The Honorable Governor from Arkansas

Cornell was fortunate to welcome former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to campus for a talk on religion in politics. Of all the social conservatives out there, I respect him for 1) his defense of Reverend Jeremiah Wright 2) his social policies that deal with the poor and underprivileged. Too often social conservatives talk about stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion without paying any attention to the underrepresented on this world. Sure, go ahead and argue for the life of those yet to be born, but don’t forget about the right of those on death row. Don’t forget about the starving and homeless struggling to live or all of those who have and who will lose their life in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you’re going to make a religious argument against gay marriage and abortion because it’s morally and religiously correct, then also argue for the poor and defenseless citizens as well as the environment because that is also a moral argument. This is where my respect for Mike Huckabee comes in. He is out there fighting for social programs that democrats support as well as social issues that republicans place on their pedestal. He’s taken his moralities and transcended them across party lines. Whereas fellow Catholic and Senator of Kansas, Sam Brownback stands in front of Congress and shows pictures of stem cells his daughter drew.

While Huckabee was still in the running for the republican nomination I came to respect him for his unwavering views though I disagreed with several and for his respect of all beliefs and viewpoints. He also showed his humor on the Colbert Report. What I came to believe about him from watching his presence on tv did not fall short to what I saw on stage last night at Bailey Hall. He was funny, genuine, honest, and open. He wasn’t afraid to make statements that he knew many in the building would disagree with (after all Cornell is a pretty liberal campus). He poked fun at himself, made a joke about John McCain being old, and made sure people knew that he wasn’t talking to promote his political agenda. The sense in that building was one of mutual respect between the audience and the speaker.

He explained what made him a republican, and it wasn’t his family seeing that all of them are democrats. His main reason was a belief in small government, though he made sure to state that government can only become small when people choose to be morally upstanding. His argument was that how people act directly affects the size of government, not the other way around. I was able to follow the reasoning, but got lost as soon as he tried to bring it to why he became a republican. I think the pitfall was the simplicity of his argument.

Nonetheless, the Cornell Republicans could not have picked a better speaker to represent the social conservative viewpoint in politics. Huckabee isn’t a Robertson or a Fallwell and that is for the better. He presented his point humanely and respectfully, which, from the chatting of the departing audience, I could tell was received very well.

14 thoughts on “The Honorable Governor from Arkansas”

  1. Thank you for a very well written article. It is good to see that young people are interested in more than just having fun. I respect Gov. Huckabee’s vertical politics. “Character Makes a Difference” and Mike Huckabee literally wrote the book on it.

  2. Alex, Your article was so well written that it brought tears to my eyes to see such a bright young man who is so perceptive in judging the character, integrity and vision of Mike Huckabee. We won’t have to worry about getting the right leader in Washington with young people like you in this country.

  3. Huckabee is a putz. Me and millions of more americans are turned off by his religion. His evangelical pastor status will only win him healthy numbers in the south. He is one of those who claims people are going to hell if they don’t accept Jesus as their Savior. How pompous and arrogant is that. Democrats will tear him to shreds if he is chosen as VP and McCain might as well check into an old folks home.

  4. Cameron, My guess is a Democrat wrote the article. Cornell is not known as the bastain of conservatism, and I understand he received a standing ovation from the overflow crowd. Mike Huckabee transcends party lines with his message to the middle class in this economy and compassion for all human beings.

  5. I agree with the writer that conservatives need to be concerned about the environment and other issues, but I do not agree that death row inmates need to be included in that group.
    People in prison have too many rights. It cost our county more money per year, per inmate, than alot of our citizens make in a year.
    For the record, I think Huckabee would make a great VP choice.

  6. Cameron,

    Just to make the record straight, it is Jesus who claimed what he is, not the evangelicals.

    What is condescending though is to think the Democrats will tear him to shreds.

  7. nice comments on Gov. Huckabee.

    As a supporter of Mike, I’ve always been impressed with his ability to communicate powerfully, even with those who don’t agree with him on some issues.

    I’m not sure why the writer mentions inmates on death row though; if he thinks Mike is for their “rights” — Mike was one of the only governors to carry out executions…

  8. It certainly was refreshing, Alex, to read an intellectually honest opinion from a young person. Maybe there is hope for America, after all.

    And Paul has a point, Cameron. If you think Huckabee is arrogant and pompous to proclaim that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the father but through him, you need to take that up with the one who made the claim in the first place. Huckabee it wasn’t.

    What’s so sad is that you don’t understand that Huckabee says that because of his compassion toward you. There is nothing arrogant or exclusive about the gift of life offered to anyone and everyone who wants it.

    “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

    (From the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans)

  9. I was extremely impressed by Huckabee’s lecture. I didn’t pay attention to the Republican debates, so all I knew about him was his campaign platform, and that I disagreed with most of it. I went to Bailey on Tuesday figuring, “Hey, when’s the next chance I’ll get to see a presidential candidate on campus? Uh, probably never, so I might as well.” Going to that lecture was probably my proudest form of procrastination. Huckabee was extremely persuasive and personable, and I found myself walking out of Bailey thinking, “He is freaking awesome.” I was shocked to read the Daily Sun’s terrible review of the lecture, so I’m really glad you talked about it here on your blog.

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