Mike Huckabee has a warm and fuzzy exterior which prompts some people on the left to find him acceptable in a world of far-right demagogues. But I've always felt that his warm and fuzzy exterior was just that -- an exterior. And his facade always seemed to me to cover up a mean-spirited demagogue in his own right. The past few months, I've had a number of liberal friends say to me, "Y'know, I'd always thought Mike Huckabee was a reasonable Republican, but just the other day he said something that surprised me."
It doesn't ever surprise me. This is nothing new. That's who Mike Huckabee is. Not warm and cherubic. But an intransigent, religious far-right demagogue who, at heart, remains a minister.
(Lest we forget, among his greatest hits, this is the man who called Natalie Portman's unmarried pregnancy "troubling," saying that "it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-wedlock children." And who actually compared abortion to slavery.)
And now he's trying to compare President Obama's push for gun control to...yes, the ol' stand-by, Naziism.
When a caller on his radio show tried to lecture Americans on what caused Naziism, and attempted to lay it at the feet of gun control, Mr. Huckabee replied, "When you bring that up you get people who get crazy on us. And they’ll start saying, 'Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.' And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth."
Except, no, it's not the truth. It's not even close to the truth. It's not even an outlier of truth, except for the "liar" part. Naziism had many causes -- losing WW I, having harsh measures imposed on them by the victors, a crashing economy, European history, a crushed populace eager to follow a leader mindlessly and blame a helpless victim for its own problems, and much more -- but gun control was not one of them.
In fact, far more a cause of Naziism was intolerance -- intolerance to other beliefs and other religions, and marginalizing those people -- which makes the religious far-rights intolerance to other religious beliefs but their own (manifesting itself in such things as the recently-proposed bill in North Carolina to allow for declaring a state religion), far closer to a path towards Naziism than gun control. And even that isn't a path to Naziism. So imagine how far away gun control is an "cause."
Also on Wednesday, Mr. Huckabee showed his intolerance -- and ignorance -- even more by proclaiming, " "In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets. Gosh, I hope it doesn’t come to that."
Let's forget for a moment that they have gun control in England and in France, and don't have dictatorships. (And I'd bet cash money that I could come up with a far longer list if I had half-an-interest to spend the time.) And let's forget, too, that he provides zero evidence that in "every" society and culture this is what has happened when dictators take over. And let's forget, too, that Mr. Huckabee himself would often like to dictate that secular laws should be based on his own religious beliefs (like abortion). And let's even forget that if the U.S. government ever turned into a dictatorship that handguns would serve as a poor defense against drones. And let's forget that no one of any rational sensibility has even hinted at "disarming" citizens so that no one could have guns. And we can even forget that 90% of Americans support gun control, in the form of background checks.
Let's just focus instead on one thing simply -- a call for sensible gun control to help save lives is not what Naziism is. And not why the world abhors Nazis. Humanity recoils at Naziism for its intolerance, brutality, its mass genocide of Jews and dissenters, and its attempt to take over the world. For starters.
And Mike Huckabee, who suggests otherwise, has wanted to be President of the United States.
Gosh, I hope it doesn't come to that.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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