2007-11-05

Why American Christians should not vote for Mike Huckabee

This is a recent article explaining why American Christians should not vote for Mike Huckabee. Let me just summarise the reasons:

* He supports the "validation of elites", whatever that means.
* While the head of the Arkansas Baptist convention, Huckabee did not "appoint" conservatives to certain positions, which depends upon what "appoint" and "conservative" means.
* As Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee "didn't surround himself with conservatives" and instead "kept many agency heads appointed by Clinton".
* He is very supportive of increasing Mexican immigrants to America.
* He "embrace(s) the notion that fidelity to the Gospel requires privileging the interests of non-citizens over those of fellow citizens (ie immigrants)".
* He supports a federal law to ban smoking in the workplace.
* While Governor of Arkansas, state tax revenue increased by 65.3%.
* He increased taxes.
* The Cato Institute, a libertarian "think tank", gave him an "F".
* He refused to sign some no tax pledge by Grover Norquist.
* In summary, he is not a conservative, not a constitutionalist, but rather an opportunistic traitor to his country.

Now I don't know much about the guy, but there is nothing in this list of grievances that is remotely Christian. Christians are free to decide for themselves whether it is better for governments to be bigger or smaller, or whether taxes should be increased or decreased, or whether they think the US Constitution is fine as it is or requires more amendments to improve it. The reason for this is simple - the Bible gives very little information as to how political entities conduct themselves in the new Covenant era. Christians should vote for the party they think will best help the country, rather than sticking with one particular ideology or single issue.

Christians on the right cannot claim that right-wing, conservative policy is somehow Christian in character. It is not. That doesn't mean it is wrong, it just means that it is not divinely directed. For me on the left, I obviously think that many leftist policies and practices result in better and more efficient outcomes than currently practiced by the right - but I don't somehow think that these leftist policies are based on scripture.

In short, I'm arguing that Christians should consider voting left not because it is biblical (which it isn't), but because it offers a better chance of enriching society (in a non-utopian way). Christians on the right should have the same attitude, rather than arguing that the right-wing is somehow biblical.

19 comments:

Webmaster said...

Uh no....Huckabee is pretending to be a conservative. THAT is the issue. So people who are very conservative should not be fooled into voting for him. THAT was the point.

Ron Paul is the man anyway!

Fritz said...

I've often wondered what Christians outside of the U.S. think of the overtly patriotic stumping that occurs in Christian circles here in the U.S. What indeed do some politically conservative issues have to do with biblical thinking? And who cares about ratings from an antichrist libertarian group?

Fritz said...

Forgot to mention: "validation of elites" means that Huckabee seeks approval from academic, financial and political authorities. He wants to be liked.

BLBeamer said...

Ron Paul is the man anyway!

Congratulations, Neil. You have received your first Ron Paul supporter. Once they find you, they never let you go. Expect to be flooded with Ron Paul spam. All you have to do is include the words Ron Paul in a posting.

For a blogger in search of visits (quantity not quality), Ron Paul is the gift that keeps on giving.

BLBeamer said...

If leftism can't offer to enrich society in a Utopian way, what does it have to offer that would make it more appealing than the alternatives?

Surely, not reality?

Dave Lankshear said...

Agreed Neil, "Right wing" does not automatically = RIGHT!

A simple example of this is how The NSW Christian Democratic Party just lost my vote for all time, even though I'm a reformed Protestant evangelical Christian dude. I think the correct technical theological "Church and State" terminology would put my dispute with them this way.... "they suck!"

One Salient Oversight said...

Beamer,

Here in Oz we have a universal health care system. Industrialised nations with government funded universal healthcare spend less on health and have better health outcomes than the only industrialised country that has no universal health care system - America.

Universal health care is most definitely a leftist idea. It has improved the lives of people substantially.

It's not utopian, but it is an improvement.

Dave Lankshear said...

Excellent point Neil, and you should put that summary post up under your "Important posts" list, and keep editing that page on this theme as new information comes to hand.

The American health system is a little unwell.

BLBeamer said...

I hope it is not too late to respond.

The American health system is far from perfect, there is no question about it. And Americans' health outcomes could be a lot better, no question about that either.

But you are making the assumption that the cause of the bad outcomes is due to the health care system rather than to lifestyle choices most Americans make: unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, too much stress, smoking, etc. These things will not change with a conversion to a health care system like Australia's or Canada's or any country's.

You are also assuming that many of the things wrong with the American health care system are due to an absence of government involvement. What leads you to hold that assumption? As someone who is actually in the system, I can assure you it is most decidedly not the case.

I'm not one of those who thinks the debate over health care should not be allowed to happen, but before the debate happens let's have the assumptions of all sides laid out in the open and terms defined.

Perhaps in a later thread?

Dave Lankshear said...

Hi Beamer,

American lifestyle is certainly a factor in your overall health, but I thought Neil was referring to studies that analyse health outcomes per dollar spent... that vastly more money is spent on health in America, achieving less. And I don't think that's about the American population being "super-sized" but in $ spent on measurable outcomes / procedure.

It seems that sometimes, adding "middle men" just makes certain things cost more, even if those "middle men" are "private companies".

BLBeamer said...

Hi, Dave. Thanks for your thoughts.

