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Skip Tucker: A Modest Proposal

By SKIP TUCKER, Alabama Daily News Featured Columnist

In the troubling wildness of the Kavanaugh hearings, particularly troubling to your humble narrator was the number of hard things said by CNN news people about old white men comprising the Republican side of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dammit, your humble narrator is an old white man on the conservative side, and offended by the vitriol spewed against us old white men.

A respected female commentator and author in a copywrite story listed more than a dozen spurious attacks by liberal loony “news” people against old white men. It seemed rank hatred, and left a lingering impression that if these people could close their fists on OWM, YHN would not see another morning’s sun.

It’s sad that the word “white” has become an intensifier used to denote hate and that white men are often portrayed as pure evil, regardless of their histories. All of us.

I have been verbally abused, on more occasions than one, for no other reason than the fact that I am white. I separated quickly each time, as they were many and I was just me. There was no time for lengthy speeches.

But I wanted to tell them that I have put my white butt on the line for civil rights, and that mine is not the only white one. I don’t think it would’ve mattered.

As to Justice Kavanaugh vs. Dr. Ford, it came down to maybe. And it’s the law of our land that a reasonable doubt obviates conviction of crime. It is a foundation of the American system of justice, faulty as it might be, that a life should not be ruined on the strength of an unproven slur.

In an uncharacteristically jumbled published report, the normally reliable Wall Street Journal appeared to believe that somehow the doctor and the judge were both telling the truth.

Actually, that is not beyond the pale. The events occurred decades ago when both were teens.  If it did happen the way it was told, the judge might’ve been too besotted to recall. A young Ms. Ford might’ve been traumatized, even by a lesser degree of assault, to fevered recollections.

USA Today, a mostly liberal publication, editorially suggested that if such an assault occurred, it might not have been by Kavanaugh.

Still, each might’ve been honest in their tellings.

Probably not. Somebody was lying. And, like the case of our own Roy Moore (of whom I am no fan), nobody but s/he knows the truth. To say that there was more than one accuser in an incident cannot convict without credible evidence.

Rue the day when a slur automatically convicts a candidate or anyone else of any race, creed or color. Proof is needed, to a substantive degree.

Modestly, I propose that accusers of crime in a charged political situation take an authentic thorough polygraph administered by an objective professional. Importantly, liars will be prosecuted to extent.

Do not lightly dismiss polygraph effectiveness. From what I have read, these machines are at least 80 percent accurate and more than 90 percent indicative. Eight times of ten, a polygraph will reflect a lie, and nine of ten will suggest whether the whole truth is being told.

Police and attorneys employ a polygraph to help determine if something or someone is worth pursuing – help determine. The results indicate whether a subject is to be deeply investigated or just routinely.

Dr. Ford took one, but it but it was staged. It was set up by her lawyers and consisted of two yes-or-no questions regarding her half-page of handwritten notes. That does not, as is said, feed the bulldog.

But even if Kavanaugh had strapped on the polygraph and passed with flying colors, many would still find him guilty in the court of public opinion and only because he is a member of the new hated class: an old white man.

That polemic is dangerous.

Listen: it’s a truth that women are victimized, in all strata of life, more often than men. They frequently are victims of all kinds of rape, and perpetrators go free.

Women must work harder than men to achieve success. They receive less pay for the same job.

Old white men run the world. Almost 65 percent of our GNP is produced by OWM,  and 80 percent of the U.S. Legislature is white. There are but six female governors. Five of the six major media conglomerate are owned by old white men.

All that, too, is wrong. Much of this is being challenged and changed, and rightly so. But you don’t build up equality by tearing into and tearing down. That leads to bitterness and more hate.

It’s an unhealthy risk to inflame prejudice against one type of people because it leads entire segments of society to prejudge guilt without evidence.  Class hatred is dangerous because your class might be next.

Too many in the media didn’t even attempt to hide their prejudice during the Kavanaugh kerfuffle.

From an early age, I tried to stand for the rights of others. As editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle, I hired many women journalists, all of them straight out of college. None were anything but excellent. They received equal pay which, in the early seventies, was $125 a week and all the newspaper you could eat. I wasn’t paid much better.

Also, so far as I can determine, homosexual guys weren’t widely called “gay” until the late sixties. At my tough country school in 1965, “queer” was a deadly insult, and used to provoke fights.

My senior year, a kid I’ll call Regis transferred in. He had the so-called earmarks. He was skinny, tall, wore coke-bottle thick glasses, and lisped. He was nice as pie and too often an object of derision.

During school recess one day, I was walking down the hall and saw that three self-proclaimed badasses had Regis surrounded in an alcove, belittling him. I watched. When they started to shove him, I said, “Stop that.”

They didn’t, so I repeated it, more forcefully. One of them looked at me and said, “He’s a damned queer and I have a problem with that.”

I was an All-County tackle for our football team and felt tough as the Puritan God.

I said, “Stop it or you’ll have a problem with me.”  They stopped. They probably didn’t stop solely because of me, though I would’ve held my ground. They knew if they tried to gang me they’d be meat for the entire team.

I’ve mentioned my stands for Civil Rights. I’ve always agreed with Dr. King that people should be judged by character and not by skin color. Harper Lee tried to teach it in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

And yet, because I am a conservative who has supported the president, I am called homophobe, anti-fem, a hater and deplorable. I am none of those things.

But I am an Old White Man.

Mea Culpa, mea summa culpa, mea magna culpa.

(Next week: MSNBC is to News what Poison is to Health)

Skip Tucker was editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper, then communications secretary for gubernatorial folks like George McMillan, Charlie Graddick and Jim Folsom. He ran Alabama Voters Against Lawsuit Abuse for in Montgomery for 15 years. He has published one novel, Pale Blue Light, a spy thriller set in The Civil War. He’s now a regular contributor for the Alabama Daily News at


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