Imprisoned by ignorance

EVAN PRETZER | Evergreen columnist

Oh former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. I wanted to like him. He wrote a cool book called “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork,” plays in a classic rock cover band called Capitol Offense, and he did not irrationally shame President Obama when he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in early 2009.

However, those “good guy” qualities fell short after some recent remarks the former governor made.

According to Business Insider, Huckabee said at a conservative gathering in New Hampshire that he is beginning to believe that there is more freedom in North Korea sometimes than in the U.S.

As a man who gives a good deal of money to charities that help people escape North Korea and resettle in America or South Korea, I found these comments to be grossly offensive and wildly irresponsible.

Even if they were intended to be a joke, and I don’t think they were because no one in the audience was laughing, they should have not been said.

Perhaps Huck needs a bit of a refresher on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Early this year, The Daily Mirror published a report detailing the experiences of a former prison guard in North Korea.

According to the testimony of Ahn Myong-Chol, children in the North Korean prison system are often attacked by guard dogs. In one disturbing incident, two kids that were not killed by dogs were buried alive.

Maybe I live in a world of facts, but that doesn’t seem better than the American prison system, Governor.

This nation does not imprison several generations of one family. Never have I seen a story about a toddler or a family of Mormons in Attica.

But perhaps the governor was not thinking about treatment of convicts. Maybe he was bothered by the level of economic freedom in the U.S. Perhaps those hobbits behind the Iron Deficiency Curtain have managed to get the jump on Uncle Sam.

However, according to a report from The Heritage Foundation, this country that I consider my true home ranks 12th in economic freedom in the world while North Korea sits dead last at position 178.

Naturally, TSA procedures at our nation’s airports were what inspired the Fox News pundit to say such a silly thing. I understand no one likes going through the ridiculous security at Denver or LAX. It’s a useless exercise that will do nothing to prevent any act of terrorism.

That being said, in no way, shape, abstract piece of art, free thought or form is it as bad as anything that occurs in North Korea. In that nation people starve, public officials spend over six figures on alcohol per year and those who try to leave for China are often executed.

If Gov. Huckabee or any other Republican ever wants to be president again, they need to stop saying such silly things. America is doing fine, in more ways than one.

– Evan Pretzer is a junior communication major from from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by opinion@dailyevergreen.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.