“A lot of Americans truly feel disenfranchised from the old, simple concept that when you were born in America or when you came here by choice, you were in the greatest place on earth,” Mike Huckabee said. “You had a chance to be anything you wanted to be … I want us to believe that there is still that same kind of hope.”
Former Gov. of Arkansas Mike Huckabee spoke to an audience of approximately 50 Northwestern students, staff and community members yesterday at 11:30 a.m. in the Vogel Community Room.
Huckabee’s speech focused on restoring the American Dream and encouraging Americans to hold politicians accountable for their actions. Speaking to students, Huckabee said he hopes they will be the generation to restore America to its full capacity of being a nation where anything is possible.
“I grew up in a time where I believed that in America, it didn’t matter where you started; it mattered where you stopped,” Huckabee said. “I hope you still believe that, and if it’s not as true as it used to be then I’m begging you to be the generation that makes it true again.”
Born in the small town of Hope, Ark., Huckabee served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996–2007. He was a candidate in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries and won the 2008 Iowa Republican Caucuses. In the end, he finished third overall behind John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Since the end of his time as governor, Huckabee has been a popular political commentator. He has hosted a radio program and a talk show and has written several best-selling books. His Fox News Channel talk show “Huckabee” ended on Jan. 3, 2015, when he left in order to pursue the possibility of becoming a 2016 presidential candidate.
Huckabee went on to discuss the grim job-search for graduating college students. He said that for perhaps the first time in American history, the large majority of college graduates will not be able to immediately find a job that puts them on a real career path.
In order to fix the problems facing young Americans, Huckabee said young people need to be willing to get involved with politics. But and not just party politics. Instead, he advocates what he called “vertical” politics.
“I believe that for many people, politics are horizontal,” Huckabee said. “And that’s unfortunate because if you see politics just as left, right; liberal, conservative; Democrat, Republican; then I’m afraid you may miss what the greatest challenge of it really may be.”
That challenge, he explained, is creating policies that simply make things better for the American people and are not about party, race or class.
After his main speech, Huckabee answered questions from the audience covering a variety of topics including immigration, trade agreements, health care and international U.S. military policy.
The 2016 Iowa Presidential Caucus will be held Feb. 1.