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Paul D. Hauck: Reasonable conservative voices needed

Paul D. Hauck | Other Voices

Last week I dutifully read Thea Hood’s piece on “modern tribalism”. Like editorials of other supporters of ex-President Trump it was clearly passionate and heartfelt, loaded with dramatic comparisons to genocidal regimes and teeming with dire predictions. The problem is that so much of what she says is factually incorrect.

No, Ms. Hood, President Biden did NOT verbally attack “half his countrymen”. He criticized “MAGA Republicans” for their support of an attempt to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power to a duly elected new president. Republicans represent about 30% of registered voters and about 70% of them believe Biden did not win legitimately. If this defines MAGA Republicans, then he was criticizing 21% of registered voters.

No the Russian meddling investigation was NOT a hoax. Had Hood read the final report of the Senate Intelligence Committee she would know that they found that, “. . . the Russian intelligence services assault on the integrity of the 2016 U.S. electoral process and Trump and his associates’ participation in and enabling of this Russian activity, represents one of the single most grave counterintelligence threats to American national security in the modern era.”

To say that the FBI search of Mar a Lago was a “raid” may not be false but is a terrible mischaracterization. The ex-President had ample opportunities to return the documents he improperly removed from government supervision. He left office in January, 2021. In May the National Archives and Records Administration noted that some presidential records seemed to be missing. After numerous requests and, ultimately a subpoena, he returned more, but not all, of the documents he had taken. Given the sensitive nature of these documents, he left the authorities no choice but to request a search warrant. This warrant was only granted after the FBI provided substantial, credible evidence that probable cause existed because a crime had very likely been committed.

It is not “unfair” to accuse Trump of mishandling the pandemic when he began by insisting it was a “hoax” created by the Chinese, offered unfounded and false reassurance that COVID was “like the flu” and that “when the weather warms up in the spring it will be gone”, touted quack remedies and disparaged the public health practices that would have reduced the spread of the disease and saved lives. Any other president would have taken this opportunity to unite the populace to defeat a common enemy. Had he done that he would easily have been reelected.

Hood betrays her bias with the use of one particular term – “mainstream media”, sometimes called “lame stream media.” This is a term largely popularized by those on the far right who have the belief that there is a conspiracy of liberal influence in the press. But when you examine who is included in this group, it turns out to be every respected source of journalism on the planet, leaving Fox opinion editorialists, Brietbart, InfoWars, and whoever is the current heir to Rush Limbaugh the only ones who can be trusted. It’s like the mother who insists that everyone in the parade is out of step except her son.

We need a responsible, competent, reasonable conservative voice in our politics for our system to work. We need the competition of ideas that has always characterized our political life. But that voice has been, for the time being, drowned out by the lunacy of the Trump movement.

Paul D. Hauck lives in Penn Valley.



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