July 7, 2018

The recent Inspector General’s report on the FBI revealed some ugly bias among top officials at what should be an impartial law enforcement agency.  It wasn’t just that they were rabidly pro-Hillary and anti-Trump.  Their elitist snobbery also extended toward American citizens who dared to prefer Trump over Hillary.  One sneeringly texted that during a visit to a WalMart, he could “smell” the Trump supporters.  They also used such profane and derogatory terms to refer to the Trump-voting Americans whom they work for that I refuse to repeat them here. 


Yet they were so encased in a bulletproof bubble of Beltway bias that they allegedly couldn’t even see their own prejudices, and of course, never let it color the way they did their jobs.  If you believe that, I have a beautiful statue of Abe Lincoln on the National Mall that I’d love to sell you. 


Unfortunately, too many people in government, both entrenched elected incumbents and encased-in-concrete bureaucrats, have that same attitude toward the people they’re supposed to be serving.  I’ve seen it before, and I don’t believe one day of training is going to knock it out of them.  But I do know how to fix it, if anyone in DC is really interested.   


When I was suddenly thrust into office as governor of Arkansas, I discovered that the previous governor’s staff had grown used to being yelled at.  So the first thing I did was ban cursing and smoking in the office.  Not because I’m a prude, but because everyone, from senior staffers to entry-level clerks, deserves to be treated with respect.  When someone’s cursing you and blowing smoke in your face, you don’t feel very respected.  I also made it a point to get to know all their names, something I learned that previous governors had seldom done. 


Next, I explained that my guiding management principle is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  You wouldn’t want someone yelling at you for making a mistake, so don’t do it to them.  You’d want to be able to admit a mistake and receive help to keep it from being repeated.  And you wouldn’t want someone humiliating you by lording his power over you.  The only time to pull rank is when a staffer is being deliberately insubordinate.  A real leader knows that if you have to constantly remind people that you’re in charge, then brother, you’re not in charge.


Once civility and respect had been returned to the office, it had to be directed outward.  The Arkansas state motto is “Regnat populus,” Latin for “The people rule.”  That’s easy to forget in a big Capitol office behind a lot of security guards.  So I hung a picture frame behind the receptionist, with the words, “Our Boss” on top.  Every so often, we’d change the photo.  One week it might be a retired farmer, the next week a teacher or a Girl Scout troop.  It served as a constant reminder of our place in the chain of command: below the people. 


Commentary continues below advertisement

Finally, I let the staff know that the Golden Rule also applied to everyone who came to visit.  If they were poor, or had tattered clothes, or even they smelled of sweat from hard labor, it didn’t matter.  They were all to be treated with dignity and respect in the governor’s office -- because we were their employees. 


The people who call on those in government for help, or who want to ask a question, are not your problem, irritation or interruption.  They are your bosses.  Helping them is your job.  And treating them with respect and impartiality is the very least of your duties. 


As we celebrate the founding of America, which was based on overthrowing the rule of arrogant aristocratic elites, I just thought some people could use a timely reminder of that fact.  



Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!

Comments 1-10 of 10

  • Joan Timmons

    07/10/2018 10:47 AM

    U R a really great guy! While U were not my #1 reason, 4 my voting 4 our POTUS, U were on the short list! Not saying how short list was... ;)

  • Linda floyd

    07/08/2018 08:51 PM

    I hope you get to pass this wisdom on to others in high positions! It should be the attitude for all those serving the masses!

  • Carol Gulyas Wintrode

    07/08/2018 07:17 PM

    Wow! That's exactly what James was telling the folks in the 2nd chapter of James!

  • hazel B Jones

    07/08/2018 05:48 PM

    Mike, this was one of your best ever commentaries. So many feel we are nuisances. I love America and really appreciate that you take time to let everyone know that they are important. I also love your satire and down home sayings. Keep up the good work

  • Linda Radosevich

    07/08/2018 04:15 PM

    Excellent! Everyone should be blessed to have such a wise employer as Governor Huckabee! I agree with Curt DeWhitt that sending copies to all the MSM might make them think for a tiny second...

  • Sally Jones

    07/08/2018 11:20 AM

    I love your insiteful, funny writing. It keeps me sane in our insane world. If only our President would make this piece mandatory reading for every citizen in this country, illegals as well. The hysteria against our President as well as all other conservatives has gone to new heights. We live in a troubled world. We need strength in the Oval Office to combat the evil going on. “If my people, who are called by name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land. It’s a choice.

  • Warren Earhart

    07/08/2018 12:12 AM

    What a reminder! Thank you, Governor! I agree with Mr. DeWhitt. That kind of thinking surely needs to be spread around.

  • Bruce Beasley

    07/08/2018 12:05 AM

    Excellent article! While it seems that the majority of those that rule and have authority over us are do not respect their constituents (especially here in California!), we are told in God's Word that they are to be lifted up to our Lord for wisdom and discernment in their ruling so that we might live quiet and peaceable lives. I believe this should also apply in business and have worked to make it that way in ours. God bless you for all you do!

  • German Murashov

    07/07/2018 11:34 PM

    Thank you for this article. You are wisest man to my knowledge (except Donald Trump) and very kind. I always read all your posts and they serve me as a good guide to evaluate political event in these days (I live in America only 16 years and of course it is not always easy to understand those events in details). I came here (Thanks God!) from Russia which is now under typical fascist regime. Most part of my life I lived in Russia under socialism, then communism and now it is fascism. So I know from my personal experience how socialism inevitably leads to fascism. That`s why I never stop to fight socialism and always support Trump, who is a real blessing for America and who wants to restore this unique country to the position it was in the past and we all love.

  • Curt DeWhitt

    07/07/2018 05:36 PM

    I'm surprised no one has commented on this yet, so let me be the first to do so. As a former inside the beltway government employee (definitely not an elitist), I can assure you that your final paragraph needs to be engraved on plaques and prominently displayed in every government office inside and outside the beltway. Now that I think about it, why stop there? Send courtesy copies to the Post, the Times, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN et al. Of course they would call it an outrage and blame it on President Trump, but what else do they have to do?