One of the best ways to destroy someone’s credibility is to associate her or him with people and ideas most other people find negative, evil, or just plain wrong. And the best way to do this without getting called on it is to frame your allegation in the form of a question. For example, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”
This is the question self-proclaimed Christian Leader and Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee asked in this Sunday’s New York Times magazine. He didn’t ask this of America’s Favorite Mormon, Mitt Romney, or of anyone knowledgeable of Mormon beliefs. He just tossed it out into the ether. It was a rhetorical gambit and wasn’t meant to be answered. Just asking the question links Mormons and Romney with Satan, and that out to be enough to knock him out the race for president of this one nation under God.
The answer to Huckabee’s question, by the way, is “yes.” Mormons believe all beings were originally spirit beings. You and me and Jesus and Satan are all children of God, and hence spiritual brothers and sisters. So, according to Mormon belief, Mike Huckabee and Satan are brothers as well. That relationship is beginning to show.
Governor Huckabee's ties to Satan aside, his use of rhetorical questions is a brilliant strategy, and one I imagine will catch on among other candidates as well. All you have to do is ask a poisonous question and let the power of the press repeat it so often that people will make the link regardless of the actual answer.
Here are a few sets of questions I would like to ask of our Christian Leader:
1. Is it true that denying evolution negates almost everything we know about biology, geology, physics, astronomy, and science in general? And if that is true, is it true that this anti-science attitude will reduce the United States to a third world country by the middle of the 21st Century?
2. Is it true that Christian Fundamentalists look forward to the slaughter of millions of Jews during the battle of Armageddon so that only 144,000 Jews remain to witness the return of Jesus? And if that is true, is it true then that a president who believes this is in fact looking forward to the day when millions of American citizens are annihilated?
3. Is it true that Governor Huckabee claims his campaign success is the work of God? And if it is true, and if he fails to become the Republican nominee, does that mean that God has forsaken him?
While the answers to these questions are “yes,” “probably,” “yes,” “yes,” “yes” and “who the hell knows,” the answers are secondary to getting the questions out to the press and the people. So I am asking you to do just that. Just memorize these questions and drop them into your ordinary conversation. Don’t wait for an answer. Don’t get into any genuine dialogue. Just drop the question and change the topic. By the way, is it true that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion reveals a secret Jewish cabal running the world? Gotta run, by.