Stealth Conservatives: Fox News Is Too Liberal

Whether you want to or not, meet Samuel A. Douglass, Republican candidate for state Senate in the Orleans district. He’s challenging longtime incumbent Democrat Bobby Starr, which would seem to be a hopeless enterprise. But the district’s boundaries changed quite a bit in reapportionment. There are hopes in Republican circles and a wee bit of fear among Democrats that this guy might actually win.

So it behooves us to get to know Mr. Douglass, because he is one of the most stealthy of this year’s crop of stealth conservatives. He portrays himself as half crunchy-granola country boy and half “commonsense” Republican. The reality, however, is much different. “Fox News is only sort of right-leaning” is a thing he said. He thinks 80% of American journalism is “left-leaning,” and has a favorable impression of Newsmax.

Oh, and he thinks the acquittal of triple murderer Kyle Rittenhouse constituted “justice.” So no, he’s not your grandfather’s Republican.

Douglass’ campaign website is heavy on pictures and light on text. The words he does employ are ambiguous at best, with the faintest of dog whistles penetrating the fog. The closest thing to an agenda is a page entitled “My Focus & Goals,” which runs a bit under 800 words and contains no specifics whatsoever. Still, the nutbaggery can’t be completely concealed.

One of the his six foci and/or goals is entitled “Commonsense Environmentalism.” The first sentence goes like this:

I will work with fellow legislators to find solutions to problems including trash pollution, plastic pollution, and industrial wind turbines.

That’s right, “industrial wind turbines” are one of our three biggest environmental threats. Missing from that list: any mention of climate change or the sad state of our waterways. But he does mention “trash” not once, not twice, but three times in the space of two paragraphs.

Douglass is a beekeeper and operator of a “homestead/hobby farm” in North Troy. His idea of environmentalism has a lot to do with helping pollinators thrive. Otherwise it’s mainly about beautification, planting trees in parking lots, and green rooftops. Which are nice, but do very little to meet our real environmental challenges.

He also wants to “co-habitat with nature,” which sounds a little bit dirty. But what it means is that he wants to conserve nature as a playground for human beings, not a place to let the natural world be itself. As he said in a podcast interview, “Humans, we are an animal as well, and we also have as much rights as any other animal, tortoise, you know, or furry little squirrel.”

Articulate, ain’t he?

That statement came from a two-part interview from last summer on the Young Republicans of Oregon podcast. This is where Douglass said that “Fox News is only sort of right-leaning,” and that “Media, newspapers, television, social media, are ball very left-leaning.”

Which would come as a surprise to anyone on the left.

Douglass does cite one news outlet he trusts: The Vermont Daily Chronicle, Guy Page’s one-man outlet forrightward-slanted news and opinion pieces by the likes of John Klar.

What does Douglass think of the left? “It’s all about control. The left likes controlling people,” he said. “They like to be the morally superior ones.” Sure, Sam. It’s not as though the Republicans are trying to force their morality on people.

Finally, here are a few screenshots from Douglass’ Twitter account, just in case he tries to delete them later.

It’s too bad that Douglass doesn’t have the courage of his convictions. He should be out front with his beliefs instead of hiding behind a veil of platitudes. The people of the Orleans district can vote for him if they want, but they ought to know what he really stands for.

One more thing. In case you thought that Douglass is an outlier, here’s a lovely group photograph of Douglass with his characteristic grin standing next to, um, former governor Jim “One-S” Douglas, VTGOP Chair Paul Dame, and party Vice Chair Rep. Samantha Lefebvre (covered previously) among others. ‘Nuff said.

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