Rise of Huckabee

 

By Richard Norman

 

Among the many Chuck Norris facts out there, the one most suitable to Mike Huckabee’s candidacy for president is "Evolution doesn’t exist–there’s just a list of animals Chuck Norris has allowed to survive." New polls show Huckabee tied nationally with Guiliani for the Republican nomination. According to Reuters:

Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas whose campaign has caught fire in recent weeks, wiped out an 18-point deficit in one month to pull within one point of Giuliani, 23 percent to 22 percent.

While I’m sympathetic to Christopher Hitchens’ anti-religion screed and especial denouncement of Huckabee, the most absurd detail of this man’s candidacy is his outspoken disbelief in the theory of evolution. Others in the world have a hard enough time with Americans’ refusal to accept the metric system–but a refusal to accept evolution? Will a man who believes the world is 6,000 years old actually be nominated by a major Western political party to stand for head of state? Much more than a personal choice/belief which should be closed to public scrutiny, the refusal to accept evolution as the prime driver of the planet’s species must be seen as a crucial intellectual failure. It’s not hard to imagine such ignorance colouring a leader’s entire judgment. Indeed, it may well follow that a person who does not believe in evolution does not believe in a rational, rigorous process of decision-making. New ideas and fancies appear ex nihilo, and not from evidence-based testing or considered debate. Mike Huckabee may have a sense of humour, but his ignorance is deeply disturbing for a man leading national polls. -Richard

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2 thoughts on “Rise of Huckabee

  1. Hi Richard

    Point of order here – Huckabee is not leading national polls (at least not yet). We only know so far that he is among the leaders for the Republican Party nomination in one rather small state (Iowa) and according to one poll he is tied with Mr. Giuliani (another oddball) on the national level AMONG Republicans. Let’s not exaggerate Mr. Huckabee’s potential appeal to voters overall. He is something “new”, “funny”, and not yet tested. We might put him in the Mr. Jean Marie LePenn category. He has not yet achieved Berlusconi status.

    I do agree that Mr. Huckabee should be challenged about his religious views. And I think he will soon, as Mr. Romney is. Romney gave a speech to persuade voters that his Mormon faith should not be an issue. But in a Sunday talk show, journalist Larry O’Donnell went ballistic about the racist history of Mormonism, questioning why Mr. Romney never advocated for change within the faith even when he was an adult. He directly placed your issue to the public — whether it is appropriate to vote for a Mormon candidate in light of the history of the Mormon faith. Frank Rich writes an entertaining editorial about this (and compares this to religion by Oprah)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/16/opinion/16rich.html

    So, on the plus side, given to what is happening to Mr. Romney, I do not think that Mr. Huckabee will get a pass for very long on religious issues. The sound bites will catch up to him. Moreover, it is far too early to conclude that Mr. Huckabee would have a realistic chance to become president even if the Republicans nominate him. So should we really take these early opinion polls seriously? I guess not.

  2. Did you come up with that evolutoin line? Brilliant! Is creationism really any more absurd than mormonism? Or for that matter, Catholicism? I suppose you could argue that it is easier to “disprove” young earth creationism than an immaculate conception or resurrection, but the fact is that rational, instrumental knowledge can coexist with willful ignorance about the historical record. Then again, I would expect nothing less from a political party that still seems to think cutting taxes will raise revenue given current us tax rates…

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