Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has seized on an issue―U.S. sovereignty―that could not only win him the Republican nomination for president but propel him into the White House.
The conventional wisdom is that the former Arkansas governor is starting to get traction because of his views on social issues. While that is undoubtedly a factor, it is also the case that Huckabee for several weeks has been hitting hard on the issue of restoring American sovereignty and resisting the advance of United Nations-led global government. Meantime, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain, and Mitt Romney have been tiptoeing around the issue, refusing to address or confront the problem that is on the minds of millions of Americans―the decline of America as a sovereign nation and the growing power of international institutions and foreign judges over our lives and destiny as a nation.
The Family Research Council's recent "values voters" event in Washington, D.C. received extensive coverage. But Huckabee's strong denunciation of the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is now up for Senate ratification, was generally ignored in the press coverage. He not only attacked the treaty and its provision for an international tribunal to judge America's conduct on the high seas, but he urged the impeachment of any federal judge who recognized international law above the U.S. Constitution.
"Any federal judge who uses some international law as a precedent to make a court decision ought to be impeached," he said to strong applause.
Among the attendees at the summit who voted in person, Huckabee came away with 51 percent of the vote. The runner-up, Mitt Romney, received just 10 percent.
Huckabee's success is due, in part, to adopting the Reagan approach to national security matters. As a candidate, Ronald Reagan had established himself with conservative voters by opposing Jimmy Carter's Panama Canal Treaty and urging the roll-back of Soviet-style communism. As President, of course, Reagan prevailed in the confrontation with the former Soviet Union. But many forget that the Senate ignored his warnings about the Panama Canal giveaway and passed the treaty anyway, with the result being that the communist Chinese today control the ports at both ends of the canal.
Showing similar vision, Huckabee sees the Law of the Sea Treaty as a massive giveaway of U.S. sovereignty and resources that must be stopped. This was Reagan's position. Reagan refused to sign it as president.
All of the liberal Senate Democrats will vote for the treaty, of course, but some Senate Republicans, citing the Bush Administration's endorsement of it, are considering joining with Joe Biden, Harry Reid & Company and providing the 67 votes it needs for passage. It will be a defining moment, determining whether the Republicans of the future will be Bush Republicans or Reagan Republicans. By taking a firm stand against the pact, Huckabee has cast his lot with the former president. It is starting to pay big political dividends for him.
Among the other GOP candidates, Senator John McCain is considered likely to vote for the treaty, while Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney have yet to take a stand. If they remain silent and the Senate passes the treaty, they will stand accused of ignoring a major threat to our national sovereignty. That can only further damage their campaigns.
Another candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, has denounced the Law of the Sea Treaty. He also introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to withdraw the U.S. from the U.N. At the Family Research Council event, he reiterated that position, calling for U.S. withdrawal from the U.N. and other international agreements and organizations. But his call for a quick withdrawal from Iraq and his tendency to blame U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East for the Islamic terrorist threat to America has hurt him with many conservatives. By contrast, Huckabee denounces "Islamo-fascism" and says "we cannot have the naÃ¯ve idea that if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone. That will get us killed."
While denouncing the Law of the Sea Treaty, Huckabee also warned the participants at the Family Research Council event to beware of the U.N's children's rights treaty. This is a measure that liberal Democrats would also like to bring before the Senate. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child would authorize a U.N. committee to monitor and dictate how we raise our children.
Attacking the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty has been a regular theme for Huckabee for several weeks now. During an October 19 appearance on the Glenn Beck show, he said the treaty was "the dumbest thing we've ever done. It's like taking our sovereignty and handing it over to some international tribunal. What's wrong with us?"
It's a question that also applies to our media. Most reporters refuse to recognize the resonance of the issue. But this will change, especially if Huckabee continues to make progress by attacking the United Nations and its anti-American agenda.
On October 9, Huckabee had released a statement calling the Law of the Sea Treaty, also known by the acronym LOST, "one of the defining issues of our time." He declared, "Are we in favor of increasing the power and authority of the United Nations and its subsidiaries at the expense of American sovereignty and vital interests? Or are we opposed to world government, particularly the one envisioned by LOST, charged with implementing a hopelessly outdated and counterproductive socialist and redistributionist agenda from the 1970s? Republicans―starting with their presidential candidates―should stand with Ronald Reagan in rejecting the Law of the Sea Treaty, its threat to our sovereignty and its socialist agenda."
Reagan's rejection of the treaty has been distorted by supporters of the pact who insist that his objections were somehow "fixed" by President Clinton and that it deserves to be ratified today.
In fact, as William P. Clark and Edwin Meese noted in an October 8 Wall Street Journal column, the problems were not fixed and Reagan would still reject the pact. Clark served as national security adviser and Meese served as Attorney General under Reagan. They said Reagan would see the treaty as an "effort to promote global government at the expense of sovereign nation states―and most especially the United States."
By opposing this treaty, Huckabee is demonstrating that he has Reagan's vision. Conservatives are taking note and rallying to his cause. The media will be forced to take notice eventually.