Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee continues to fight back after mounting pressure this week prompted him to resign from an honorary position on the board of the Country Music Association Foundation.
As Fox News reported, he announced his decision to step down on Thursday, just one day after announcing his seat on the charitable board associated with country music events such as the CMA Awards and CMA Festival.
In his resignation, the two-time Republican presidential candidate cast his critics as intolerant of his conservative social views.
He continued his criticism of the perceived leftist influence on the modern country music industry in a tweet early Saturday morning.
The political cartoon illustrated the point he attempted to make in his lengthy resignation letter, reprinted in its entirety by The Tennessean.
Huckabee’s announcement came on the heels of harsh criticism from some in the industry, including prominent talent manager Jason Owen.
He said appointing the socially conservative politician and part-time musician to the board was “a detrimentally poor choice by CMA and its leaders,” which he further described as “grossly offensive.”
In Huckabee’s resignation letter, he cited “the unnecessary distraction and deterrent to the core mission of the Foundation” as the impetus behind his abrupt departure.
The letter went on to provide an opportunity for him to defend himself directly.
“Since I will not be able to continue in what I had hoped to be useful service in this endeavor, I wanted to at least put some things on the record,” he wrote. “I have no expectation that it will change the irrational vitriol directed toward you or me for my religious or political views that necessitated my abrupt departure, but I want you to know what you would never know by reading intolerant and vicious statements on the internet about who I am or what led me to want to be a part of your efforts to empower kids with the gift of music. So please bear with me.”
After recounting the impact music played in his formative years and his work while governor in improving the state’s educational system, he said the backlash leading to his resignation was focused solely on his personal beliefs.
“If the industry doesn’t want people of faith or who hold conservative and traditional political views to buy tickets and music, they should be forthcoming and say it,” he wrote. “Surely neither the artists or the business people of the industry want that.”
He described a time in which the arts stood alone as “the one place America could set aside political, geographical, racial, and economic barriers and come together,” predicting that if that realm of our culture “becomes part of the polarization,” it could signal the end of our civilization.
Denouncing the assertions of those who say he is intolerant, Huckabee described what he would like to see become of the culturally influential industry.
“I hope that the music and entertainment industry will become more tolerant and inclusive and recognize that a true love for kids having access to the arts is more important than a dislike for someone or a group of people because of who they are or what they believe,” he wrote.
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