Former Governor Mike Huckabee has sold his soul in exchange for media attention. Unfortunately for Huckabee, and like with most Faustian bargains, his recent national headline-making publicity stunts are only temporary demonic tricks before Satan supernaturally collects his soul; it is preposterous that Huckabee thinks that the fundamentalist evangelical movement can nominate him as the Republican nominee and elect him president in the general election. Even God couldn’t pull that trick.
Now I don’t really believe in my Faustian gag, but Biblical allusions are fun when giving Christian fundamentalists proverbial tastes of their own medicine. It is the truth, however, that Huckabee will not win the nomination, nor even come close.
First of all, Huckabee’s strategy is mathematically self-defeating. There is a good reason Christian fundamentalists think that their “Real America” has been lost in its gay marriage defeat: a majority of the country has evolved on the issue while they continue to ignore the science behind it, in this case, statistics.
Huckabee’s fundamentalist pandering to the increasingly irrelevant and pariah anti-LGBT crowd is a terrible way to play the game of American Republican-Democracy: no one gets elected representative by adopting a blatantly and admittedly non-mainstream faction of the populace and hoping that their quality passion will somehow overcome the quantity-focused American electoral system!
Hence Huckabee’s metaphorical soul-exchange. To incite his despairing, politically impotent primary base into fear of alternative presidential candidates he is pulling publicity stunts as emptily rhetorical as they are purposefully, religiously isolationist. Like his recent Kim Davis rally.
Despite the anti-LGBT movement’s uneducated, Socratically unexamined claims, Kim Davis is not Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Abraham Lincoln, and religious freedom is not under assault in America. The best historical analogy for Kim Davis would be George Wallace, personally standing in the way of moral progress. And Huckabee was standing awkwardly next to her the whole time, visually reminding fundamentalists that the rally was his campaign’s invention.
But even the original George Wallace could not win a presidential election.
Now it is easy for Huckabee to fight a made-up culture battle because there are no actual consequences to an imagined war, and Huckabee exemplified this reality by volunteering to go to jail in place of Davis… after she was freed from jail. Let’s ignore the fact that our justice system does not operate on a tag-in rotation system- maybe Huckabee thinks of his pretend culture war like a wrestling match.
And Huckabee does not just get the US justice system wrong, he gets his own religion wrong. In an act of hypocritical, showboating piousness, Huckabee’s unChristian political vanity physically blocked Senator Ted Cruz from joining them onstage and sharing in the politicized faux-outrage. The rally wasn’t really about Jesus at all, and Huckabee made it awkwardly clear that the rally was all about Mike Huckabee.
Former Governor Huckabee should read about Faust, and contemplate his own sins of vanity before continuing his national campaign of shaming America for its supposed sins. Selling his soul for the anti-LGBT movement’s temporary attention may get Huckabee his five minutes of Election 2016 cable-news fame, but Satan will metaphorically grab his soul before he can get into the symbolic heaven of the American Presidency.