Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
My staff is taking a break to celebrate the Fourth of July with their families and enjoy a well-earned vacation week. But don’t worry, we will return to reporting the news tomorrow.
- Bible Verse of the Day - Matthew 6:33
- New: "Extremists"
- In Case You Missed It: The Leaders We Need
- In Case You Missed It: The Story Of Sybil Ludington
- In Case You Missed It: More Farmers, Fewer Lawyers
- In Case You Missed It: Don't Believe The Conventional Wisdom
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
By Mike Huckabee
Democrats have declared that the greatest danger to America is “extremists” and their media and social media handmaidens are doing everything possible to identify and silence so-called “extremists” – of course, always defining that as “rightwing extremists.” I guess they’d include this couple, who are being treated like terrorists even though they never even entered the Capitol on January 6th. They're victims of mistaken identity.
Just as many Republicans were once depicted as a “far-right” but not even Ted Kennedy was called “far-left,” only conservatives can be “extremists,” and hence “dangerous.” If you see an America-hating, communist-sympathizing Antifa mob attacking cops, looting stores or trying to burn down a federal building, you can rest easy knowing that as long as they’re on the left, at least they’re not “dangerous extremists.”
I’ve been wondering if anyone in the media was ever going to bring up the famous quote from the late Senator Barry Goldwater (smeared by the media in his day as a dangerous extremist and later lauded as a statesman): “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” So I’m glad that in this Fourth of July essay, Hannah Cox of the Foundation for Economic Education does that and reminds us that Americans have always been “extremists.”
She makes the excellent point that the Founding Fathers were, by current definitions, incredible extremists. For millennia, slavery, indentured servitude and rule by sword or divine right were the status quo. Ideas like freedom, democracy, human rights and leaders deriving their power from the consent of the governed were absolutely unheard of. Yet the Founders declared them to be both God-given and self-evident. Talk about extremists!
Ms Cox writes:
“I always find it odd that America alone is criticized for injustices such as slavery, racism, inequality, and civil rights violations. It’s as if the vast majority of people are truly under the impression these injustices only ever happened here. In truth, the entirety of human history is marred by these evils, and in many places, you’ll find much worse conditions for civil liberties to this day.”
She also makes the good point that the USA has often failed to live up to the lofty standards set out by the Founders, but there are two big differences between us and the nations that people flee to come here: we are constantly striving to make things better (and with great success, although leftwing extremists refuse to admit it), and those other nations never even attempted to live up to those standards.
Read the whole thing. It will remind you that it’s been America’s “extremists” in the causes of liberty and justice who have made this the free nation so many people are desperate to join. I’d also remind America’s leftwing extremists who hate this nation that another great thing about living in a free country is that, unlike in Cuba or China, they are free to pack up and move someplace they think is better anytime they please.
In Case You Missed It: The Leaders We Need
By Mike Huckabee
We all knew a kid in school who just had to run everything. Remember the classmate who insisted on picking the games you’d all play at recess, where you’d go after school, even who was “in” or “out” of your group? In high school, that kid had a compulsive need to be the leader of every student organization. You just wanted to say, “Hey! You’re not the boss of me!” Whatever happened to those kids? I wouldn’t be surprised if most ended up in government. We certainly have no shortage of people there who think they know how to live your life and spend your paycheck better than you do.
I’m convinced the world is divided into people who just want to live their own lives and those who, for some reason, have an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone else how to live. Unfortunately, to that latter group, government seems like the ideal place to work, and at the moment, they are getting 99.9% of all the attention from the media. As more of them gravitated toward government, Congress abdicated much of its legislating authority to unelected bureaucrats. Their bureaus grew like kudzu, and so did their regulations with the force of law (but no input from the people.) Then one day, we looked up and discovered we had a crushing national debt and were paying huge salaries to an army of people who enforce how big your soda should be and who couldn’t be fired and who is allowed to come into your daughter’s locker room. That’s when sane people realized that government is the LAST place these out-of-control control freaks needed to be.
The temptation for government to overreach is hardly new. In fact, it stretches back to the beginning of recorded history, and I bet even earlier than that. There’s a story in the ninth chapter of the book of Judges in the Old Testament about Gideon’s son Abimelech, who craved leadership and stature - not to serve the people but to control them and make them serve him. He said, “Give me dominion over your lives, and I will simplify your existence.” Wow, does that sound familiar? It’s basically the entire 2020 Democratic platform. Our government has taken us pretty far down that same road, but does your life seem any simpler -- or just a lot less free?
