Bendinelli: I do not heart Huckabee



Ryan Bendinelli

Governor Mike Huckabee is the type of guy that you want to have a barbecue with. He is the type of guy that you would trust your kids with for the weekend. If he were your pastor, you would truly believe his message of God’s love. He comes across as warm-hearted and caring. He is also not the type of guy who should be president of the United States.

There are legitimate arguments to be made for wanting a candidate with what most people label as “character.” There should be an expectation of character and moral fiber among politicians. A person who makes bad decisions in his or her own life will generate a major credibility problem with the public. However, character and personality should not be the sole credentials that people look for in a president. This is the problem with Huckabee.

This past week, the government released a National Intelligence Estimate, which concluded that Iran had ceased its development of nuclear weapons after the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime. This holds major policy implications in several different ways. First of all, if it is true, then our intelligence failed us before in saying Iran was developing nuclear weapons still. If it holds, the United States will be in more of a position to pursue diplomatic negotiations with Iran. However, if it does not hold true, it is a sign that our intelligence agencies need to be seriously reworked.

The day after this news made the cover of several national newspapers and dominated TV shows, Huckabee was asked in a sit-down interview what he thought of the NIE. He said he was unfamiliar with the finding and proceeded to discuss how Iran may be close to developing a reactor in a much shorter period of time than originally thought.

It is troubling that Huckabee does not take the time to become informed on major issues affecting foreign policy. In addition to being completely unaware of what was going on, the governor also neglected the science of nuclear technology. If Iran is close to having a reactor, it only affirms that they are developing nuclear power plants. A nuclear reactor controls nuclear energy. It is the opposite of a nuclear weapon, which is an unrestrained release of that energy.

It is not only on foreign-policy issues that the governor fails to consider his stances. He claims that he will be able to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service by enacting a “fair tax.” This would enact a national sales tax, estimated between 20-30 percent, in place of all income taxes.

There are many problems with this system, not the least of which is the fact that it places the highest burden on middle-income families. However, the most telling part of it all is that Huckabee believes that the government will no longer have any tax enforcement agency.

Huckabee’s stance on immigration and its role in national security puts a nail in his policy coffin. His nine-point “Secure America” plan includes references to a border fence and a discouragement of dual citizenship. However, it ignores the central problems of illegal immigration: people overstaying visas or tampering with documents.

It is easy to like Huckabee when he is on stage with the other candidates for the GOP nomination. He is likable. While the other candidates sound so polished with their economic statistics and law degrees, Huckabee is able to talk like an average American because he is. While we may have a government of the people, by the people and for the people, from its inception America has looked to its best and brightest to lead.

The average guy should certainly have a voice. However, there are certainly better choices in the Republican field who take the time to be informed on vital issues and have a real understanding of what is going on in the world they live in.


Ryan Bendinelli is a senior political science major from Millington, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected].