Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas and current host of the FOX News show Huckabee, made headlines this weekend.
Some say he committed a gaffe, but I’m not so sure. Here’s what Huckabee jokingly told the crowd at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit:
“My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States. When I go to the airport, I have to get into the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID in a couple of different forms to prove that I’m not going to terrorize the airplane.”
The comment was a joke intended to create cognitive dissonance in the audience’s minds. How could anything in America actually compare to the repression in the world’s only existing Stalinist regime?
North Korea’s suppression of human rights is legendary. In fact, it’s legendary in much the same way that freedom in America once was. Thus, Huckabee’s comment was clearly a joke and not intended to be taken seriously.
Yet, in an eerie way, he was also completely right.
Moving Back Toward Freedom
Huckabee and I are similar in age; and during our lifetimes, we’ve seen freedom melting away like the last snow in spring.
Liberties we once took for granted are long gone, such as walking to an airline gate without much more than a pleasant hello from any security officer who happened to be on duty.
Over the weekend, the news covered a more poignant example of lost freedom in Nevada. There, a federal SWAT team confronted some protesters helping Cliven Bundy, a rancher futilely attempting to protect his cattle from capture and slaughter at the hands of faceless Federal bureaucrats.
Bundy is part of a dying breed of independent cattle ranchers who once populated most of the open spaces of the Western United States. His family harkens back to a simpler time when Americans raised their own food… and before the government had military-style police teams to deal with protesters. When I was growing up, that was something you’d see in Soviet-ruled countries, not the United States.
Elsewhere, while the rancher protest was raging in Nevada, Huckabee concluded his speech with a call to abolish the most tyrannical of all government agencies – the IRS.
Huckabee was eloquent as he denounced the IRS’ recent campaign against conservatives: “The criminal enterprise formerly known as the Internal Revenue Service… that is able to crush any citizen, any organization. It is the one type of entity in America, where you are guilty until you can prove yourself to be not guilty.”
Huckabee has long advocated a Fair Tax that would end the income tax and shift the country toward a tax on consumption, similar to a sales tax. With such a tax in place, the IRS is no longer necessary.
I agree with Mike Huckabee wholeheartedly. Abolition of the IRS is a reasonable first step that’ll move the needle back toward freedom. But time is of the essence – we need to abolish this agency soon, before the country slips deeper into the morass of tyranny.