Once More, on Harry Reid

Once More, on Harry Reid December 30, 2021


Brother Harry
The official portrait of then Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)




Because of a grave defect in prudence and common sense, I’m now going to return to the subject of the late Latter-day Saint Senator and Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  (See my prior post here.)  This will provide yet another opportunity for intemperate haters to comment.  However, although I’m a generous and forgiving host, I will not tolerate very much of their vitriol.  (I’ll partially explain why, below.)


First of all, here is a quintet of relevant links that I recommend:


LDS Church News“Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dies at age 82”

Deseret News:  “One of the nation’s most powerful politicians was also a steadfast ‘home teacher’ at church: Harry Reid’s legacy started with his rise from poverty in rural Nevada, eventually becoming the U.S. Senate majority leader.”

Deseret News“Sen. Mike Lee: Missing my friend, Harry Reid”

National Review“Eric Holder Misses the Point on Harry Reid’s Legacy”

Deseret News“Longtime Nevada Sen. Harry Reid remembered as ‘the embodiment of the American dream’: The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Reid ‘a devoted and capable public servant who was dedicated to his family, his faith, and his country’”


Once again, let me say that, as a serious free market conservative and a federalist, I differed very much politically from Harry Reid.  And there were certain things that he did and said — notably (but not only) his wildly false statement about Mitt Romney’s supposed non-payment of taxes, for which he not only never apologized but of which he actually appeared to be proud — that I found and find reprehensible.


And yet I heard very good things about him, as well, from people whom I respect and from some who had plenty of reason to see him negatively yet did not.  (Please, if you haven’t, take a look at Senator Mike Lee’s comments, to which I provide a link above.)


Finally, I want to share a statement that has long appealed to me.  It comes from the unfortunately named Quintin Hogg (1907-2001), Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, and specifically from page 10 of his book The Case for Conservatism (Penguin, 1947):


Conservatives do not believe that political struggle is the most important thing in life. . . .  The simplest among them prefer fox-hunting — the wisest religion.


What exactly did he mean?  I don’t think that he was really talking about fox-hunting — of which, by the way and for the record, I’m neither an enthusiast nor a supporter.  Rather, I think, he was saying that genuine conservatives believe that a large part of life, and in many ways the most important part of life, has nothing to do with politics.  Real conservatives want to preserve the sanctity of genuinely private life.  A common battlecry on the Left has long been that “everything is political.”  To which the proper response, and certainly an authentic conservative response, is that no, it’s not.  Faith, friendship, kindness — these and many other things transcend politics.


That’s one of the reasons that I oppose the demonization of Harry Reid for political reasons.



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