The type of leaders we need

3 minute read

July 5, 2019 |

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.  And as the recent Democratic “debates” proved, a pretty large percentage of them are currently running for President. 

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.  As more of them gravitated toward government, Congress abdicated much of its legislating authority to unelected bureaucrats. Their bureaus grew and grew, 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. That’s when sane people realized that government is the LAST place these 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.

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.”  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 trying 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.

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Comments 1-25 of 46

  • Vickie Fiorentino

    05/25/2020 08:30 AM

    Nice analogy! There are times, such as in the movie MONSTER IN LAW, where she hits her mother in law with a fry pan, then shakes loose the urge and speaks nicely; Pelosi gives me that urge and our Republican congress people should just follow through. So pissed that THEY still get PAID to do a JOB they CANNOT seem to accomplish.

  • David E Palmer

    05/24/2020 07:15 PM

    I agree Mr. Huckabee, and would like to add some thoughts. Our founding fathers also required our leaders to swear to an oath of office! Our leaders before being placed on a ballot should be citizens that are honoring their oath of citizenship and display a love for America! This idea of swearing to uphold and honor the Constitution and serve our citizens is not just ceremonial! When enforced, the oath provides the single most important protection from those who would do America harm, using our own Constitution to do it! This is a legal way to remove those who hate America today! You would not want a person that hates plants to be the leader of the garden club! If this expectation was not enforced the garden club would suffer! Also something that I believe the Bible teaches us, us that leaders must be selfless. They must care more about those that they are leading than themselves. Good leadership requires sacrifice, time, money, security, reputation, and sometimes even their life! Sometimes those they are leading will attack them! When our leaders have a motive of love, they will be willing to make the necessary sacrifices to bless those who follow!

  • William Cowart

    05/24/2020 02:44 PM

    We are all in this together and we can fix this mess. Vote in term limits for Congress. Get the people out that are not for the people of America then rescind the term limits and keep those people in. I believe everyone could live free and happy in this place again.

  • Cynthia Eby

    05/24/2020 01:27 PM

    I agree. I can't believe congress can legislate themselves. How do we take control back?

  • MontanaTrace

    01/02/2020 11:12 AM

    Californians are like this. They move into a new area or state and..... "Let me tell you how we did it where I'm from."

    They move away because they don't like where they live. They find a place they like. Move there and then want to make it just like where they came from........ that they hated. Huh?!

  • Carla Duncan

    07/08/2019 09:57 AM

    A very insightful article. I enjoyed reading it especially as I am an elementary teacher and see this sort of behavior all the time. Interesting also how God will take the "David's" who, on the surface, don't look the part or like anyone special and turn them into the greatest leaders of all? These are the ones we need to keep an eye out for and encourage them when they begin rise to the surface. Blessings upon you today, Gov. Huckabee!

  • Bonnie Weekley

    07/07/2019 07:10 PM

    Governor, thank you for this scripture that exposes God's will for us. I love that God wants his people to be informed and warned about bad leadership. God's Word certainly has clear direction for those who respect him and who want to know what God thinks and to follow that direction. I've discovered God's Word is always the BEST direction. small minds talk about others, average minds talk about current events, but GREAT minds talk about eternal veritiesk, and godliness. Love and Bless you!

  • Tetiana

    07/06/2019 01:36 PM

    Brilliant writing! I will read it to my kids. I wish it could be spread more around the kids!
    Thank you, Mr. Hackabee

  • Bo Ragon

    07/06/2019 08:46 AM

    Best three minutes I’ve spent all week. Thank you for the time you spend keeping me informed.

  • Maxine Oswalt

    07/06/2019 04:39 AM

    So true- you are so down to earth and gifted with so much common sense Mr. Huckabee

  • Timothy Bashor

    07/06/2019 12:56 AM

    While I agree with you regarding the type of leader we need in Government, I ask that you not paint all government employees with the same brush. Many serve our country honorably in and out of uniform. For myself, I served over 35 years in the Federal Government; first as a Marine for over 20 years and finally as a diplomat. Interestingly, I was never shot at as a Marine but often as a diplomat were I was wounded once and witnessed the murder of another Diplomat. Our crime was representing our country. Please recognize the selfless service of the thousands of Americans who serve their country honorably in what ever position that their country requires.
    Tim Bashor
    Major, USMC Retired

  • Kathy Frick

    07/05/2019 08:45 PM

    Mr. Huckabee, You certainly "hit the nail on the head" so to speak. The types of leaders that our country needs seem to be in very short supply or even almost non-existent. POWER can be an ugly word -- and it seems like there are way too many who are power-hungry!
    I actually don't know how President Trump can handle this "hodge-podge" of a mess right now and still accomplish his work for our great country. He is amazing-- and that is a genuine compliment!
    Your quote "Self government requires self-discipline" is powerful and I fear it is lacking in too many areas of our current government today and in several of those looking for a government job in the future.
    Thank you for your excellent thoughts and leadership, Mr. Huckabee. Our country certainly needs more people of your energy, work ethic, and character.

  • Sharon Hayden

    07/05/2019 06:49 PM

    The government is too big. They want to take all our rights away. Thank you to you, President Trump and your daughter Sarah Sanders for standing up for our country.

  • Carol Clark

    07/05/2019 06:15 PM

    Very well said and so current to our country. We had 8 years of a president telling everyone in this country what to think and do. It almost completely tore this nation apart. We are a free country and we can figure things out and the majority of this country are conservative and mo longer want to be dominated. Thanks to all who have said no more by voting conservative. Let’s vote 2020. No more dems.

