You never know who’s going to be on the other end of a toll-free robo call with an outrageous political message. Tonight, it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Well, a robo version of him, anyway. He’s calling me to join him and Citizens United [remember them?] in–“once and for all–getting the United Nations out of our country.” According to Huckabee and his Citizens United friends, “defunding of the United Nations is long overdue. We should take a jackhammer to U.N. Headquarters, kick the UN out of the US and save American taxpayers $3 billion annually.” Huckabee says that the UN is “an absolute disgrace, and it’s time to cut them off.” Also, if I stay on the line and sign the petition, “along with thousands of other patriotic Americans,” I’ll receive a complementary copy of–surprise!–Huckabee’s book, ironically titled “Do the Right Thing.”
I did stay on the line, and Huckabee’s live “assistant” had a question for me: “Do you agree that the United Nations is a useless organization?”
Well, I don’t agree. The United Nations has some serious bureaucratic and funding problems, and I don’t always agree with its resolutions. But “useless?” Let me count a few of the ways that the UN is NOT useless: Let’s see…UNICEF, the World Health Organization, UNESCO, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Atomic Energy Agency. And let’s not forget that the United Nations–which is NOT a world government–at the very least offers a place where countries in conflict can talk to one another. Sure, the General Assembly seems powerless, dysfunctional and chaotic at times, but should we really try to imagine a world without the UN– no place for discussion when a country would prefer to solve its conflicts without weapons, no place to at least give peace a chance?
It has been pointed out to me that, on the grounds of U.N. Headquarters in New York, there’s a statue that represents a bibical quotation that former Governer [and ordained Christian minister] Huckabee has undoubtedly referred to on many occasions: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their shields into pruning hooks.” How does Mr. Huckabee’s violent jackhammer image jibe with that biblical exhortation?
Also, does Huckabee realize that what he’s calling for is the destruction of a tall building in New York City? Not a great image, as we approach the anniversary of 9-11, Mr. Huckabee.
Anyone who knows why Citizens United is behind this effort, and how much Huckabee is earning as their shill–please chime in.
[Crossposted from Forward STL]
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.