At this point in the presidential campaign, I feel I have a pretty good idea of the foreign poilcy of most of the candidates. From Ron Paul to Barack Obama to Rudy Giuliani to Hillary Clinton, their expressions of what America’s role in the world are comprehensible — although I might not always agree. In the midst of the Mike Huckabee boomlet, generated by his garnering of 18.1% in the Iowa Straw Poll, I took a look at his book, “From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Stops to Restoring America’s Greatness.” I can honestly say I don’t have any idea where Huckabee is coming from with this stuff.
Here are some quotes:
“When the kid in the neighborhood with dominant power uses his superiority to demand his way, win at every contest, force others to run errands, and ridicule the weaker children, that individual may maintain his position of dominance, but he will be resented by the other kids in the neighborhood,” he writes.
Is America under President Bush the bully that he describes? It’s somewhat unclear from the text, but he does not write anywhere that it isn’t. Just two paragraphs higher in the book, he says, “the less vulnerable a nation is to military defeat, the more vulnerable it is to the resentment and outright animosity of even those nations that could rightfully be described as allies.”
While he rejects the notion that it is “all our fault that America is resented across the world,” he also writes, “we can’t ignore our role and responsibility” to “bring smiles of approval instead of curses of contempt.” Perhaps, by that thinking, some of that resentment is our fault.
Previously in the campaign, Mr. Huckabee drew attention when he launched into a passionate oration about God in response to a question about creationism at a Republican debate. His faith is also present in his foreign policy outlook: “The most powerful demonstration of leadership is not a clenched fist of brute force but an open hand of humble assistance. This is the very model of leadership and strength expressed by Jesus, who reminded us that if we really wanted to be great, we must be willing to serve rather than to be served, and that the spirit of our actions is as important as the actions themselves.”
You can read more in my New York Sun column.