Sunday, July 8, 2007

Why I am supporting Tancredo instead of Huckabee

I had originally planned to support Mike Huckabee, and was still somewhat undecided until the ICA/ITR forum on June 30, but he is kind of waffling or hedging on some of the important issues, in my opinion. A lot of what he says sounds good, especially to a conservative evangelical Christian such as myself. However, you have to listen carefully to hear what he is NOT saying, and note the questions about the issues that he is not really answering directly, even when asked directly. Some might wonder why I, as a conservative Baptist, have chosen to support Tom Tancredo over a Baptist minister (Huckabee). Here are a few of the reasons:

1) While I do appreciate some of what Huckabee has said on the evolution issue, and his boldness to say he believes there is a God who created things, and his refusal to back down, he does hedge somewhat. If he really doesn't know how long it took God to form creation, or how long ago he did it, then he apparently doesn't take the Bible literally. It seems, though, that he is trying to give a "safe" answer. No doubt he knows that, while the majority of people may not believe the literal account of creation, only a small minority believe there is no god or that God had nothing at all to do with creation. So his somewhat vague answer played to the majority, while offending probably only a small percentage.

Huckabee said he believed God "created this process". What 'process' is that? Calling it a 'process' makes it sound more like evolution than creation. God didn't create the "process", he created creation! Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I have high expectations of him because of the fact he is an evangelical, conservative Baptist pastor. I understand that Christians disagree on this issue, but I would at least expect that--being a pastor--he would have a position on it! And he seemed irritated that the question was even asked at a debate.

2) Huckabee has refused to say same-sex marriage is wrong, saying instead that we need to fix heterosexual marriage before we talk about whether or not to change the definition of marriage. In the meanwhile, the courts ARE changing the definition of marriage.

3) He refuses to say adoption by same-sex parents is harmful to a child, instead saying that "we just don't know yet", and saying we need to look at what is best for the child, whether the parents are heterosexual or homosexual. I agree that we need to look at what is best for the child, but he is avoiding answering the question about same-sex adoption.

4) He wouldn't directly say that homosexuals serving in the military was not a good thing. When pressed with the question two or three times, he would only say that "it is already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice", and he didn't think that needed to be changed.

5) He does not appear to be very strong on trying to make abortion illegal, instead saying, "We need to look at changing one heart at a time, rather than passing one piece of legislation at a time". While I agree winning hearts should be the ultimate goal, many hearts will never be won. Meanwhile, thousands of babies are being killed every day.

6) Finally, although many would disagree with me, and it wouldn't be an issue for most, as a conservative Baptist Christian it bothers me somewhat that a supposedly conservative Baptist minister would play songs like "Born to be Wild" in his secular rock band. A lot of people would probably think it "cool" that a presidential candidate--especially a Baptist minister--would not be so stuffy, but instead is willing to get in touch with his "wild side" through the music he plays. However, I am ready for someone who is more interested in espousing conservative principals than embracing pop culture.

Maybe he is just being a smart politician, but aren't we ready for someone who isn't afraid to boldly proclaim their positions on the issue, no matter to whom they are speaking? Haven't we had enough of politicians who change their rhetoric to fit their audience? How do we know what they really believe? I know electability is a factor, but I believe Tancredo IS electable, AND he shares his same core beliefs unabashedly with every audience. Look what happened when Nussle was anointed our candidate for governor because of his perceived greater electability. If we would have gone with Vander Plaats, we could very well have a Republican governor now. I'm not trying to second guess, but I'm just saying that the "electability" factor doesn't always serve us well. I am looking for someone I know is a true conservative on every issue. I want someone who is not afraid to take a stand on the controversial issues. Like Tancredo says, "When conservatives run ON our principles, we win. When we run FROM them, we lose".

If Huckabee becomes the Republican candidate, I will certainly support him with passion in the general election, but he is not my first choice of candidates. From what I know of all the candidates, Huckabee might be #2, but not a close #2 at this point. I don't know enough about Duncan Hunter, but he might bump Huckabee if I knew more about him.

6 comments:

Christian said...

While I certainly respect your opinion, I actually did the reverse conversion. I am strongly anti-illegal immigration and have been a fan of Tancredo. I still do like him. But Huckabee to me is the superior candidate for several reasons...
He is better spoken/better debater, more electible, attacts rather than turns off minority voters, has executive experience as a governor, and is more passionate about the FairTax.