Anyway, back to Abimelech. He had a very smart younger brother, Jotham, who came up with a clever tale about three trees: an olive tree, a fig tree, and a vine tree. All three were fine trees that produced lots of fruit. All were offered the exalted position of “King Of All Trees,” but all three turned it down. The plant that wanted to be “King Of All Trees” was the bramble bush, a weak plant that produces no fruit at all. Jotham’s point was that only the weak and nonproductive have the desire to rule everyone else. Does that lesson not resonate like a gong right now?
When anyone aspires to a position of power, take a long, hard look. If that person seemingly crawled out of the cradle with an ambition to be President, then beware! Anytime someone talks about “running the country,” alarm bells should sound. No one – not the President, not Congress, no one person – “runs the country” or should aspire to. That’s why the Founders took such pains to divide and limit federal power, and why we need to reinstate those limits that have been blurred in recent years, whether by Presidents ruling via executive order or out-of-control judges legislating from the bench or unelected bureaucrats abusing their power to try to influence the results of elections. If we allow any one person or entity to ignore those limits and assume the power to run everything, we won’t be able to stop them when they run America into the ground.
We should pick leaders who resemble the trees in the Bible story that don’t need or crave power but that have shown they bear good fruit. As it is said, by their fruits ye shall know them. Government has more than enough nuts already.
In Case You Missed It: The Story Of Sybil Ludington
By Mike Huckabee
I’ve been astounded recently by the way the left has been so successful at using the phrase “hate speech” and the fear of school shootings to convince young people to demand that their own First and Second Amendment rights be taken away.
Somehow, they have managed to bamboozle a large slice of the young generation into simultaneously believing that they are wise and mature enough to start voting and even writing laws at 16; yet they are so childish and irresponsible, they can’t be trusted to touch a firearm until they’re 21, or to hear an opposing opinion without rushing to a safe space to cuddle a puppy and schmoosh Play-Doh.
When young people don’t know their rights, where those rights came from, and how much was sacrificed to secure them, it’s easy to convince them to trade them away for empty promises of comfort and security. This is the basis of all those quotes warning not to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage, a bit of advice so ancient and universal that it dates back to Esau in Genesis 25: 29-34. But leftists are still counting on young people not knowing it (no wonder they want to ban the Bible from schools.)
These days, students are taught an ugly, twisted and totally negative perversion of American history. They’re taught to hate their own magnificent heritage, and they don’t learn the most basic facts (or even what the word “pottage” means), let alone all the great stories you discover when you dig into real American history. This seems like the perfect week for a lesson in how America came to be born. And I’ll try to put it into terms they can relate to.
Maybe – possibly – today’s students vaguely recognize the name Paul Revere (although they might believe he was a slave trader. I certainly doubt they had to memorize the poem, the way we did.) But how many know there was another heroic midnight rider who warned that the British were coming, only this one was a teenage girl from Duchess County, New York?
She’s just one of many American heroes that kids don’t learn about because modern textbooks scrub history of everything interesting or inspiring in favor of leftist social and political agendas that downgrade America. They depict it as a land of nothing but racism and oppression, not as a land where people of goodwill have struggled and sacrificed for generations, constantly working to improve things by establishing justice, securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity and creating a “more perfect union” (in the original foundational document, the writers made it clear that nothing’s perfect, but we would strive always to keep working together toward perfection.)
Kids, American history is not a list of personal grievances against people who’ve been dead for 200 years. It’s everything that ever happened to everyone before you came on the scene. Seek it out. Trust me: it can be pretty interesting, and you can actually learn things from it.
For instance: listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of…Sybil Ludington? As the oldest of 11 children, Sybil had to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age. She was barely 16 on the night of April 26, 1777. She had just tucked all her siblings into bed when, suddenly, there came an urgent knock at the door. It was a messenger, coming to warn her father, Col. Henry Ludington, that British troops were invading.
His troops weren’t expecting an attack and were scattered all over the countryside. Gathering them meant a dangerous ride over pitch-black roads, through enemy soldiers, wild animals, and hostile Indians (sorry: “Indigenous Peoples.”) Understandably, the messenger refused an order to go. But Sybil volunteered. Her father protested, but she pointed out that only she knew where all his men lived. As any father of a strong-willed daughter (especially one named Sybil!) will recognize, he’d long since learned that arguing with her was futile. So Sybil mounted up and rode off.
