Demonstrating his brand of moral leadership, former Gov. Mike Huckabee showed how he believes a Bible-inspired Presidential aspirant should take a stand against long-time symbols of racism such as the flying of the Confederate flag on state property:
Huckabee Says Let SC Decide on Flag — Pressed later on whether he finds the flag offensive, Huckabee refused to give an opinion.
''It's really not something that is an issue for the president of the United States; that's an issue South Carolina would deal with,'' Huckabee said at a news conference in Columbia, S.C.”
Even if one believes — as one well might — that federalism concerns make this a state issue as a legal matter, that doesn't absolve national figures from offering moral leadership. Or from showing their true colors.
I don’t know. I’ve long thought that the country would be better off if politicians ducked state law issues in national politics, and vice versa.
Not only that, but I wouldn’t call the failure to denounce a symbol which personally signifies little to a particular person a moral shortcoming of that person. That flag doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s not that I wouldn’t care about Huckabee’s opinion of it, if he expressed one. If he were to say things that implied to me that he is racist or playing to racist sentiment by concealing an opinion of the flag, that’d be one thing–but absent evidence, I’m willing to believe that he, like me, couldn’t care less about flag of the defeated and abolished self-proclaimed Confederate States of America. The war against those states in rebellion is old history to me. I don’t equate their flag with racism, despite its more recent use in that vein. Perhaps Huckabee wants to avoid getting involved in a squabble over the meaning of a symbol. That would seem like a reasonable thing for a politician to do, if you ask me.
The flying of the confederate flag — especially on state land — is about racism. It is not only about racism, but it is substantially about racism. I think the least we can ask of a President is that he or she dennounce racism. (Even if it’s not about racism it’s about sedition — that was the flag of the most organized attempt to overthrow our government in history — and I expect a President to be agaisnt that.)