Thursday, December 20, 2007

Having a Huck of a Time

There must be something in the water in the Diamond State. Arkansas gave us the most talented (and most flawed) political genius of the modern era in Bill Clinton. He now has a rival for that title in fellow Arkansan, Mike Huckabee. Case in point is Huckabee's absolutely brilliant guerrilla marketing attack in the form of a commercial that has sent the yammering media minions into paroxysm's of apoplexy. Ostensibly the commercial was aimed at influencing voters who will participate in the upcoming Iowa Caucuses. It only aired as a commercial in Iowa television markets, and was, on its face, a positive and relatively effective message. In and of itself, the message would have garnered little attention outside Iowa. But the controversy engendered by the not-so-subliminal inclusion of a cross shape in the background has catapulted the commercial and Huckabee to free hourly national airing on every cable news channel and constant discussion on every radio talk show in the nation.

The manic media talking heads are hyper-ventilating over the overt use of religious symbolism for political purposes and are incredulous that..., GASP!..., it's working! And they accuse politicians of being tone-deaf. The secular liberal media elites are so out of touch with their audience, it is little wonder that the only time they get true audience attention is when they broadcast live police chases on Left Coast highways.

The reality is that the vast majority of Americans are NOT turned off by religious overtones in politics. Frankly, with ethical influence lacking in all other sectors of society, a politician's religious adherence has become the last bastion of ethical credibility against which the electorate can measure. Not to say that all those who cloak themselves in religious trappings will automatically be of the highest ethical character--there are charlatans in the flock to be sure. But, I'll take my chances with someone who professes personal guidance by a supreme moral authority, over a leader who kowtows at the alter of political expediency cloaked in the garb of unlimited individual personal freedom.

Don't know if Huck is the man for the job, or not. But, I have to admire his principles and his political savvy.
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