It was a rainy night. The British had already set nearby Danbury, Connecticut, on fire, and the flames cast an eerie, red glow on the fog. It spurred Sybil on as she galloped from house to house, banging on doors and shouting that the British were coming. According to legend, at one point, a highway robber tried to intercept Sybil, but she raised her father’s musket and sent him running. Yet another reason why teenagers should think twice before demanding that the Second Amendment be taken away from them.
By dawn, Sybil and her horse were cold, wet and exhausted. She’d roused over 400 troops, who joined the Battle of Ridgefield and helped drive the British all the way back to Long Island Sound. Gen. Washington personally honored Sybil for her heroism.
Today, there are historic markers all along her route, and statues of her in New York and Washington (if they haven’t been torn down by historical illiterates.) But I’ll bet most young people never even heard of Sybil Ludington, a teenager much like them, except she knew what really happened during the American Revolution. Maybe it’s because nobody wrote a famous poem about her midnight ride -- even though her ride was over twice as long as Paul Revere’s. Let’s hope someone turns her story into a hip-hop musical.
In Case You Missed It: More Farmers, Fewer Lawyers
By Mike Huckabee
I hope you’re having a great 4th of July week, but between the celebratory fireworks on one hand and the anti-American political fireworks on the other, let’s take just a moment to reflect on what Independence Day really means and how it led to the freedoms and blessings that far too many Americans fail to appreciate these days.
Most historians (not New York Times writers, but real historians) mark the beginning of America as the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. But in truth, there was still a long road to travel before America as we know it came to be. First, of course, there was the matter of fighting a bloody revolution against Great Britain, one where victory was an overwhelming longshot, and win or lose, the leaders risked their lives, honor and fortunes. Victory was followed by more heated battles over what kind of government we would have.
Our Forefathers finally agreed to a blueprint, the Constitution, that wasn’t even introduced until 1789 – over 13 years later. Today, many Americans take those hard-won freedoms very lightly and seem eager to trade them away for false promises of security. Many can’t even name the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Maybe they’d cherish them more if they knew how close they came to not having them at all.
Did you know that the Constitution very nearly got passed without the Bill of Rights? Even some of the wisest of our forefathers thought a Bill of Rights was a dangerous idea. Alexander Hamilton argued that it was risky to list the rights the government couldn’t take away because then, politicians might try to grab any and every power that wasn’t specifically prohibited to them (apparently, the ability to rap wasn’t the only way Hamilton predicted the 21st century). He and many others also felt that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary: since nobody was surrendering their God-given rights by agreeing to the Constitution, there was no need to list them, right? Hamilton wrote, “Why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?”
It’s ironic that Hamilton made that argument. Later on, as the first Treasury Secretary, he cited powers that the Constitution merely implied that the government had in order to take on debt, create a federal bank and impose unpopular taxes. Over a century later, when the federal income tax was passed, some lawmakers wanted to include a 10% limit, but they were voted down. Opponents scoffed that it was absurd to think the government would ever steal as much as 10% of an American’s hard-earned wages. Flash forward just 30 years, and they were happily taxing away 94%. So just imagine how few freedoms we’d have today if they’d listened to Hamilton and decided it wasn’t necessary to put specific limits on government power.
Luckily for us all, Thomas Jefferson won the argument, and the Bill of Rights was added. They even included the 9th amendment, which I’ll bet most people can’t even describe. Here’s what it says:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
It means that just because some God-given rights aren’t specifically listed, that doesn’t mean the people cede them to the government. Maybe because so many of the framers were also farmers, they understood that like weeds, government tends to grow and grow, choking out the productive crops -- and like a bull, it will trample you if you don’t corral it. (Also, it produces the same thing a bull does.)
So if we want to preserve our freedoms, and keep government limited, maybe we should send more farmers to Washington -- and fewer lawyers.
In Case You Missed It: Don't Believe The Conventional Wisdom
By Mike Huckabee
When a lie gets repeated so often that everyone thinks it’s true, it’s called “conventional wisdom” – maybe because it happens so often at political conventions. These days, the conventional wisdom is that Americans are clamoring for cradle-to-grave Socialism. Don’t buy it.
Throughout the Bush-Obama era, the media kept repeating “failed conservative policies” until even a lot of so-called conservatives believed it. Well, what a difference a few years make. We tried leftist policies. They resulted in a sluggish economy, depressed job growth, rising income inequality, reduced wealth and opportunities for minorities, rising class and racial divisions, and abroad, a decline in US prestige and leadership and the advancement and emboldening of our enemies, including a terrorist “JV team” metastasizing into a worldwide threat.
