Gov. Huckabee visits SU campus, speaks on Republican Party’s future
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee eased the minds of many Syracuse University conservatives Thursday by explaining the Republican Party’s future role in American politics.
Huckabee’s lecture, “The Future of Conservativism,” was held in Gifford Auditorium, and saw a diverse crowd of students and community members alike. College Republicans sponsored the politician’s appearance on campus.
Huckabee has had an extensive career with many highlights including a bid for the 2008 U.S. Republican presidential nomination and 11 years as the 44th governor of Arkansas. He is currently the host of the Fox News Channel talk show “Huckabee.”
In the lecture, Huckabee said the political party that communicates and pushes for policies will be the party that thrives in the years to come.
“I am less concerned with whether conservatives have a future than whether America has a future,” Huckabee said.
Growing up, Huckabee said he understood poverty because he lived through it. This life experience was one of the reasons he felt so passionately about the role of conservative economic policies in America.
“I think the dumbest thing we’ve done is penalize productivity,” Huckabee said, citing the increase in taxation based on an increase of labor, savings and investments. “How is it smart to build a great economy when you punish the things that make a great economy work?”
Huckabee also touched on his anti-abortion stance, an opinion that he recognized is problematic for many people.
The Declaration of Independence guarantees “dignity and worth to every individual, which makes us the best country in the world,” he said. This sense of value began at conception, which Huckabee said he believes is the start of human life.
Meghan Ross, a sophomore in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, said Huckabee presented himself well by being receptive to liberalism on a college campus. She added that this was apparent when he joked about being protested by 100 students during a campus visit to Cornell University.
“That’s all?” Huckabee laughed, before explaining why, instead of being offended by the protesters, he was thankful. “We don’t learn much when the only people we talk to are those who we agree with.”
James Ward, president of College Republicans, echoed this sentiment.
“He’s here to give an alternate viewpoint and to spark discussions on campus about people’s political beliefs and different issues,” Ward said. “A lot of what students hear all the time is what the professors have to say, and there aren’t many conservative professors out there who are as outspoken as the liberals.”
A form of that discussion occurred when Huckabee opened up the floor for questions. The first regarded why America hadn’t raised taxes in order to fund a free health care system when countries that have, such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are ranked so highly for their standard of living. The question created an outbreak of furor, as the audience shouted things such as “Move then!” “Be civil!” and “Let the governor speak!”
After the ruckus died down, Huckabee responded: “I want to be in a country where the government doesn’t guarantee me too much. A government that can give everything can take everything away.”
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