Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mike Huckabee 2012

The GOP has better policies. In a dangerous world, GOP candidates make better leaders. Just ask Dmitri Medvedev, who ordered the deployment of Iskander missiles to the Polish border within hours of President-elect Obama’s victory. In July, Medvedev was satisfied with merely criticizing the (purely defensive) US missile shield that he so opposes. He dared not threaten action.

Any economy has its ups and downs. But the correlation between lower taxes and job growth, economic stability and even increased government revenue is documentable. It’s economic fact; when you lower taxes, you free up revenue. This allows businesses to expand, thereby creating jobs and greater tax revenue overall. This has been proven every time that it’s been tried. It’s what was largely responsible for staving off the recession of 2000-2001.

Even the mortgage crisis can and should be laid squarely at the feet of the Democrats. Not only was it they who rebuffed Republican efforts to regulate Fannie Mae, it was their party that, in 1995, came up with the entire ratings system whereby a bank would have to qualify a number of risky loans or face a lower federal grading.

But ask a man on the street and more than likely he’ll give you another reason for anything that’s ever happened to America, the profound and analytical retort of “it’s all Bush’s fault.” The problem is that he means it. A bigger problem is that we let this happen.

Why is this? The question does not even need to be asked. The obvious answer is the lack of able PR coming from our side.

While President Bush has been, contrary to conventional opinion (opinion that will change within months of his departure from office), an able leader on defense and on many economic issues, he has never been allowed to communicate the true reasons for his decisions or to defend himself from over the top attacks. His handlers have been cautious, and cautiousness, while having a rightful and important place, does not carry the day.

President Bush’s actions will speak louder than the words of his opponents. But this will only be apparent upon retrospect. And when it does, it will not automatically translate into confidence in just any Republican, especially not in one who cannot communicate to voters. To win the confidence of the American people, the next standard bearer of the GOP must be a sincere and able communicator. Fortunately, our party has someone who fits that mold.

Gov. Huckabee was relatively unknown when the manner in which he connected with voters, his sincerity and his steady determination caught on. But being relatively unknown, far less conservative competitors were able to raise doubts about his fiscal conservatism.

But his record shows another story. Gov. Huckabee is a true fiscal as well as a social conservative. The programs he proposed, such as arts education, a program that has been shown to be effective at reducing drop out levels and lowering teen crime, were qualitative, not costly in nature. In fact, dating as far back to his first years in office, Gov. Huckabee pushed for the first comprehensive tax cuts in the entire history of his state. Two years later, he followed up by cutting the state’s capital gains tax and by gaining passage of the Property Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, limiting the amount that property taxes can be raised. Governor Huckabee has supported conservative measures to fix social security, encourage school choice and advance tort reform. What’s more, he’s also the most widely known and outspoken proponent of the “fair tax” in the nation.

But the key to a Huckabee candidacy in 2012 is his ability to connect with voters. He does this without compromising his conservative principles. Indeed, he articulates them with a clarity that allows others to see where we’re coming from on key issues. If the GOP’s biggest problem has been its inability to communicate, then common sense dictates that it nominate a candidate who excels in this area. Huckabee is among the best we have and his candidacy would propel us farther than would any other.

A Huckabee candidacy would solve the GOP’s greatest problem. Were President-elect Obama to try to paint GOP policies as being harmful for the middle class (something he’d have great difficulty doing in four years, after voters see the contrast, but nonetheless, we must prepare, as even Jimmy Carter was able to defend his fiscal record with some success thanks to the media machine), Gov. Huckabee could and would squarely counter those arguments.

By connecting with voters, by explaining policy in ways they understand, and by demonstrating his sincerity and his unwavering commitment to core values, Gov. Huckabee is best prepared to lead the GOP and to advance conservative principles, principles that he has successfully fought for throughout his entire career.

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