Articles

Stars, Bars, and Huckabee

In 2008 Presidential Elections, politics, stupidity on January 19, 2008 by Editor Z

Republican presidential contenders have been barnstorming the state of South Carolina all this week. Polls show McCain and Huckabee in a tight race.

Wedge issues such as opposition to Gay rights, denouncements of illegal immigration, pronouncements of each candidates Christian faith, or abortion are just some of the cultural issues candidates are heralding to amass support and distinguish each other from their Republican brethren.

The candidate who appears to be playing the cultural conservative issues most effectively is ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, himself a former Baptist Minister. Huckabee, who in earlier states played up his pro-life and conservative religious positions coupled with economic populism, has fixated more and more on the social issues as he now like many of the other candidates, campaigns in the first primary this election year to be held in the Republican strong South, which is likely to be more receptive to the Huckabee gospel, then less religiously devout states as Michigan and New Hampshire.

Earlier this week, Huckabee in speaking before throngs of supporters stated that he had the desire to make the U.S Constitution more aligned with the wants of God (presumably the one he worships). Yesterday in a shot at one of his Republican rivals U.S Senator and former 2000 GOP contender John McCain (R-Arkansas), Huckabee reawakened a state issue that McCain opposed then and which may have cost him the state primary and thus the Republican nomination. That being whether or not the state of South Carolina should be able to fly the confederate flag over the state capitol. Although in recent years the red and blue flag, that was the flag of the confederacy when a collection of Southern slave states seceded from the U.S before and during the Civil War (1861-1865), is long perceived to be a mascot of racial oppression and slavery.

On Thursday, Huckabee said this to masses of supporters at an event:

Associated Press:

“You don’t like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag,” Huckabee a former Arkansas Governor told supporters in Myrtle beach, S.C.

” In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell’em what to do with the pole, that’s what we’d do,” Huckabee said.

Huckabee has now refused to address the issue and his comments further. There has been no comment it appears from other campaigns on the issue.

Already though, one pro-confederate group lauds Huckabee’s comments in a television ad.

UPDATE- McCain remains opposed to the flying of the confederate flag.

Update: Huckabee is said to have appeared before the Council of Conservative Citizens, a well-known conservative white supremacist group. More as this develops.

MY TAKE: Huckabee prior was touting a brand of “compassionate conservatism”. One that veered away from fossils of racial prejudice such as the confederate flag. When front runners Rudy Gulliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney didn’t attend a forumsponsored by and pertaining to issues of concern to African Americans and Latinos. Now it appears he is dishonoring them with a desperate attempt to get a few more votes.

As for the issue of the confederate flag, people have a right to own and brandish one if they want. But it is not something that should be flown on a government or public building. The only public building a confederate flag could be properly and appropriately displayed is in a glass case at a history museum.

So may conservatives, especially those who reside in the south seem to love to talk about how much they love America. That is fine and they have a right to do that. It is okay for people to express their love of country. But the confederate flag is a symbol of when that very same region disowned itself from the United States.

Give it a rest people! The confederacy lost and America won. that means we fly our flag!

Besides dont we have more things to concentrate on then some flag?


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