I am a political moderate. That being said, I've been consistently impressed with presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, who, no matter what you think of him, definitely stands in contrast to the rest of the Republican establishment. The reasons I am impressed with him (and consistently unimpressed with Ron Paul), however, are material for another post.
What I'd like to bring up for discussion is the seeming explosion of anti-Huckabee sentiment, sometimes bordering on hatred, arising from traditional Catholic circles. What gives?
I read political commentary every day, but this goes far beyond that. I'm a reasonable man; I don't ask everyone to agree with my stance on Huckabee. What I've been finding, more and more, though, is that Catholics hate Huckabee not because they disagree with him on the issues, but because he's an Evangelical Protestant and has a Southern accent. You think I'm kidding. I'm not.
The majority of what I read from Catholics about Huckabee shows a remarkable ignorance of the issues, as well as a decided lack of tact and common charity. In the course of this election year, I've seen Huckabee labeled as a right-wing extremist, an evangelical nut job, who "wants to replace the Constitution with the Bible" (actual quote) and who is just "crazy." Most Catholics I've read won't even talk about him, simply saying things like "he scares me."
Why? Nobody will tell me. This isn't political debate, this is just embarrassing.
This is not to say that all Catholics who dislike Huckabee are doing so for non-rational reasons. Of course not. I'm impressed with Huckabee, but I'm not asking everyone to be. All I'm asking is that we as Catholics hold ourselves to the same standards we hold others to. Let's judge a person on his own merits, which in politics is obviously a tricky thing. Huckabee may be a lot of things some Catholics disagree with, but he is not a right-wing nut job or an evangelical theocratic dictator. Catholics, you have the fullness of truth. Now get up to speed on your politics.