Saturday, February 12, 2011

How I got to where I am

Inspired by the great post by Hamaca, I am now going to write about how I ended up a Huckabee supporter.

First, some background: I got involved in politics when I was 10 years old and still lived in Sweden. A young age it might seem, but I have always tried to "be ahead" of those of my age. My parents were not involved in politics, but they could probably best be described as social conservatives and fiscal moderates.

I decided very early that I was right-winged. I was an individualist, an entrepreneur who didn't want to go with the flow - and God knows that cost me a lot during my school years, in a school were going with the flow was the golden rule. Still, despite everything I had to endure, I don't regret it at all. Going against the flow is an integral part of what I consider to be me, and my personality. I was confronted with socialistic thinking during my school years; I was actually denied to study as much as I wanted to because the teachers had a doctrin which essentially said that no-one was allowed to be better than the others. So when I had finished my 8th grade math textbook, I was not allowed to start with the next year's textbook. The teacher held me back, explaining I would make the other students jealous if it became too obvious that I was a mathlete (when has any primary school student ever been jealous at another student because that person knows more math? It's not something to brag about when you're in junior high). I finally did get it one day when the teacher was ill and we had a substitute who didn't understand why I should have to repeat the 8th grade book instead of starting with the 9th. The regular teacher upon his return tried to take it back, something I physically stopped him from doing (not kidding).

This was one of my worst encounters with the perverse equality doctrines that the socialists in Sweden had introduced. The whole culture had become impregnated with this kind of thinking, where you were supposed to push other people down instead of lifting yourself up. Dreaming was banned, especially if you had dreams that involved making money or changing the society (or both... now that's really taboo). Expressing self esteem was discouraged, because someone may feel "threatened" by you.

I was initially mostly concerned with fiscal and foreign issues - one of my first opinions was that Sweden should leave the EU. That is the issue that got me interested in politics in the first place, although it is rarely discussed today. In 2003, when I was 12, I was introduced to the abortion issue by a friend of the family who was a prolife activist. From that moment on, I was prolife, even though I didn't become an activist until late 2005.

My interest in American politics started in 2004. That's when I got to know a good friend named Ronie, who was an expert on american politics. A strong conservative, he even travelled to the US in 2004 to campaign for Bush.

We had been discussing politics since 2003, usually we didn't agree with each other, but we stayed in touch and step by step I was starting to come over to his side of the fence (I was not pro-american at the time we first started to discuss).

It was also Ronie who first introduced me to Mike Huckabee. Before you blame him, let me just tell you it was an accident - he didn't support Huckabee himself. It was back in early december 2007, and I was lamenting the fact that there were no conservative in the race. Guiliani would certainly win I said, and if he didn't, it would be McCain, who wasn't really a conservative either. What happened to the social conservatives in the GOP, why is there no candidate from their wing of the party? Ronie replied that actually, there is this guy named Huckabee, "he seems pretty conservative". My reaction was the same as most people's reaction. Hucka... what? "Who is he? Can he win?" I asked. "Yeah, I think so. He's been rising very fast lately", Ronie said. I took a look at the opinion polls, and surely, Huckabee was hovering around 20 % - and leading in Iowa!

I went to youtube and searched for videos, and found one with the best of Mike Huckabee. It sounded really great, and then when I listened to clips from the debates, I was even more impressed. He had such a great understanding of how social and fiscal issues connect to one another, and he understood that politicians are to serve the public - he really gave me a charmy, humble impression, for example by not wanting to compare himself to Reagan like the other candidates.

I had made my choice. I stayed up all night to watch the results come in from the Iowa caucus (much to my parents dismay - remember I hadn't yet turned 17 at the time). Did the same thing for the South Carolina primary. I wasn't very familiar with american politics and didn't know how much momentum counts, and up until the very end, I still believed Huckabee would be able to turn things around. To my great frustration, he wasn't. I was very disillusioned with McCain, but I was happy when he picked Palin as a running mate.

I stayed up all night again, watching the election results come in. That was good, because it meant I couldn't go to school the day after. Some people whom I had some... disagreements with came over to my high school the next day to beat me up, but since I was home asleep, I got away.

I decided to support Huckabee again for 2012 when Palin started to make a fool out of herself by resigning (I had previously considered supporting her). I have never looked back, since Palin has just gotten worst and no other candidate has emerged that I would rather support.

I don't have any personal experience of meeting Huckabee, as much as I wish I had. I might get that this summer if I decide to join his campaign in Iowa (assuming he announces his candidacy well before the next academic year starts in september). It depends on my luck when it comes to getting internships, but right now it doesn't look like I will get anything (job market is really tough in Ireland).

Anyway, that's my story. If you want I can tell you more about my experiences from being a conservative activist in Sweden (I have been active in several political organizations).

Thanks for reading
/John G


BOSMAN said...

Great Story John. Although I'm not a Huckabee fan, I understand now your like for him.

Anonymous said...

John, you seem like a smart kid, so I don't quite understand why you refuse to understand the reasonings behind Palin's resignation? As an econ major, I would think personal bankruptcy and wasted state resources would be a good reason for Ficon?


BTW, that statement had nothing to do with your support FOR Huckabee.

Evelio Perez said...

Nice one John G.

Ann said...

Thanks for sharing your story John

ConMan said...

We all have our priorities, yours is social issues.

I could ONLY support Huckabee if he was the eventual nominee.