October 24, 2016
Sean Hannity sucks. I wanted a more eloquent, less juvenile opening line for this piece, but sometimes there is something to be said for bluntness. For those who haven’t heard, Hannity recently took to twitter to defend WikiLeaks, including using the hashtag #freejulianassange, then responded with an embarrassing, childish twitter rant when called out on it in an apparent attempt to emulate his candidate. By standing up for a free press, he went against everything conservatives believe in. Even worse, he prioritized short-term, partisan interests over long-term, national interests.
Now, let me back up for a minute. When I say that conservatives are anti-free press, I am speaking tongue-in-cheek. Of course, conservatives value a free press, as most all Americans do. It is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and a critical piece of any free society. However, what divides liberals and conservatives politically is often the different prioritization they give to various shared values. For example, the simplest model that I’ve heard articulated suggests that liberals value compassion more, while conservatives value personal accountability. This isn’t to say that conservatives don’t value compassion, or that liberals don’t think that anyone should be held accountable for their actions, but simply means that when there is a conflict between the two, liberals err on the side of compassion, while conservatives lean more toward personal accountability. In the instant case, when national security conflicts with a free press, say when WikiLeaks releases classified governmental information, I, as a conservative, am generally going to give more weight to the side that promotes our national security and opposes these leaks. I suspect that most conservatives would do the same.
Now, if this were a simple disagreement, there would be no issue here. Though I believe that, in general, conservatives such as Sean Hannity would prioritize national security concerns over the release of private information, there is no hard and fast rule that says every conservative must come to this conclusion. I am all for free thought, open debate, and honest disagreements. I cannot imagine that is what is going on with Sean Hannity, though as always, I could be wrong. I can’t imagine that he would take the same position if WikiLeaks were leaking information about Trump, or leaking military secrets as they have in the past, though I may be wrong on the latter if the leak embarrassed a Democrat. The point is that Sean Hannity is standing up for an organization that consistently releases information harmful to the United States’ military and national security interests, and is standing up for them for the sole reason that the private information they happen to be leaking at the moment serves his partisan interests. For now.
Such a position is stupidly short-sighted. Sean Hannity has gotten so wrapped up in election psychosis that he has lost sight of the bigger picture, and that picture is that Julian Assange is no friend of the United States. While it is true that there are no permanent enemies in politics and that yesterday’s enemy can easily become tomorrow’s friend, the fact is that by backing Assange, Sean Hannity has put his short-term partisan interests above the long-term interests of the country. As divisive as these election seasons can be, we must remember that it is the interests of America must come before the interests of either party. Sean Hannity has failed to do that.