In 1972, Mike Huckabee — still in high school — followed the example of thousands of other young Americans. He went to a weeklong festival, waded through mud and listened to rock music. But the throng of students he was a part of was different from the youthful gatherings more often associated with the late 1960s and early 1970s. These young people were in Dallas for Campus Crusade for Christ’s “Explo ’72” — at “Godstock” rather than Woodstock.
It was the perfect trip for a young, conservative Christian like Mr. Huckabee, as Explo ’72 foreshadowed the subsequent emergence of evangelicals as a powerful voting bloc. The assembled students applauded a large contingent of military personnel and cheered the South Vietnamese flag. The Rev. Billy Graham read a telegram from Richard Nixon, and a survey conducted by a local newspaper reported that the students favored Nixon over George McGovern in the coming election by a ratio of more than 5 to 1. They also favored stronger penalties for marijuana possession and overwhelmingly believed that American attitudes toward sex were “too permissive.”
Wow, what a sucky party! I thought young Christians got together at these things and remained technically intact!