally constitued Islamic governments in the world, who make it a crime punishable by death for a Muslim subject to convert to Christianity or Judaism. Are you saying that this killing of Christians is ordained and sanctioned with His blessing by your God? You will probably say that's not what you meant, but that is indeed precisely what you said.
And there we have it, friends. There are too many people in this country, lacking education or the power to think critically for themselves, who will parrot anything they have heard from some man in a frumpy dress standing in a pulpit, no matter how preposterous it is. Or that they have heard from some self-important asshole discharging verbal diarrhea to a news camera, before a backdrop of the gilded and marbled corridors of worldly power. "Oh Me, Oh My, Mercy, Percy," these little woolly lambs say to themselves, "it MUST be true, for HE has spoken it, and HE is the Holy Representative of Jesus/God/The People/Allah/The Knesset/The Church/The Governor/The Mayor/The City Council/The School Board."
These are the people so beloved of brass-balled lying Republicans like Mike Huckabee, because the poor lambs are so infinitely gullible. I would lay a bet that Mike Huckabee, Larry Craig, Tom De Lay, Karl Rove, George Bush, and the whole two-faced lying barnyard of swinish Republicans hold all Christians and people of faith in utter and profound contempt. This is one of the main characteristics of con artists - they are lacking in the slightest trace of compassion for their victims, whom they regard as merely a subspecies of meek cattle to be led to slaughter and skinned alive.
Get used to it, all you robotic chanters of slogans provided for you by corporate vultures and forked-tongued Republican snakes: If you think espousing, with perfect rote recall, their cynical line of meadow-cakes and swamp-gas makes you One Of Them, The All-Powerful, The Anointed, well, bend over, son, and they will be glad to drive you home. And don't ask for lubricant - there's no money in the budget for it.
Best wishes to all for a holy Christmas.
This little story is more applicable than it seems at first.......
A True Believer in New Orleans heard about the approach of Hurricane Katrina. Officials came by in a Jeep and offered to evacuate him. "Don't worry about me," the man said. "The Lord will take care of me."
The waters rose, and he was forced to climb to his roof. Rescuers came by in a boat, but he sent them away, saying, "I'm fine. The Lord will take care of me."
Later a helicopter came by and offered to pick him up, but he would not leave his roof, saying, "I'm not afraid. The Lord will take care of me."
The waters rose and the True Believer drowned. When he arrived in Heaven, he complained to the Lord, "I thought you would take care of me."
"Well," replied the Lord, "I sent you a Jeep, a boat and a helicopter. What more did you want?"
A joyful Christmas to all!
daniel m. ryan, valid points all. But don't blame the school solely for ones lack of education. I myself am a product of the pubic skew system and never set foot in a college. However, I read books on my own and learned most of what I know outside of the skew environment. In fact, I will admit I got bored with high school, except for math, and got my G.E.D. instead. I wouldn't recommend others following that path, of course, but my point is that school, much more so than when I was in school, is more interested in eco-nazism and global warming, historical revisionism about the founders, the War b/w the States, the so-called "Dark Ages" and other forms of indoctrination, alternative lifestyles, sex, etc. than they are with reading, writing, arithmetic.
As for me, I think highly of folk who can think logically and argue their positions w/o having to always quote, or having to use in some manner, Plato, Tacitus, or more recently Madison, Hamilton, or some other historical figure as a prop. As if that alone will auto-explain their core reasoning behind their arguments. I mean, really, all that that clarifies is that the quoted individual certainly could THINK and had their wits about them, but says nothing of the thinking ability of the one attemptng to argue the point(s) in question.
In some cases to drive home a point, it's certainly appropriate, of course. However, if "borrowing" the reasoning and logic eloquently put to pen and/or orated by historical figures is all one can manage to produce in order to argue a given position or view, it generally means that they can't think and logically reason through their positions and views independently.
Ergo, simply because classical history may be absent from a contemporary school curriculum is no excuse for not being able to THINK and PONDER about an issue logically. Unless their math skills are subpar, then I reckon it could be ;).
A real dichotomy I see is that real Christians are the ones who provide the most positive impact on society, help and assist other folk more than the rest, and so on, despite the fact that many of them might be aligned with the Republicrat (or Demublican in some cases) political camp. Mississippi is one of the "reddest" states, not too mention poorest, in America and yet it's charity giving per capita is at or near the top of the list.
Yet most of the complaints you hear/read about are aimed at Christians, which is not all that surprising in general. But when many of the fault-finders are themselves those who self-identify as Christians, then it becomes worrisome.
As for me, I'd rather associate with generous Christian rednecks who live in a trailer park than with uppity and stingy "Christian" socialites living in a fat house who have nothing better to do than bad-mouth Christianity itself or other Christians. But that's just me; I personally don't fit a convenient mass stereotype making the rounds, that's for sure.
Perhaps unlike Will, I see a battle of mindsets going on in our society that is shaping and will continue to shape our culture into the future. And certainly unlike Will, I believe our government is shaped by the culture around it, not vice-versa. People like Kennedy, Pelosi, Bush, Clinton, Schumer, et al, get elected because they are essentially the caricatures of the very people who elect them.
This shouldn't be difficult to grasp, really. But it is, unfortunately.
Wonderful, if depressing, article.
In response to Paul W. Davis, and Chris's reply to him -
Yes, the Scriptures do authorize the death penalty, but they also specify for which acts it may be used. And, more importantly, it is to be done only on the testimony of at least 2 witnesses. In the context, this does not mean 2 people pulling someone out of a lineup, but identifying him (her) as someone known to them and having observed the deed. Indeed, some commentators insist that they must have attempted to stop the act if they were close enough at the time. With apologies to CSI, the physical evidence may be enough to disprove someone's guilt, but it is not enough on its own, to convict, especially in capital cases.
Also, as Gary North writes in 'Victim's Rights,' Biblical justice is always about restitution, not vengeance. The victim, or surviving spouse, had the right to NOT use the death penalty but instead demand payment to help provide for the survivors of the deceased.
For those arguing for a biblical authority for the death penalty, or any other legal matter, I can't help but ask if you missed the fact that the reason Huckabee is a fascist is because he will use the Bible as the foundation for a new legal code and prosecution of our laws under Dominionist radical ideals. Huckabee is a fascist because he wants to subject us to a totalitarian radical Christian view that authorizes any action ony through their reading of the Bible. Huckabee is a fascist and a theocrat. Do we really want to be living in Iran?
Great post. Huckabee is indeed a fascist. Check out the essay he wrote for the current issue of Foreign Affairs. There are many scary parts, but I particularly like this one:
"And we must stop using active-duty forces for nation building and return to our policy of using other government agencies to build schools, hospitals, roads, sewage treatment plants, water filtration systems, electrical facilities, and legal and banking systems. We must marshal the goodwill, ingenuity, and power of our governmental and nongovernmental organizations in coordinating and implementing these essential nonmilitary functions."
It is happening here.
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