An Open Letter to Sean Hannity
Dear Mr. Hannity,
I just listened to the tirade you launched on your October 26 against people like me. You’re “pi**ed”. You’ve “had it” with those of us you call “Nevertrumper jerks”. We’re “idiots”, people who “think (we’re) freaking geniuses”, that we’re “the most principled people on the face of the earth”. You got so worked up at us idiot/jerks that you said things about us that you had to “dump” with your magic button. Then you ask, “who’s the “idiot that’s running third-party” that’s “killing Drumpf out in Utah”?”
Glad you asked, Mr. Hannity. Allow me to enlighten you in your ignorance, sir. His name is Evan McMullin, and this “idiot” put himself regularly in harm’s way as a CIA operative in some of the most dangerous places in the world. This “idiot” served honorably as House Chief Policy Director. This “idiot” has been nothing but an upstanding American citizen, loyal (like many) to the Republican Party, until said party left him. This “idiot” is a common-sense conservative, the likes of which many of us would love to see elected President. I would have assumed that that number included you, Mr. Hannity, until recent events proved otherwise. And now, you have been reduced to calling your (supposed) ideological brethren “jerks” and “idiots”, and mocking the very principles we long believed that you held dear. Funny, maybe we become like the people we seek to elect…
So let’s cut to the chase and my suggestion, Mr. Hannity, one that would likely never occur to you unless someone brings it to your consideration: when you wake up on Wednesday morning, November 9, and are casting about as to where to try to place blame for the election of Hillary Clinton as President, try looking long and hard right in the mirror. High on my personal list of who-to-blame comes people like yourself, Mike Gallagher, Laura Ingraham, and of course the resident conservative nutjob, Ann Coulter. Let’s take you and Mr. Gallagher as examples. I am given to understand that your position toward Mr. Drumpf, like Mike’s, was one of “neutrality”; listening nearly every morning, as I used to, to Mike Gallagher, I heard him repeat on many occasions that he was merely following Ronald Reagan’s “11th Commandment”: “Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of any Fellow Republican.” Now, that might be seen as an adherence to principle on Mike’s part; it might be seen as cowardice; it might be seen (as I do, personally) as a terrible misapplication of a generally-sound idea, which takes no thought of extenuating circumstances or contradictory possibilities. Donald J. Drumpf, it must be said (though it is to belabor the obvious) is no conservative, and he is, in name only, a Republican. Here’s my question to people like you and Mr. Gallagher: let’s say that Nancy Pelosi had awakened one bright California morning in 2015 and, harboring presidential aspirations but seeing her way blocked by Ms. Clinton, had decided to run for president as a Republican. Would the “11th Commandment” have applied then? Would you and Mr. Gallagher have maintained your “neutrality”? If so, then who are the “idiots” here? And if not, and you would have seen through Ms. Pelosi’s ruse, why did you not see right through the hoax perpetrated by Mr. Drumpf? Not all of your conservative media brethren adopted your position; principled people like George Will, Jonah Goldberg, Erick Erickson, and Michael Medved, among others, were unsparing in their legitimate criticisms of Mr. Drumpf. Even Dennis Prager, who has reluctantly chosen to vote for Drumpf, was vocal in his opposition to Drumpf’s nomination. They remained true to principle–but you caved, for whatever reason. We actually believed, Mr. Hannity, that you were a principled conservative. We believed that you were a man who would fearlessly defend the Constitution. We believed that you were one of us; it’s now apparent that you’re simply a Republican Party hack, one who would vote for anyone–anyTHING–with an “R” to the right of his/her name. I guess we should thank you for disabusing us of our previous silly notion once-and-for-all.
Why is this important? Why should you assign yourself a heaping helping of the blame for Ms. Clinton’s election? It is because, Mr. Hannity, you and others in your position are thought-leaders among the rank-and-file. Rightly or wrongly, you wield significant influence. I cannot help but believe that had you, and Rush, and Mike, and Laura, and so many others come out categorically opposed to Mr. Drumpf’s candidacy, if with one voice the entire lot of conservative pundits and media had said, “this man cannot be our nominee; he is not a conservative, and he has neither the temperament nor the character to serve as President”; if that had been the unanimous sentiment of you in the conservative media, I believe that Mr. Drumpf would not have gotten this far. But you didn’t. You failed, and that dramatically, I believe. You left the door open. You allowed him to be an option. You didn’t denounce him as you should have–and when he said some things–many, many of those things false–that resonated with some good people on the right, he gained traction and then momentum, and you said and did nothing. The voices of those of us who stood on principle and condemned him as categorically unfit for office were drowned out by a mainstream media that, I believe, played you and many Americans like a drum. Do you not think that there were many on the left side of the spectrum who were all-too-happy to build up Drumpf, knowing how incredibly flawed a candidate he was, so that they might tear him down and the way might be paved for Hillary? I have many good friends who are supporting Drumpf; many are doing so “holding their noses” (and I cast no aspersions at them, as you cast at me). A few are true believers who will remain friends despite our utterly different opinions as to this election. I cannot help but believe, though, that had you and your fellow ostensibly-conservative media colleagues done the job we assumed you would, we wouldn’t be shooting in a circle at each other come Election Day.
So you know, Mr. Hannity, I speak as one who did everything in my power and within my principles to keep Hillary Clinton from being elected president. I did so by regularly, vocally opposing the ONE Republican whose nomination guaranteed her election, by virtue of his own unfitness for the office: Donald J. Drumpf. Until the morning after the Indiana primary, when Mr. Drumpf effectively became the nominee with the withdrawal of the rest of the candidates, I did my absolute best to persuade conservatives of the folly of nominating this man, of how doing so would ensure the election of this corrupt woman. We warned that Mr. Drumpf, out of the entire bloated field, was the one candidate whose candidacy we could not in good conscience support. In fact, with one or two possible exceptions, I could have enthusiastically supported most any of the other sixteen candidates. Obviously, our efforts failed. But we have remained true to our word, true to conservative principles, true to our promise made early-on that this man was unworthy of our support–and for this, we earn your derision and scorn.
Oh, and by the way: say whatever you please on November 9, that “unfinished business” you have, all the things you have to say about all of us. Say all you want, Mr. Hannity; heap everything on us. Really, let it all out to your heart’s content, Sean, because we all stopped listening to you a long, long time ago.
Byron Harvey, Conservative