NEW HAVEN, CT -- SEPTEMBER 18, 2011: Former Arkansas governor, sometime presidential candidate, and current FOX News talk show host Mike Huckabee spoke at Yale University to a packed lecture hall Friday, encouraging his audience to acknowledge the link between public morality and a healthy politics.
The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program organized the lecture, which was titled "Restoring Ameircan Values." The Buckley Program is an undergraduate organization at Yale that strives to create a home for intellectual conservatism on campus.
Huckabee began his talk by insisting that "morality is key to governing," rejecting both the left's distrust of morality in politics and the right's apparent belief that good governance is as simple as downsizing the role of government as much as possible. He argued that social ills such as divorce, drug use, the high school drop-out rate, and violent crime can only truly be solved by moral regeneration.
"It doesn't matter if you're a liberal or a conservative," Huckabee declared. "What ought to matter is that we aren't solving the fundamental problems that are plaguing this country."
Nevertheless, the conservatives in the room were delighted by Huckabee's spirited defense of the pro-life position, which met with repeated explosions of applause. After posing the question whether a human life can be said to begin at conception, Huckabee quipped, "What else is it? A stalk of broccoli?"
The room where Huckabee spoke was so full of students that chairs had to be set up in the hallway. The event was recorded by FOX, and portions of it will be aired during Huckabee's show.
Since its founding last year as a conservative speaker series, the Buckley Program has expanded its operations significantly. On November 4, it will host a gala at the Omni Hotel in New Haven to commemorate the 60th anniversary of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s book God and Man at Yale. In the spring semester, it will sponsor a course on Buckley's life and the rise of modern conservatism and will arrange several summer internships for its undergraduate fellows.
The Buckley Program's next event will be a talk with Catholic philosopher and pro-life advocate Christopher Tollefson, a professor at the University of South Carolina, on September 28.