Could Mike Huckabee the populist bridge the gap?

Everyone hates that wasteful government spending. But don’t cut off my government check. Mike Huckabee, one time governor of Arkansas, a preacher, a folksy guitar player on TV, and a Fox News commentator (well you have to make money somehow), a radio talk show host, and a Republican, has latched onto this idea in opening his second campaign for the presidency.

He is vowing to save programs for the elderly, which would include Social Security. Some in his party would like to tinker with Social Security (actually they would like to eliminate it if they could I think), by doing such things as means testing and raising the retirement age (isn’t it already high enough? I think they ought to lower it).

And means testing by the way would likely be the death knell of Social Security because it gets wide support because, well, everyone is entitled, thus the term you hear Republicans utter so often as an epithet, “entitlements”.

Huckabee it is said is running as a populist, more often thought to be the realm of some Democrats. That puts him at odds with some of the other Republican contenders.

But the Republican Party is in a quandary because even though it has been trying to alter Social Security and cut entitlements (except for rich people) for a long time, such as the failed attempt by George W. Bush to privatize Social Security (put it on the stock market), much of its base is older people who depend upon it.

No one seems to be able to clearly define “wasteful spending”, except in some bizarre individual circumstances. It seems as if it really boils down to spend it on me not someone else.

Over the decades people have become dependent upon Social Security. And most of us are forced to pay into it. So it does not sit well with most when someone talks about cutting benefits.

Social Security is socialist. But it works. Why any politician would even think of running for office on a platform that includes messing with it (other than expanding benefits) is a puzzle to me.

And then there are all these “tax incentives” for good things.

Who has to pick up the difference, though, when we cut someone else’s taxes? I do. You do.

But back to Huckabee. The experts say his weakness is lack of money. He did well last time around until he ran up against the money wall.

I think he could be one to watch. If he could convince the movers and shakers, the ones with the money or access to money, that he could bridge the gap between the more common man type Republicans and the upper class — and there is said to be quite a chasm right now in the GOP — he might just get the support he needs.

While I don’t hold his Christianity against him, I wonder if he realizes that government is supposed to be neutral towards religion.

He is the type to say that the government has forbidden children to pray in public schools. I think in effect that has happened but the intent to is not to forbid people from practicing religion but to keep the government from favoring one religion over the other.

Personally I don’t see anything wrong with someone praying in school, as long as the prayer is not led by school authorities and is solely a personal act (silent prayer maybe).

It would be nice to see a candidate who is a man (or woman) of the people. Is Huckabee the one? Don’t know.

P.s.

Then again, I don’t see a religious fundamentalist, as Huckabee is,  winning the presidency in such a diverse nation. But maybe if he does well he can have a major influence on the direction of the GOP and the debate in general.

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