After examining the platforms and records of the presidential candidates for 2008, I have arrived at the conclusion that my vote will go to former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has faced criticism from both Democrats and Republicans during the primary season, but an examination of his record reveals him to be a populist conservative of the Reagan mold.
I first gave Huckabee a close look last summer when it seemed that Senator Fred Thompson would never enter the race. I still like Senator Thompson, but his campaign has never really picked up momentum. I believe this is a factor of being the last entrant in a presidential primary that started earlier than ever before.
Governor Huckabee passed my first cut by standing strong on the Iraq War and the War on Islamofascist Terror. Every Democrat candidate, as well as Ron Paul from the GOP, want to withdraw US troops and sacrifice our gains in Iraq. I will not support a candidate who seeks to appease terrorists at the expense of American lives. Withdrawing US troops prematurely would embolden the terrorists and cost us the gains that we have made in Iraq. This would cost more US lives in the long run.
Closely related to the war is US border security. Currently thousands of illegal immigrants cross our border without government knowledge or approval. Most of these immigrants are merely workers seeking jobs, but it is not realistic to assume that terrorists will never sneak across our border. Governor Huckabee has been endorsed by the founder of the Minuteman, a volunteer border security group, and favors securing our borders.
A second big issue is tax policy. As the US inches toward a recession, tax hikes for any reason would further slow the economy. Democrats propose various taxes to pay for healthcare or to discourage use of carbon fuels. On the other hand, Governor Huckabee supports the Fair Tax, which would eliminate the income tax. The Fair Tax would attract business and investment to the US, stimulating the economy.
Another traditional issue is gun control. I am strongly in favor of Second Amendment rights, as is Governor Huckabee. I generally find that if a candidate supports the Second Amendment, they can be trusted on other civil rights issues as well.
Abortion is a national tragedy. Most Americans believe that abortion is murder and should not be available on demand. Governor Huckabee supports a constitutional amendment to protect the life of unborn babies. In contrast, most Democrats oppose even minor restrictions on the “right to choose,” which evidently trumps the baby’s right to live.
Healthcare is a big issue for this election, but I believe that the Democrats are on the wrong track. Instead of giving the government control over 14% of the US gross domestic product, we should get government out of the way. Fewer government restrictions on health insurance would make policies more affordable. Private companies, such as Wal-Mart, are already using their mass marketing expertise to open clinics in their stores that often cater to the uninsured. I believe, as does Governor Huckabee, that we should restore competition to the healthcare industry, not create a government monopoly.
I do have some misgivings about Huckabee. His record does show a large number of pardons in Arkansas, some of which resulted in additional crimes being committed. He has also committed several foreign policy gaffes in recent months. On the whole, however, his positives outweigh his negatives.
On some issues, such as school vouchers, which I favor, but which Huckabee opposed in Arkansas, his position is very conservative. He favors the ability of state and local governments to enact vouchers in their school systems. This small-scale experimentation is just what our nation’s founders intended.
Huckabee also favors judges who will interpret the law, rather than rewrite it to suit their beliefs. Liberal judges have twisted many of our laws so that they are enforced in direct opposition to their wording. The first amendment freedom of religion being interpreted as a separation of church and state is one example.
Mike Huckabee is a true compassionate conservative and an entertaining and engaging speaker. He has the charisma to compete with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and his command of the issues will clearly trump the socialist agenda of the eventual Democrat candidate.