Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beyond belief

OK, yes, it's been a while. Sorry.

At XIOA, we don't talk politics much. Don't really see the need for it. But with about a month to go before the caucuses, Iowa is awash in political advertisements. For most of them, I just mute the TV and avert my eyes, but one or two spots occasionally poke through. Like this morning, I saw the first ad for Mike Huckabee. In it, he talks about how religious he is. The words "Christian leader," as if that means the same thing to everyone, float across the screen as Huckabee explains that "I never have to wake up in the morning wondering what to believe."

Obviously, it's a shot at Mitt Romney, but when you think about it ... what does it even mean for a president? You never examine your beliefs about anything? You have all the answers? So, Mike, does Iran have the bomb? Is Pervez Musharraf lying through his teeth when he tells us that yeah, sure, he's like totally committed to democracy. What, you don't know for sure? I thought you never have to wonder what to believe.

Huckabee is talking about personal convictions, and that's fine. But really, if someone's running for president, it's safe to say they have a firm grasp of what they do and do not believe -- even if they don't believe in anything, which is a belief system in itself. Huckabee would probably say Romney is willing to say anything, do anything, promise anything to get elected. Well, if that's the case, then that's what he believes -- that getting elected is all that matters -- and he probably believes it to the core of his being. To say you have tons of belief is utterly meaningless if you can't (or won't) tell me what that belief means for the rest of us should you be elected president.

Let this be a warning to the rest of you candidates, in both parties.

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