About one thing Mike Huckabee is right (OK, maybe two): the presidential hopeful told Chris Matthews that if Republicans want to win the 2008 election, they must nominate a candidate who'll appeal to as many independents and Democrats as possible. Dark horse Huckabee expressed the hope that he was the man.
Wishful thinking aside, when it comes to Iraq, Huckabee and the rest of the Republican candidates for president, bar Ron Paul, are at odds with the American people. According to every conceivable poll—Gallup, Rasmussen, ABC News/Washington Post—most Americans now oppose the war in Iraq, deem it a mistake, and "support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within the next year."
Like it or not, these are the facts. Iraq, polls predict, will dominate the 2008 elections. Yet nine of the Republican candidates are still flogging that fiasco with brio. On this salient issue, they've adopted a position in opposition to popular wisdom; on Iraq, the Republican candidates are mimicking a man whose approval rating is in the low 30s.
Rabbiting on about how Iraq is part of a grander ideological war against terror won't wash any longer; Americans are hip to that hoax. The idea that we can rehabilitate what we ruined in Iraq is delusional—a function of a collective mindset that rejects reality and its lessons. We can't fix Iraq because of what we wrought—because of the Original Sin of invasion. The sinner cannot turn savior.
Paul understands this. His stance on Iraq makes him appealing to voters from the left, the (real) right, and the center. He can thus also lower the Republican Party's considerable attrition rates. Like or dislike him, Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential contender whose position on Iraq comports with that of the American people—and hence with electability.
This may surprise conservatives, but bar Tom Tancredo, Paul is also the only candidate who'll seriously reduce undesirable immigration. Here, as on Iraq, Americans are united. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, "enforcement approaches with no increase in legal immigration" were the most popular policy options among a majority of voters. "Seventy percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who wanted to double legal immigration."
Unfortunately, the tyranny euphemized as political correctness dictates that border security is the only angle allowed in the immigration debate. It's now mandatory to pair an objection to the invasion of the American Southwest with an embrace of all forms of legal immigration. The puppies on the Republican ticket are generally in compliance. They've embraced border security as their bailiwick, but not the burdens associated with the rapid transformation of America.
Although he has positioned himself (unwisely) as a moderate on immigration, judging from an interview he gave VDARE.COM, Paul takes one of the toughest positions yet—he is the only candidate who's vowed to eliminate all the incentives that keep unviable immigrants coming.
Both benefits and birthright citizenship will be abolished under a Paul administration. Free medical care, education, welfare largesse, and the perennial promise of amnesty—Paul will do away with these federally mandated magnets. Immigrants who cost more than they contribute will be unlikely to come to the US in the absence of what are substantial taxpayer subsidies.
No candidate has dared to talk about deportation. Paul has. "[I]f they're signing up for a benefit, they should be sent back home, instead of given the benefit," he told VDARE.COM. Nab trespassers when they come to claim undeserved entitlements.
Huckabee, on the other hand, has lent his ministerial blessing to the benefits bonanza. Like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the governor has the dubious distinction of deploying the racist epithet to denounce a bill introduced in the Arkansas legislature denying illegal aliens welfare and voting rights.
Huckabee now natters incessantly about recruiting more chicken pluckers and fruit pickers through guest worker programs: "We need to create a process to allow people to come here to do the jobs… unfilled by our citizens." This is one libel Americans are sick of. Seventy percent of voters nationally, says the CIS, agree that, at the right price, Americans will do menial work. (Huckabee should take time off to watch the Discovery Channel program "Dirty Jobs," where I've yet to encounter a garbage collector, sewer inspector, or tanner who wasn't an Anglo- or Afro-American.)
Huckabee, apparently, is also unaware of the labyrinth of visa programs on the books already. Besides (and this applies to all the Republican hopefuls), the future leader of a superpower should be emphasizing innovation-oriented, not labor-intense, forms of production. More mechanization and less Mexicanization.
Best of all, Paul will actually have the funds to plug the border, because, unlike Huckabee, he refuses to remain mired in Mesopotamia. All Republicans on the ticket, bar Paul, will be bogged down in Iraq for years-to-come. Having squandered men, matériel, and morale there, they'll be less able to respond to an attack on the homeland.
The paradox of the peace-loving Paul is this: Given his commitment to national sovereignty—to defending this country, not Israel, Iraq or Afghanistan—Paul will have the will and the wherewithal to smash any enemy entering our orbit.
©2007 By Ilana Mercer