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Going Up? 02/20/2009

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee talks about "vertical politics."


Presidential nominee and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has a phrase that he likes to use: vertical politics. I recently asked him what he meant by that.

"The average citizen is not interested in horizontal political activity -- politician to politician, party to party, and what goes on in Washington," he explained. "They are interested in the vertical effects of the decisions those elected to office continually make into public policy. They want to know if they are going up or down in their life -- whether they are going to be better or worse off. The general population is continually asking, 'How will these decisions affect me?'"

I understood his idea about a vertical line going up and down. But as I thought about it, I realized that a line drawn from a rock-solid foundation has only one way to go -- continually up!

So what kind of foundation ensures ongoing improvement? A foundation that has proven to be stable, secure and ever-trustworthy. These are principles that have been time-tested and historically proven. Such truths as:

Ideas have consequences. In my lifetime, we have witnessed the consequences of many ideas, from the "free love" of the '60s to the debt spending of last two decades. Now, we are starting to see the impact of a very idealistic administration. If you doubt that ideas, whether they sound good or bad, have very real consequences, just watch what the so-called stimulus package does over the next couple of years.
Greed destroys. The housing crisis, banks and investment firms, Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford are just a few current examples of personal greed that is causing ongoing pain.
The majority is not always right. A majority of Venezuelans (purportedly) voted to abolish term limits for the office of president, clearing the way for Hugo Chavez to rule for life in what is represented as a democracy. The enormity of this mistake will continue to play out for years.
If government doesn't serve, it will enslave. Our government was designed to provide common-use infrastructure and services, like roads and currency, and protection from foreign aggressors. It was never meant to provide all of our needs. Without a compassionate connection with individuals in real need, government efforts merely throw money at a moving target. And of course, government was never designed to give us things we don't really need, like a faster internet connection, birth protection or "neighborhood electric vehicles" (a sort-of golf cart for environmentalists), all of which were massively subsidized by taxpayers in the recently-signed stimulus package. The more we grow to depend on big government, the more we will be enslaved to it.

I covered more principles in detail in the book The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope. The truths outlined in that book have become even more important as America moves further toward socialism. Healthy capitalism and free enterprise (not greed or manipulation) are essential for economic security and prosperity. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" means that we should have the framework to care for our families, then help others in need as we please. It means that personal ambition is acceptable within the rules of civil society. Yet we are continually taking more money from productive and successful people and putting it into the hands of political power brokers to preserve their position by promising that which they have no right to offer. The "helping hand" may, in fact, be a takeover.

The more that government takes over, the more our formerly productive sectors of business will resemble the bankrupt and corrupt agencies currently run by Washington D.C. Do we really want our banks to be as insolvent as social security? Do we want national healthcare that's run like Medicaid?

It is one thing to offer help to those truly in need, but we must not forsake sound principles in an incorrect approach to deal with the problems. A wise leader takes time to examine failures to determine what went wrong. Failure can be beneficial when the right lessons are learned.

We should all pray that our leaders will seek and recognize wise counsel -- that which is void of hidden agendas, greed and self-serving ambition. We need leaders who are not sold out to a political party, but rather to proper principles.

We need to ask God for leaders who say with every fiber of their being, "I will lead! I will influence the influencers! I will listen! I will not compromise historically proven time-tested principles!" And we need leaders who can say, "America is great because..." and boldly state these sound principles. If our nation will return to the unshakable foundation upon which it was established, we can begin moving upward once again.

Order James' book The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope today.

Author: James Robison

Editor: Randy Robison

Word Count: 786

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.