This libertarian was stunned at the knowledge, wisdom of a renowned leftist

This was originally published in the Tucson Weekly
Border issues are on everyone’s mind as November approaches. Many candidates are making immigration the centerpiece of their campaigns. So you can imagine my delight when I heard that the founder and PR guy for Humane Borders, the Rev. Robin Hoover (no relation to J. Edgar, to my knowledge), was to be the keynote speaker at an event entitled “Information for Action: Social Justice.” The University of Arizona College of Public Health MPH Internship Conference hosted the event.Now, this actually had two hooks for me: One, I am fascinated by the success of the notion that luring illegal border crossers deeper into the desert, where they are less likely to find help, is humane; two, “social justice” is a code phrase that means “leftist politics spoken here,” and I’m fascinated by leftists.

At the event, the Rev. Hoover looked quite dapper with his white hair and beard matching his white clothing. His presentation was superb. He spoke in an informal, direct manner, with just enough jocularity to keep his audience captivated.

He spent a fair amount of time on his biography. He left home at age 18 and went to work in a hospital as a nursing assistant–performing procedures that only doctors would perform today. Went to school. Went to graduate school. Helped create the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries in Los Fresnos. He became, as he put it, a “professional troublemaker.”

His academic resume does, however, betray his priorities. While he does have a master’s degree in divinity, he has a doctorate in political science.

Like most leftist ministers, he quotes biblical verse when it can be construed to support his politics, but did not mention any spiritual significance or meaning. He said, “Marx taught us” that knowledge was not enough, and that we had to “change the system.” I do not recall any mention of what Jesus taught us, outside of Hoover’s biblical quotations. He misrepresented the term “general welfare” in the U.S. Constitution in the standard way. He even expressed disappointment in Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s loss in the Mexican presidential election, and suggested that he really won. (The graduate students all nodded in agreement.) He sees a day when the world will socialize medicine, “hopefully with single-payer systems.”

None of this was a surprise. Think about it: What Christian minister would be invited to the UA to speak on the subject of “public health” while quoting the Bible? Only a lefty would receive such an invitation.

What I found truly interesting, however, was the depth of the Rev. Hoover’s work. His work goes far beyond simply placing water tanks in the desert. He has worked with everyone involved with the border, from politicians on both sides (of the border), to law enforcement, to conspirators planning to enter the U.S. illegally. He has a realistic view of the situation, and thinks in terms of realistic remedies.

He advocated emergency call boxes. This surprised me, because such boxes might actually save lives–unlike the water tanks. He has a guest-worker plan that makes sense–as opposed to the truly stupid plan our Senate created. Hoover’s plan would create incentives for workers to earn money, and then return to their families in Mexico without creating new lives for them here, or starting them on a path to citizenship. As he pointed out, with workers crossing at the ports of entry, law enforcement could be more aggressive in the outlying desert, since the people crossing there would primarily be pharmaceutical importers and terrorists. His plan is a real-world solution that was clearly developed by someone who knew the score.

I believe the Rev. Hoover to be a good man whose knowledge and expertise in the area of border issues are incredibly valuable. He would be an asset to anyone developing border policy.

Too bad his politics are so screwed up.

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