Why Mike Huckabee Is Like A Radical Muslim Cleric

Jan 14, 2015 at 3:43 PM ET

In advance of his forthcoming book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality, has been on a nonstop self-promotional tour. He neglected to send me a galley copy of the manuscript, but it sounds like 50 Shades of Grey for the Duck Dynasty crowd. As usual, he has Puritan morality on the brain, and he recently told People magazine that the Obamas ought to be ashamed of themselves for allowing their daughters to listen to Beyoncé, whose lyrics are apparently too sexually suggestive for teenage girls. (Just wait till he discovers Elvis.)

Normally, such a statement would be easy to ignore. It’s not as if Huckabee has a chance of getting anywhere near the Republican nomination for president in 2016. In fact, I could argue that given the time and resources, there’s a higher probability that I’ll win the gold for curling in the next Winter Olympics or charter a private flight to outer space. But considering the current milieu, his criticisms are worth parsing.

Huckabee is the Pied Piper for evangelical Christians, a relatively small but vocal portion of the Republican base. Republicans position themselves as defenders of freedom and the flag, as opposed to Democrats, who, you know, hate America. But Huckabee’s criticisms are deeply un-American and resemble another kind of zealot. Radical Muslim cleric Khalid Yasin, for instance, is also a United States citizen who enjoys lecturing on sexual mores, among other topics. In the video below, filmed last year, he refers to Beyoncé as a “bling-bling whore”—whatever that means—and laments her influence on young girls. His language is more severe, but it reflects the same message as Huckabee’s.

Look, it’s 2016, and if you haven’t come to terms with the fact that America is a decidedly sexy country, then you’re living in the wrong place. Policing female sexuality because of fear is about the most anti-American act imaginable—it’s an overt denial of who we present ourselves to be. It’s also a peculiar contradiction if you represent the party supposedly standing up to “Islamofascism,” a term that frames the issue as a war of cultures.

Hating Beyoncé’s sexual presence, then, means hating America and what has for a long time made us an attractive country to the rest of the world. There’s no gray area here; you’re either for modernity or against it. Puritans like Huckabee represent a bygone era, one that gave us the Salem witch trials and chastity belts.

Talk about getting caught in bed with the enemy!