I read Neil's comment again and he seems to be making a clear connection between government provided health care spending per capita and health outcomes.

I still maintain that if Americans continue with their unhealthy lifestyles, then doubling or halving the money spent per capita will make no real difference to their health. My point is spending per capita is not a strong argument for adopting a universal health care system like Australia's.

I'm glad you like your system, but is there no room for improvement?

Dave Lankshear said...

Dr Karl always raves about how desperate the American health care system is. On recent podcasts he's been talking about how open-heart surgery (for adults still with infantile heart-holes that did not close over after birth) are close to free in Australia, funded by Medicare, but in America one has to mortgage the house. Eye operations to correct Marty Fieldman drifting eyes are free here... the USA will charge you about $10 grand, and some people will just put up with fairly disabled vision.

Come on, go and see Mike Moore's "Sicko", you know you want to. ;-)

(I haven't bothered, because it's too much work then cross-checking the data with Moore lies to throw out the 50% that's rubbish, even though I agree with many of Mike Moore's concerns and causes. EG: Bowling for Columbine... I hate guns, I love restrictive gun laws and buy back schemes... but why did Mike Moore have to put so much utter RUBBISH and LIES in his story? All he had to do was tell the story of gun deaths / capita... but he had to personally slander Heston with inaccurate quotes and clever editing to make him appear worse than he really was.) I have "No respect, no respect!" for Mike.

BLBeamer said...

Dave - Who's Dr. Karl?

Dave Lankshear said...

Dr Karl is Australia's version of Dr David Suzuki. He's a classic, and I'm both happy and sad that it looks like he's off to politics.

He made a slight gaff running for the Senate when he got a few CO2 emissions figures misquoted or poorly calculated or something from Tim Flannery's book "The Weather Makers"... but you can see him in this media clip talking about carbon sequestration.

He's just an all round science geek that is also a great entertainer and conversationalist, and loves answering questions about poohs and farts. His podcast is here, and his show is well worth catching, and something I'll really miss if he is elected to the Climate Change Party.

See Dr Karl.com and click on the ABC link, and listen to some podcasts. You won't be sorry. I just wish the dude were also a Christian, but hey, can't have everything. At least he sows all his own very colourful, very outlandish shirts... almost an "assault on the optic nerve" but he's our Karl and we all love him. (Except those of us who don't. ;-)

BLBeamer said...

Interesting photo on Wikipedia. I see he's from Helsingborg, Sweden, a city I have visited. He definitely looks and sounds like a guy more at home in Australia or the US than Sweden.

Other than the fact he has a medical degree, what is it about the American health care system that causes him to characterize its condition as desperate? I didn't see anything on that at his web site. If it's there, I couldn't find it.

Divx said...

Ron Paul is for the conservative and the liberal. He's all about the people's rights.

He believes individuals know how to spend their money more appopriately than the government, which is true.

Last thing I'll say is, Ron Paul is the only hope to turn around this recession. Hillary won't be able to,neither will Obama,Romney,McCain and Huckabee.

Dave Lankshear said...

Hi Divx,
No one individual candidate is going to stop this recession, there are just too many factors and it's beyond their control. Oil has peaked and is about 3 to 5 years off going into permanent decline of about 4% to 8% per annum in some worst case scenarios! It will be like the 1970's oil crisis, with less and less oil, only this time it simply will not end until we completely wean off our oil addiction.

This was all a introductory statement to reply to your earlier point that people know how to spend their money better than their governments. Maybe, but here's the thing. Is town planning a government responsibility or not? Would trains and trams require government approval and maybe government help? See due to the laws of physics in a fossil fuel constrained world, we may actually need a reliable electric train service more than a trucking service (which uses 20 times more energy per unit of freight.)

So the long and the short of it is that we live in very complicated times, and we are going to need some extremely fast decisions made in an extremely authoritarian manner if these projects are going to happen in time, and cliche economic paradigms belonging to an older era just won't cut it.

Divx said...

So what candidate are you willing to give your rights to?

I hope your future view of an authorative government like those of sci-fi genres, doesn't become a reality.

He's the only candidate planning to cut the federal budget while all others want to increase it.

How can you increase the federal budget when you're getting into bigger and bigger holes with your debt.

9 Trillion in Debt.

We're burning that much oil because we use our military too much. We have too many bases around the world using too much resources.That's why we have an oil crisis.

If we brought all our bases back to home, we wouldn't be using as much oil as we are now and we wouldn't have as many countries angry at us for being like Russia and having a Global Empire.

I'm not an Isolationist, and neither is Ron Paul. America can never be an Isolationist country, but it needs to think more about itself and less about other countries in terms of using our military might.

Diplomacy and trade agreements are good busines, but frivalous wars bankrupt a nation.

The Vietnam and Korean wars, brought us into Debt, and we were forced to work our way out as best we could. Iraq is a hole that will never be filled, no matter how many U.S. dollars you use to fill it in.

Dave Lankshear said...

You make some good points on the economic pitfalls of this war. 9 trillion in debt is a real worry. So I completely agree that one can't increase spending without also increasing taxes.

I guess I'd cut some of the military budget, or maybe even USE the military engineers to quickly build rail everywhere. Because the bottom line is that 3% depletion a year adds up to real oil very quickly, and just localizing a few American bases isn't going to save the American suburban city plan.