Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to a group in Newton, IA. Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks to a group in Newton, IA
Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)

Every politician makes promises, but only a few keep them. If you want to know if you can trust a candidate, examine their character.

Too often we’ve defined character too narrowly as if it were only a question of whether a candidate has been faithful to their spouse and avoided trouble with the law. Yet, our character is built one decision at a time over the course of our lives, and these decisions establish patterns. A wise man has said,  “You make decisions and those decisions turn around and make you.”

Each candidate has made decision that show the type of president they would be. When you examine the truly important decisions Mike Huckabee made in his life, you see a man who is well-prepared to be a great leader for our country.

When Huckabee became Governor, Arkansas had an onerous car registration process that required many people to take a day off from work to register their cars. Governor Huckabee streamlined the process so people could renew their registrations online. That means nothing to those of us who don’t live in Arkansas, but that’s why it matters. When Mike Huckabee became Governor, his goal wasn’t to grandstand so he could impress future Iowa Caucus voters.  Governor Huckabee decided to be a servant to the people of his state rather than using his office as nothing more than a means to climb the political ladder..

We need someone who will serve the people of this nation, not just their own agenda. Aren’t you tired of politicians who look at people suffering, losing their jobs, losing their homes, and say, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”? That’s how the Obama Administration made a pork-laden stimulus bill that paid off big contributors as its first major “accomplishment.”

In a similar way, politicians in both parties have refused to secure the border.  Instead, they insist Congress pass an amnesty bill that promises to secure the border eventually. Americans are being killed by criminals who entered this country illegally while politicians continue to play games with the lives and safety of the American people.

Mike Huckabee believes the safety and security our country isn’t a bargaining chip, it is the first responsibility of the President of the United States. The President already has the tools to secure the border. Within one year of taking office, Mike Huckabee would get the job done.

Our veterans continue to suffer at the hands of the incompetent VA with waiting lists that go on for months, with many veterans dying while waiting for care. The veterans’ problems are barely talked about on the Presidential campaign trail. Why? They may have served our country honorably and been promised care, but they don’t have $100 million to give to a Super PAC.

To Mike Huckabee, their care is a top priority. They’ve served us and we owe them the best. Using his experience from governing Arkansas and reforming bureaucracy, he’ll reform the VA and end the crisis of long wait times.

As a result of the choice to use his office to serve, Governor Huckabee earned the respect of the people of Arkansas. He won four straight statewide elections, which was unprecedented for a Republican. At the same time, ninety percent of his legislative agenda was enacted including education reform,  the first broad-based tax cuts, and a partial birth abortion plan.  He did this with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature.  Many candidates promise to fight for legislation, but Governor Huckabee has a record of actually winning.

In 2008, American conservatives panicked in the midst of the financial crisis. It was hard to find a fiscal conservative who believed consistently in small government. Most of Congress believed only big government could save America’s most powerful corporations from going under. President Bush said at the time, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market.”

In contrast, respectfully but forcefully, Mike Huckabee stood against the betrayals of conservative principles that were so readily made during that crisis. Governor Huckabee made a decision to stand for principle rather than to panic.  Long before Rick Santelli made his famous rant on CNBC in February 2009 that keyed the start of the Tea Party movement, Governor Huckabee was standing firm against the heavy hand of big government intervention to “save our economy” from the free market.

It’s easy to be conservative in good times at a conservative conference or in a town hall meeting. It’s a crisis that tests your dedication to principle. Presidents are elected for the crisis, and Mike Huckabee has shown he will not lose his head or his principles when times are tough.

Governor Huckabee came of age in a time when the South was coming to terms with integration. Mike Huckabee chose time and time again to be a leader in bringing about unity and racial reconciliation. He helped integrate his high school. Then as a young pastor of a small church, he welcomed the church’s first Black member. When dealing with a few members who didn’t like it, he said, “If he goes, I go.” His efforts to serve, reach, and bring healing was reflected in his 1998 re-election bid when he won nearly half of the Black vote in his state.

During the last eight years, we’ve had a President who promised to bring us together, but he has instead torn us apart and stoked the fires of racial hatred and division and set race relations back decades in order to help his political fortunes. Mike Huckabee has had a focus throughout his life and career in bringing healing and reconciliation and as a president will work to heal the damage done by this administration.

Governor Huckabee has many great skills that even those who don’t agree with him recognize. He’s a great public speaker with an ability to emotionally connect with people, and he has more than a decade of executive experience. If he had a huge campaign budget, he’d be unstoppable. And he had a chance for that. Three different billionaires offered to support him through their own contributions and through people they could raise money from. But they wanted him to stop talking about the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of marriage.  He refused, and the billionaires chose to endorse other candidates.

It’s a decision that shows that, if president, Mike Huckabee will be a leader on the issues of life and marriage. The most powerful tool a President has is the bully pulpit, the ability a President has to use the power of his office to advocate for great values and ideas.  Mike Huckabee has shown he would use that power well and faithfully. He has shown the willingness to stand up and advocate for traditional values at locations as unfriendly as the View and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. If you’re only willing to advocate for traditional values before a friendly audience, that’s not leadership, it’s pandering.

We can’t afford another person in the White House whose looking out for the interests of well-connected special interests. We need a President who cannot be bought, whose interest is doing the right thing for the American people rather than big donors who are looking for a big payoff.

Many people who had come to him urging him to run and promised to support him didn’t. They were disappointed by the money he hadn’t raised, money he could have raised by selling out his principles. The media and the establishment has counted him out. He could have chosen to pack it in, to call it a campaign, and he could have spent two weeks lounging around at his lovely Florida home before restarting his media and public speaking career.

Governor Huckabee’s made of sterner stuff than that. He chose to endure. He didn’t retire from the race, he hit the ground running with 150 events in the month of January in the freezing weather of Iowa. The political insiders and establishment believe in the power of big money and big endorsements to win the day. He’s chosen to trust the people of Iowa. He believes on Caucus Night, people will cut through all of the hype and all of the clever packaging. He believes, when people Caucus, they will vote based on hope rather than fear, and they’ll think who they can trust with the high responsibility of righting our country after the disastrous age of Obama.

Some candidates are trusting in massive campaign contributors and a phalanx of well-healed consultants.  Governor Huckabee still believes ordinary citizens working hard for what they believe in can do extraordinary things.

Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a Hill,” and it should be our goal to make it that again.  In his Farewell Address, he explained what he meant. “It was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity,” and it speaks to our highest hopes and aspirations for America.  The question Iowa must answer is, “Who can lead America back to being that sort of city?”

Decisions are not only powerful for individuals but parties and states. Eight years ago, the other party held a Caucus and were presented with a lot of promised by a young inexperienced Senator named Barack Obama. He had a big ego and made big promises he couldn’t keep but managed to inspire a fan base so fanatical it was more suited to Comic Con than in the political life of a free people. The result has been eight of the most divisive and damaging years in American history. They made a decision that has helped to make America into a gloomier, angrier, and less free nation.

Now, eight years later, Republicans have a choice, and it will help make the future of our nation. If Iowa decides for Mike Huckabee, it will decide America needs a proven statesman who will lead our country towards liberty, respect for the inherent worth of every person, and the rule of law,  and away from the hatred, anger, lawlessness, and division stirred up by power-hungry demagogues over the past eight years.

Remember, the decision you make will help make the future of our nation.

Disclosure: Adam Graham has endorsed Mike Huckabee for President and is author of the ebook, Road to Victory: A Conservative’s Case for Mike Huckabee and is host of the Truth and Hope Report Podcast which is currently airing a series, “Our Man Huck.”

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