I don't have to wake up everyday wondering what I need to believe. - Mike Huckabee
GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee makes this ridiculous statement in one of his recent campaign ads. In the opening line, Huckabee reassures the voters that faith is something that "defines" him. It so defines him he doesn't have to wonder about what to believe.
Here's the interpretation: If you're not a Christian, you're gullible - you don't have the conviction of your beliefs.
Here's the truth: Huckabee is an idiot. But wait, calling a GOP candidate an idiot is an insult to idiots, because even idiots have the conviction of their beliefs. Even the most wrong-headed person in the world does not wake up wondering what they need to believe. We all have beliefs, for good or ill, and we are all stubborn human beings who cling to beliefs even in the face of the most solid facts. Nobody likes to be proven wrong and if we do admit that beliefs we hold are erroneous it's usually with great reluctance - or by shifting the blame for our beliefs to someone else ("I only believed that because someone in power told me it was true! It's not my fault!").
But, in Huckabee's world, it's really those without faith who are the ones constantly groping for what they "need to believe." The charge is ridiculous, of course. Even the staunchest atheist has the conviction of their beliefs. They know what they "need to believe" every single day.
Over Thanksgiving, I had a maddening conversation with my sisters who proudly proclaimed that FOX News is "the truth" and all other media is "liberal" and not to be trusted. They, like too many people in this country, get their beliefs and opinions from the propaganda machine that is FOX News.
Perhaps these are the people Huckabee meant by those who wake up every morning wondering what they need to believe. These are, after all, his core supporters.