He does support the Federal Marriage amendment, which I don't, but it leaves me to question your view on his stance. What more could he do? You want him to verbally bash people who are different from you? Support for the amendment isn't enough?

And Tancredo has accepted large dollars from pro-abortion people like John Tanton. Granted, I'd take money from anybody if it meant help in getting my message out, but in politics more people than not read into things like "where the money comes from".

Blue State Republican said...

You are wrong on all counts.

Do your research before you post.

BSR

The Activist said...

BSR, if you are going to say that I am wrong, that's fine. But you could at least extend me the courtesy (and for the sake of intelligent debate) of explaining why you think so. Otherwise, your "Do your research..." comment is hollow and hypocritical, as you have provided no facts to back up your argument. I have videos and sound bites that I would be happy to share that prove every statement I made.

The Activist said...

Christian:

I outlined in detail the reasons I like Tancredo over Huckabee, and verbally bashing people wasn't one of them, was it? Where you have heard Tancredo do that?

Huckabee may be a better speaker, but that is not crucial in my mind. I'm looking at character issues, not surface qualifications. Being a better speaker can also mean the candidate can more easily dupe the electorate. Tancredo speaks from his heart, and I admire that, even if he isn't always smooth. At least with him you know it is the real deal. If you want a polished speaker, why not support Romney?

I addressed the electibility issue at length in my post. If you are looking for electibility, why not support Romney or one of the other "top tier" candidates?

What has Tancredo done to turn off minority voters, and what has Huckabee done to attract them?

Not sure where your question about the FMA fits in. I've already explained the problem I have with Huckabee's lack of a strong position on homosexuality issues.

I don't really have a problem with a pro-life candidate accepting money from someone who doesn't share the candidate's conviction, as long as it doesn't cause the candidate to change his position.

Christian said...

Well, obviously I'm not the communicator that Huckabee is. :-)

I wasn't suggesting that Tancredo "bashes" people, I was rhetorically asking, regarding Huckabee's view on homosexuality, what more he could do to win your approval. It sounded to me as if you thought Huckabee wasn't "anti-gay" enough. I questioned if you needed him to verbally abuse gays in order to gain your respect.
*the way I phrase that does sound rude, and it isn't intended. I just can't figure out what about Huckabee doesn't meet your "gay test". Personally, the whole thing is a non-issue to me. If two guys/gals want to go at it, it doesn't hurt me in any way...other than making me a little queezy if I have to watch. :-)

Romney is "smooth", he isn't inspiring or believable. He's a good speaker like Clinton is a good speaker. He can't figure out what he believes. Sadly, he's the best of the "top tier" candidates. Of course, the tiers were invented by the media, which I detest.

Huckabee got 48% of the black vote in Arkansas. He must have done something right. Tancredo's "one issue" has branded him a racist, rightly or wrongly, in many peoples eyes. He won't get a significant portion of the (legal!) hispanic vote. His comments regarding Miami even turned off Jeb Bush and brought harsh criticism. Republicans need to win Florida, Tancredo can't. The truth can hurt, but in "american idol" politics, the way in which you voice your concerns is all important. Primaries are different beasts from the general.

I agree with you regarding the money issue, and am happy to see that. Some have criticized Huckabee for speaking at the NEA convention. I figure go where the people are. Use it to spread your message, but don't let it change you.

I just don't see Tancredo gaining any momentum. Huckabee is gaining in the polls and is the talk of the town regarding the VP contest. I'd love Tancredo to be a cabinet official, but I just don't see him as president.

Thanks for the discussion.

The Activist said...

Christian:

You make some good points. However, some of what you see as positive about Huckabee actually concerns me. If he appeals to a group that holds mainly liberal positions, it concerns me. I don't view it as a positive thing. You look at it pragmatically and say that increases his electibility. But I look at it and wonder what his ideology and values would be if he were elected.

As for as the homosexual issue, he won't say homosexuality is wrong, a position you would certainly expect a socially conservative Republican to hold, especially one who is a Southern Baptist minister!

I'm not advocating trying to stop homosexual behavior, but I am concerned that the homosexual agenda isn't to just be left alone and not discriminated against. It isn't "just" legalizing same-sex "marriage". They want nothing less than to transform how culture views homosexuality, and forcing us to accept it as normal and equivalent to heterosexuality. If you want to see some of the reasons for my concerns, there are other posts on my blog addressing that.