The C. S. Lewis Candidate for President a/k/a My Problem With Huckabee

I’ve just got to say this. I have a fundamental problem with Mike Huckabee despite really, really liking the guy. This sums it up:

“I am not interested in being the candidate of Wall Street but of Main Street,” he says. “CEOs get paid 500 times what the average worker does, but they are not necessarily 500 times smarter or harder-working, and that is wrong.”

Compare that to this:

“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”

And to this:

Some CEOs have lined their own pockets while workers lost their jobs and families lost their savings.

Mike Huckabee is a good man. And he is a social conservative. But next to social conservatives, I’m willing to bet that the entrepreneurial class is the second largest voting block in the Republican coalition. And they do not like economic populism, which is what this amounts to.


I’ve asked Mike Huckabee about this statement — it’s one he made in a Human Events editorial meeting I participated in. He said, at the time, that the government should not get involved in setting wages. But it’s only a little step from preaching what he’s preaching, to getting elected and doing something to take action.

Mike Huckabee is a Southern conservative Democrat in his views, when you combine the fiscal and social sides of the candidate coin. That’s going to leave the entrepreneurial class looking elsewhere. Couple that with Mike’s Willie Horton issue that Hillary will no doubt throw at him that’s going to leave the GOP out of the White House, if Huckabee is the nominee.

The irony here is that I’ve started calling Mike Huckabee the “C. S. Lewis candidate.” In Mere Christianity, Lewis writes

If there were such a [Christian] society in existence and you or I visited it, I think we should come away with a curious impression. We should feel that its economic life were very socialistic and, in that sense, ‘advanced’, but that its family life and its code of manners were rather old fashioned — perhaps even ceremonious and aristocratic. Each of us would like some bits of it, but I am afraid very few of us would like the whole thing.

Couple Huckabee’s economic populist rhetoric with his socially conservative values and that’s what you’d get. Of course, with so few real Christians running the show with him, I suspect we’d get economically unsound policies, not just charity and fairness to all mankind, as Lewis is describing.

And that’s my problem with Mike Huckabee.

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Erick Erickson

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5 Comments

  • Problem with him?

    Huckabee is an open-border LUNATIC who should be expelled from the country with Arbusto.

    go Paul!

  • Huckabee is expressing the anti-economic thinking that permeates all of society. What he doesn’t understand is that what the CEO does is 1) something very few people are capable of doing, meaning it’s a question of supply and demand, and 2) rich people become rich by engaging in more economic transactions than do poorer people. When you engage in an economic transaction, both parties are better off. But if you engage in 10, and I engage in 100 usch transactions in the same time period, don’t be surprised if I’m 10x better off than you. My suspcion is, however, that the CEO is engaging in far more than 500x more economic transactions, so it is likely that he’s not really reaping the same level of benefit each time. Either way, this is how rich people EARN their money. Only someone in government or who believes government should control our lives would think that wealth is taken from someone — since that’s how government and those in government get their wealth.

  • Erick, it seems to me that your beef with Huckabee is that he’s a practicing Christian. Recognizing that our economic system is hugely unfair and slanted against the poor does not automatically make one a socialist. Huck isn’t talking about confiscating wealth, just trying to give those on the bottom a fairer shake. Do you disagree with Lewis’ assessment of what a truly Christian society would look like ? I don’t see how anyone who is serious about their Christianity can be a laissez-faire capitalist. I’m not advocating soaking the rich…I just think that all Americans (the ones who want to work and play by the rules) have a right to the benefits of this great nation– not just the rich, the smart, the good-looking, and the lucky.

    Dobson and his crowd make me sick. With their money and influence, they could have made Huckabee a contender. Instead they are more concerned with being king-makers than standing for what is right. When they are relegated to the ash heap of American politics, they will only have themselves to blame.

  • I don’t know how you can surmise that being a laissez-faire capitalist disqualifies you from being Christian… the Apostle Paul wrote about those who do not work shall not eat, etc… the Bible has many references to “receiving the desires of your heart” as you fully trust and glorify God… I don’t think believing in an economic policy makes you more or less a Christian… I agree God despises greed, but God does not despise Wealth and having wealth does not correlate with greed… I have known people who never made more 50,000 a year who have retired a millionaire by simply being “Good Stewards”… when it is said “To whom much is given, much shall be required” I think that is the deciding factor on whether you are a Christian or not… what do you do with what you are given by God…