Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm Fascinated by Huckabee

Mike Huckabee fascinates me because he is the closest thing to a Christian Democrat to emerge in American politics.

Christian democracy is a political tradition that abounds in Europe and Latin America. The tradition is deeply rooted in the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Christian democracy combines social/cultural traditionalism with a limited form of populism -- maybe it could be called moderate economics. Culturally, CD is pro-family, pro-life, pro-faith -- like traditional US conservatives. Economically, CD is more like the New Deal than it is Reaganomics.

Huckabee represents the world-view of that large group of voters that emerged in the 80's called Reagan Democrats. These are the pre-McGovern democrats, typically working class, that deeply believe in the New Deal kinds of reforms that help middle and working class Americans, but who are profoundly troubled by the cultural shift of the democratic party when it embraced abortion rights and secularism.

Huckabee is a kind of prairie Christian democrat. He has troubled the elites of the Republican party because he has given voice to a group of Republican voters whom the elite of the party wants to keep quiet. It will be fascinating in the coming years to see if this block of voters continues to emerge and how they will shape American politics.

BTW -- This series is over. None of the other candidates fascinate me.


James Gibson said...

Huckabee is a harbinger of things to come. He may have to settle for the #2 slot on the ticket this time around but McCain is too old to serve more than one term. Regardless of whether the Republicans win or lose in November, Huckabee will be the front-runner for 2012. Southern governors have a good track record in presidential elections.

fr jeff said...

Your analysis is right-on.Talk radio and the conservative pundits have moved from the fringe of the party to assume the role of the elite.The persecuted have now become the persecutors. Huckabee threatens their power base which is rooted in fiscal conservatism(Reaganomics) and neo-con foreign policy all the time giving lip service to social conservatives.I think we now know what their priorities are. Huckabee is a new kind of Republican.For that we may be truly grateful.