Monday, January 07, 2008

Dave Ramsey and Mike Huckabee

I've been trying to sort out in my head the appeal of Mike Huckabee in a different way. And Dave Ramsey came to mind.

Ramsey is now on 300+ radio stations in the U.S., dishing off "the same advice your grandmother would, only we keep our teeth in." He's an unabashed Christian and a conservative, but in the latter, not predictably so. He is a free-enterprise-please-let-me-keep-my-money business owner, but he also Ramsey gives credit card collectors no quarter, calling them "scum of the earth." He doesn't hestitate to criticize what he calls "misbehavior" from other businesses, be they large or small. He urges husbands and wives to be active partners in their marriages. He is a guy's guy who also wins much admiration from women.

He's not perfect, and probably verbally shallower than perhaps some folks in Washington or New York who think they're smarter. But listening to Ramsey as I have for nearly two years, there's a basic decency and common sense to his approach. I think he's lot like Mike Huckabee, and maybe others like Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. These are the types of people Ross Douthat of The Atlantic calls "Sam's Club" Republicans -- they are trying to get ahead but don't think anyone ought to get a step up at the expense of someone else, and they also want to make sure that the folks who really might need help get it (and that doesn't necessarily mean government help). They haven't forgotten that they may be the first in their family to graduate from college (like myself), or that the grew up in a rental home (like Huckabee).

Understanding the appeal of Dave Ramsey, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty could help whoever gets the Republican nomination.

And for what it's worth, I have no idea whom Dave Ramsey supports, if anyone, and I believe Gov. Pawlenty is backing Sen. McCain.



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