Austin Hill

Pardon me, but have you seen my Republican Party lately? I don’t recognize it anywhere.

My mom worked for Barry Goldwater as she carried me in her womb, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of my home state of California when I was two years old, and I’ve believed in the principles of Goldwater and Reagan all my life.

But given the surge of the “Huckabee for President” campaign, it would seem that many Republicans have abandoned Reagan’s vision in favor of something more reminiscent of President Carter.

As a former Governor, Huckabee has a less-than-conservative track record on a wide range of crucial policy issues, from taxation to immigration to judicial appointments. But Huckabee speaks fluently about Jesus Christ, and theology, and for some people this is apparently all that matters.

And this is why I’m confused. How can so many members of the Republican Party be so quick to abandon the principles of Ronald Reagan?

Huckabee is an anathema to the political conservative movement, a movement that has existed as long as I’ve been alive. But he also poses challenges for another group that has existed for most of my life - - the religious social conservatives.

While making the case for its own policy ideas, the “Christian Right,” as it is sometimes called, has always maintained that attending church regularly and studying the Bible does not disqualify one from participating in our politics. I have always agreed with this assertion, and have been fully supportive of it.

But now we have a presidential candidate who is saying something quite different. By both implicit and explicit means, Huckabee has been conveying that his Evangelical Christianity - - his personal faith, his having attended a Bible college, and his status as an ordained Pastor - - qualify him to be President! This is problematic for the presumed “leaders” of the religious social conservative movement, on at least a couple of accounts.

First, for all the obsessing about a Mormon interjecting his religion into our nation’s politics, Mitt Romney simply has not done this (indeed he has tried to avoid talking about his church as much as possible). Yet in the past several weeks, Huckabee has been interjecting his Evangelicalism into the political process at nearly every turn - - and that seems to be just fine for the “leaders” of the movement.

Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.