Searching the Google for items related to Mike Huckabee today yields thousands of results related to his speech at a summit of conservatives in New Hampshire. Many of those links are to reputable news and opinion sites with massive audiences. While the bulk of reaction to Huckabee’s speech is negative for one reason in particular, which we shall examine directly, let us recognize the astounding success of the tactic he used to get the publicity.
Here is what Huckabee said:
My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,” he said in his remarks. “When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID and a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane – but if I want to go vote I don’t need a thing.”
Before we examine the tactic Huckabee employed to get all this attention, let us deconstruct what he said. I find it the height of irony that Huckabee seems to complain about the ease of voting in America at the same time he wonders if North Korea has more freedom than we do.
North Korea just held a national vote that had precisely one candidate on the ballot for supreme poo-bah. Believe it or not, Kim Jung-un won that election with 100% of the vote. Not only did he win, but in his home district there was 100% turnout. Amazing!
Isn’t it just too bad that America does not mirror North Korea’s example of freedom by allowing one choice on the ballot and forcing everyone who can vote to vote… or face the consequences? Which consequences in the case of North Korea are severe. Not voting or abstaining is treated as an act of treason. Checking the voting rolls is one way the government finds out about defectors. Some defectors actually return to North Korea for elections just to cast a ballot so their family will not be persecuted in retaliation for the defection.
By the way, Huckabee and his conservative followers would be thrilled to add restrictions and tests for Americans to vote, so why is he questioning the freedom of America compared to North Korea? He wants to take freedoms away when it comes to the ballot box.
As for the comparison of the rigmarole experienced while boarding an airplane compared to voting, the last time I checked no one has ever flown voting booths into buildings causing the deaths of about 3000 Americans. The first time that happens I will guarantee a much more stringent test for entering the voting booth than is currently the case. I mean, why is there airport security but not polling place security? Freaking duh.
We should recognize the success of Huckabee in throwing a rhetorical bomb that brought him all sorts of attention when it exploded. Clearly Huckabee is a believer in the maxim that any publicity is good publicity. Especially while he is considering tossing his hat into the ring in the upcoming Republican presidential nomination process.
The Republican nomination will be decided by folks who literally cheer putting people to death by the hundreds, boo American soldiers who do not lust after women, boo contraception, which is used by 99% of women in their lifetimes and are largely informed by Fox News. Yes, being primarily informed by Fox News is pejorative, as study after study proves that their audience is the least informed, to the point that those who watch no news at all are more informed about current events than the Fox News audience.
The throwbacks that make up the pool of Republican primary voters love the kind of red meat rhetoric Huckabee used. While the overall tone of opinion over the speech is against Huckabee, he still benefits from the publicity generated by all the opinions. Here I am bashing out a post on Huckabee, and I have no doubt that any right wing loon who stumbles over this post will be more inclined to support him after reading it, just based on the principle of the matter.
Oh well, if Huckabee is successful in winning the nomination by veering to the right and sounding crazy in order to be more popular with Republicans, he’ll lose the general election to Hillary in a landslide.