Although I liked Huck in the early debates, his recent rise in popularity is extremely disturbing to me. And while I don't think he'd be a good president, that's only part of the reason. The main reason is personal: Huck is riding a wave of anti-Mormon sentiment among evangelical Christians, and he doesn't quelch it. In fact, he makes every effort to court evangelicals through their shared faith, rather than their shared Christian values.
Huck, himself, will never say anything overtly anti-Mormon. The "Christian leader" reference in his recent commercial , which I believe was a thinly veiled differentiation between his Christian religion and that of his main rival in Iowa, Romney ("not Christian"), was as close as Huck will get. But the rhetoric coming from Huck supporters is starting to get to me. It makes me wonder why I stick with a political party whose members insist I'm a member of a cult that disqualifies me for public office-or at least the highest public office.
Interestingly, Huck had this to say in a recent NY Times article:
"It was time when I realized that a lot of people, evangelicals, had sort of been pushed aside, had been considered as almost disenfranchised citizens," Huckabee said. "They were to go to church, pay their taxes, and shut up and just be happy with what was going on, even if it violated everything they truly believed in."
The irony is bitter, since now I feel I am being disenfranchized by Huckabee on the basis of my religion.
Now, I support Romney. I would love to see what he would do with our federal government. I think he would have an open and efficient government and would make wise choices. Still, I understand those who can't trust him because they think his conversion to pro-life and the change in rhetoric regarding homosexuality are too fresh and timely to be sincere. That's a perfectly reasonable reason to oppose Romney.
But when voters attack Romney's religion, I get angry. Because I don't think I want to be a part of a party of religious bigots, but I don't think I want to be a part of a party that supports widespread abortion. And I'm definitely not a libertarian.
Essentially, I'm left without political representation. Is this how democrats felt during the Bush years?
I said I don't think that Huck would make a good president. The reason the religious attacks are more important to me is that the presidential election will come and go. Someone will win, and I'll survive. But my political party will stay around after the election is over. Do I stay in the party of bigots, do I jump ship, or do I somehow try to influence my party to shed its bigotry against me?
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