Today I learned Jack Hunter has resigned from Randall Paul’s staff after allegations of his past as a Southern “Shock Jock” came to light from an obscure blog promoting neo-conservative and reactionary views.
The blog alleged that Jack used to hang around neo-Confederate groups when he was in his youth and used to make a series of off-colour antics as a “Southern Avenger” character in the spirit of stupid fun. As a result of these allegations, the corporate media has used this to paint Mr. Hunter as a far-right reactionary with an intolerant worldview and as an attempt to smear Randall Paul through Jack Hunter’s past antics.
The Jack Hunter of the present is nothing like the Jack Hunter in his youth. The person I met is articulate, open-minded, tolerant, and familiar with major issues in the country. This seems a far cry from the naive youth who believes Lincoln deserved to be shot for winning the Civil War, different from the guy running around screaming off-colour comments while wearing a wresting mask decorated with the Stars and Bars and far from the stereotypical Southerner who fears venturing beyond the county line.
At the same time, it does show how individuals can mature and grow as they are exposed to more forward-thinking and open ideas. Being exposed to universal ideas of liberty and of the possibility of an open society did bring out the best in Jack Hunter as seen in his book about the Tea Party and his contributions to the American public discourse.
That being said, his resignation, most likely at the advice of his colleagues and politicians, is a sad example of the consequences of past behaviour. It’s a lesson that we should all be careful about how and what we say or write in public as it can be easily taken out of context or used against us in other ways. This is even more relevant given that the NSA is currently recording all possible written or verbal communications on their massive cloud-based databases.
I can only hope Jack takes a break from all this nonsense to reflect, recharge and return to the scene when the time is right.