  • rodney burke

    07/05/2019 05:55 PM

    we need leaders like that gal from Hawaii who "just wants to serve" politicians forget all too soon who they work for and who has the right to remove them if they will. We the people have not exercised that right and obligation near enough in the last 60 years. It's time we did again. We don't have enough leaders but all too many dictators. That needs addressing and right now.

  • Barbara Ferguson

    07/05/2019 03:08 PM

    You're spot on. l couldn't agree more. Keep up the good work.
    I like rhymes, so here's one about my take on Christian Citizenship.

    Nobody likes to be told what to do.
    We think rules and restrictions should be taboo.
    But government our Lord designed
    To bring stability to sinful mankind.

    Government was put in place
    To punish evil in the human race.
    As Christians we should gracefully submit
    Even when we don’t like it a bit.

    When obeying is a direct contradiction
    To God’s command and we feel conviction,
    Don’t complain or riot when you refuse to obey,
    But like Daniel or Peter, suggest a better way.

    Nobody likes to live under authority.
    Human nature prefers “It’s all about me.”
    But there must be rules for community
    So people can live together in harmony.

    Only when men try to take God’s place
    Will we have a crisis to face.
    That will be God’s battle, let Him give you the clue.
    Remember, he showed the prophets what to do.

    Obey until it causes you to disobey God,
    But submit without bitterness, or your testimony's flawed.


  • Michael Galloway

    07/05/2019 02:44 PM

    Another great article Governor Huckabee. Such a good and factual comparison between the Book of Judges and America. If our nation, the believers in Jesus Christ do not return to Him in repentance for the sake of our nation, I'm afraid this nation may be close to judgements brought upon by many in our government and some of the people, who have turned away from God and we continue in our nation's sins (abortion, same-sex marriage, gross immorality, etc.).

    I think the President gave a good speech for the 4th of July. Interestingly so the mainstream media spent more time covering three of the Democratic candidates running around Iowa promising tax cuts, chiseling away at our 2nd amendment (Kamala Harris) and undoing the harm that President Trump has done to our nation (what a joke!) I look at the audiences that the msm shows attending these campaign speeches by the left and ask, "how can there be so many people who actually believe the lies that these candidates spew" Does my criticism and shock of the anti-America agenda of the Democrats, make me think that our President is perfect. Well of course he is not. But what the President isn't proclaiming, like "fundamentally transforming" our nation or protecting illegals and promoting open borders (for votes like the Dems hope for) or targeting Christians, etc. is why we should all be hoping and praying that the President can be re-elected in 2020. All of the Democratic candidates gravely concern me and their agenda at times open and at times hidden, is so much part of who they are- power hungry, power grabbing, ready to change our nation to suit their ideology, should be a concern to anyone who actually thinks for themselves and not believe the mainstream media, the Rachel Madow's, CNN, etc.

    I am still hopeful that Franklin Graham will again be willing to get out into our nation as he did prior to 2016 and promote a nation to turn back to God, once again. Your statistics on the number of evangelicals who don't vote should be a concern for our 2020 election. I know that you and others are trying to educate evangelicals and American conservatives and patriots the importance of voting and not just sitting back and being complacent. Thanks for all you do.

  • Jean Yost

    07/05/2019 01:28 PM

    Thanks for an excellent article!! It appears from the comments that people actually read it;)

  • John Breece

    07/05/2019 01:24 PM

    Well said, Mike! Your combination of parallels found in scripture and examples of the behavior of people we have seen in our own lives shines a powerful light on both the truth of the Bible and the truth of what is happening in our American government and governments all around the world. We can all find examples in our daily lives of troubles caused by people who are trying to impose their will on others. We even find ourselves doing it! Becoming aware of what is happening is the first step toward changing it. May God bless and have mercy on us all!

  • Harrison Clark

    07/05/2019 01:01 PM

    About 8 years ago I read (on the internet) a scholarly paper about what drives some people to run large companies or enter government. The author did not call it a sickness, but it was a mental order (not necessarily disorder) that they share. As I recall it's a combination of known mental characteristics that together have this result.

  • Bob Farnsworth

    07/05/2019 12:34 PM

    Great insight, brother Huckabee. Thank you! Bob

  • Ann

    07/05/2019 12:23 PM

    Indeed you are correct Mr. Huckabee. Excellent wisdom recorded in the book of judges, beneficial to all whether we are people of faith or not. Thank you!

  • John Holdgreve

    07/05/2019 12:14 PM

    All congressman should be required to pass a test in the history of socialism vs capitalism. And take economics 101.

    President Trump should cut all gov. agencies by 20%.

  • James Carnine

    07/05/2019 12:13 PM

    Great job Governor of explaining why the I'll equipped are the ones who lust for power over others (just the opposite of George Washington).

    I've never been able to figure out how something so bad and also so good could come out of Arkansas other than the good knows the Lord. And also because of this you and your wife provided a daughter who did an extremely exceptional job, putting it lightly, of combatting the, out to take America down, liberals of the media. It was a total joy to watch her in action!

    God bless you and your family, Governor, as your life and family would make a great New Testament story! I guess we might include it in Acts 29. However, it will all come out on Judgment Day as will the lives of all those who have served in public office. Won't that be interesting?

    Jim Carnine
    Lincoln, CA

  • Helen Tritt

    07/05/2019 12:09 PM

    Governor Huckabee, you are 100% correct about the misuse of the government and personally, I blame the complacency of the people who vote blindly for their Congress people and then are totally uninvolved with what Congress actually does or not. It seems like that when people are elected to Congress, then the average Americans just claim, "ignorance is bliss" for any actions or not when it comes to politics. That is when all of this corruption has been going on for decades, perhaps, longer. The politicians have been allowed to do whatever, with no accountability taking place, and they know they can get away with anything, because, Americans do not know what is actually taking place. Just look at the former REGIME and all of the scandals taking place.