Mike Huckabee, who adopts the nom de gravitas Michael D. Huckabee, has produced a document detailing his thoughts on foreign affairs in Foreign Affairs.
The United States, as the world's only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.
Good gravy, he is talking about the smart kids in high school in a piece designed to make me take him seriously on the most important dangers in our world.Huckabee has a grand total of zero relevant experience in foreign affairs or national experience, so I wasn't holding out much hope. Surprisingly there were actual good ideas in it.
The United States' biggest challenge in the Arab and Muslim worlds is the lack of a viable moderate alternative to radicalism. On the one hand, there are radical Islamists willing to fight dictators with terrorist tactics that moderates are too humane to use. On the other, there are repressive regimes that stay in power by force and through the suppression of basic human rights -- many of which we support by buying oil, such as the Saudi government, or with foreign aid, such as the Egyptian government, our second-largest recipient of aid.
I don't disagree with any of it, as a matter of fact most of the piece that is factual or analysis-based is a fairly accurate. The problem comes when Huckabee has to consider how we will deal with the threats and challenges he has identified. Here is where his touchy-feely, Dr. Phil mentality where with the proper reminders of God's love can overcome the fact that our enemy's God tells them to behead Dr. Phil.
Huckabee's record on clemency and pardons is amazing.
Over the course of his 10 and a half years as governor, Huckabee granted a staggering 1,033 clemencies, according to the Associated Press. That was more than double the combined 507 that were granted during the 17 and a half years of his three predecessors: Bill Clinton, Frank White, and Jim Guy Tucker.
He has the most faith in the power of redemption of virtually any governor in recent history. In case after case he set free criminals, many convicted of violent crimes, and if you were going to find a common thread it was religious redemption. In many cases there was a minister of some sort vouching for the conversion and telling him the criminal had repented. I am not mocking the idea that this can happen and that bad people come to Jesus and become better people. I know it's true, I have friends it has done wonders for. I do question Huckabee's judgment about people and what seems to be an over-reliance on claims of repentance, especially from those who have shown disdain for human life.
It concerns me from a law and order perspective in America and if he released some scum bag who killed my daughter, I wouldn't be talking to the press. But it terrifies me from a foreign policy view because it presumes that people are basically good-natured. They aren't, this is the crappiest planet I have ever lived on, bar none, and while there is good, there is far to much evil for me to presume any innate human goodness.
Huckabee does and so does W. He looked in Putin's eyes and he saw good in his soul. There has rarely been a public judgment of character more glaringly wrong than that one. But fortunately W didn't have the same tendency Huckabee does and has given an very small number of pardons as a Governor or as President. I worry about having a Forgiver in Chief and while it would be nice if more countries around the world loved us, I would rather be despised and safe from our enemies. Obviously some common ground is preferable to either, but I could never trust Huckabee's sweetness and light approach to ensure our safety.