I had an opportunity last evening to attend a fund raising event (dinner, silent auction, etc.) for the Todd Becker Foundation here in Kearney. For those unfamiliar with this Foundation, it is a movement founded by Keith Becker, brother of Todd Becker who was killed in an alcohol-related automobile accident a few years ago. The focus of the Foundation is a Christian mission to bring the message of the dangers of alcohol and drug use to teens, and has been notably successful in carrying this mission out. Over the nine or so years of its existence, tens of thousands of teens have been reached and each year the movement expands. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a big fan of the Todd Becker Foundation.
The highlight of the evening was a talk (I won’t say “speech” because it wasn’t that formal – or that dull) by former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Anyone who has heard Huckabee can vouch for his chops at this sort of thing; he was affable, funny, knowledgeable, yet mortally serious in his Christian-rooted moral sense. I came away with a new appreciation for the guv’s knowledge, speaking ability and sense of groundedness. My favorite line was “Fish and Baptists are alike in that they both start to spoil as soon as you take them out of the water.” He then hastened to explain that he could say that because he was a Baptist – which indeed he is, and an ordained minister in the bargain.
My message to you in all this is simply this: if you get a chance, go listen to Huckabee talk – even (or maybe especially) if you’re a progressive atheistic drunken drug addict – you’ll enjoy yourself, and maybe even learn something.
The Huck was questioned afterward by some local TV reporters on a variety of issues other than his interest in the Becker foundation. His responses were candid and refreshing. You can listen to what he said here.
Couple of mildly interesting side notes to the evening; during the usual and customary pre-prandial milling, smiling and hand-shaking I noticed a few notables in the throng (which amounted, I estimate, to around 1500 souls). Maybe most noticeable was the gleaming pate of none other than J. Peter Ricketts; equally illustrious, if less glistening, was Sally Ganem (Heinemann) and former Governor Kay Orr. Interestingly, as we were parking my wife’s Hyundai, I noted Ben Sasse’s large motorhome (that of the HUGE Sasse lettering on the side) but didn’t see hide nor hair of the Ben hizownself at the Becker doings. Mayhap he was at another function or maybe he saw the bevy of automobiles outside the Younes Conference Center (where the event was held) and figured he’d hang around and see if he could cadge a vote or two. Who knows? At any rate, if he was in the hall I did not see him.
One other observation – I’ve been around this neck of the woods for the big end of 55 or 60 years, and, while I am a very small fish in this or any other pond, my longevity has allowed me to come to know, at least by sight, an awful lot of people, especially those with whom I share a world-view. And I can tell you that it has been a looooong time since I have witnessed such a sizeable collection of what I would term Christian Conservatives as were present in South Kearney last night. I do not claim official membership in the Christian Conservatives, but I am a Christian and will admit to being closer to their general cultural, economic and political philosophy than any other of which I am aware.
At the risk of being accused of poor taste, I observed to the missus that one well-placed hand grenade could have turned a 20 county area in central Nebraska from the reddest of red to midnight blue. I mean every Conservative I know, and hundreds more that I don’t know, were present. There may have been a Progressive, (or Liberal, or Collectivist, or Democrat – pick your term) around somewhere, but I did not see one that I could verify. If one combines Christians, conservatism, and charity into one event, the scarcity of the Left at said event probably shouldn’t surprise.
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening – good food (the brisket was heavenly), good friends, good cause, and a chance to listen to one of the best socio-political commentators of this or any other age.
Finally, give a couple bucks to the Todd Becker Foundation – they need the support and you’ll be glad you did.