Polls began to show that most Americans wanted the government to do less and spend less. In France, where an actual Socialist was elected President, his huge tax hikes crashed the economy and made socialism as popular with the French as cheese in a can. The media were shocked when voters turned right in the next election. They should’ve known that nothing turns people off of socialism like actually experiencing it. Ask a Cuban or Venezuelan. The elites responded by doubling down on the arrogance, condescension and name-calling of those who dared to challenge their divine right to rule. The people were forced to make their point even more clearly by shutting down large sections of the country with Tea Party protests, and demanding their culture and secure national borders back, and finally by shocking the elites with the election of Donald Trump.
Trump reversed virtually every Obama policy. Result: ISIS was crushed, peace started breaking out in the Middle East, illegal immigration plummeted, the economy boomed, and unemployment for all groups fell to record lows while real wages rose for the first time in decades. It took the artificial shutdown of that economy due to COVID-19 to crush it. Now, as it’s starting to rush back, we have Biden crushing it and bringing back Middle East violence and illegal immigration, plus skyrocketing crime and inflation, simply by reversing all of Trump’s policies.
If you ever wanted a laboratory demonstration of whose policies work and whose don’t, you could just look at the past three Administrations prior to President Trump. It’s like watching someone turn off the lights, turn them back on, then turn them off again.
It is a shame that voters have to keep relearning the hard way that top-down, big government solutions and leftist utopian fantasies don’t work in reality. Young people can almost be excused for believing in socialism for the same reason they believe in the Tooth Fairy: they are empty vessels who get filled with whatever adults pour into them. As many parents have recently realized, we’ve been dangerously remiss in allowing leftists to take over our schools and fill those precious vessels with mental pollution.
But Republicans who promised small government and fiscal responsibility have let us down, too. Too many let deficits skyrocket, stuffed budgets with pork, and became cheerleaders for big government and disdainful toward the very Americans who put them in office. These so-called “conservatives” slammed me in 2007 for not being a “real conservative” because I pointed out problems in the economy that were hurting working people and criticized the lack of oversight of Wall Street’s excesses. Two years later, they wanted to spend $700 billion of our grandkids’ money to save Wall Street from its excesses. They abandoned government’s rightful role as a tough-but-impartial referee and wanted to use its power to pick winners and losers in the market. Is that “real conservatism?”
The truth is that voters didn’t turn their backs on conservatism, Republican politicians did. Democrats didn’t sweep to power in 2008 by claiming to be government-bloating tax-and-spenders, but by swearing they’d changed and were now fiscally responsible. Of course, once they gave Obama, Pelosi and Reid unlimited power, voters quickly realized their terrible mistake and gave the House back to the GOP in the next election. But too many Republicans had already squandered their credibility, so when Democrats ballooned the deficit, they could deflect criticism by simply pointing at their opponents’ own record.
In 2020, the endless media assaults on Trump and the false messaging that Biden was a moderate centrist hoodwinked the voters yet again into putting the Democrats back into power. From his first day in power, he surrounded himself with people who can’t wait to bloat government, reversed all of Trump’s successful policies, and started pushing to raise taxes, spend money like water, regulate everything that moves, and turn the whole country into a coast-to-coast version of one of the failing cities Democrats have run for decades. Only a few months in, buyers’ remorse has hit Americans harder than COVID-19.
Another example: New Yorkers lived through the nightmare of the Dinkins years, elected Republican Rudy Giuliani, who miraculously saved the city (ignoring Democrats who routinely called him a Nazi and a fascist) and then Bloomberg, who continued Rudy’s policies and kept it going. Then for some unfathomable reason, New Yorkers decided they were tired of a well-run, successful city, or had become so complacent that they thought NYC could run itself, so they elected Dinkins’ protégé, Bill DeBlasio. Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Look at NYC now, and look at how many voters are desperate to get rid of DeBlasio.
From Jefferson’s belief that government closest to the people governs best to Reagan’s faith in free markets, from low taxes to letting markets instead of government make business decisions, conservative ideas work whenever they’re tried. Unfortunately, party leaders and the media are wildly out of touch with most Americans, and they are the ones with Hollywood, the media and social media acting as a 24-hour PR apparatus for bad leftist policies. This amplifies the liberal side and suppresses the conservative side so much that not only is the tail wagging the dog, but it’s like a Chihuahua’s tail wagging a St. Bernard. Too often, they succeed in hookwinking the voters into giving them more power, despite decades of failure.
But as that great Republican Abraham Lincoln observed, you can fool some of the people all of the time (they’re called “progressives”) and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Let’s pray that 2022 will be one of those “won’t get fooled again” elections.