This morning, the Lewiston Tribune’s Opinion page welcomes three additions to its lineup of columnists.
As noted last month, Rick Rogers of Clarkston and Jeff Sayre of Lewiston have completed their four-year assignments. Once again, the Tribune thanks Rogers and Sayre for their many contributions.
Filling in for them the next few years will be:
l Richard J. Eggleston of Clarkston. The 80-year-old retired ophthalmologist’s background includes growing up in Omaha, Neb., and Wichita, Kan. He graduated from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, attended medical school at Kansas University Medical Center, and served with the U.S. Army, including a frequently dangerous tour as a flight surgeon in Europe from 1968 through 1970. The 1974 Worlds Fair introduced him and his wife, Betty, to Spokane, where they lived until the mid-1980s, when they transferred to Clarkston.
l Bob Hassoldt of Kendrick. The 63-year-old came to Idaho in the mid-1970s to attend the University of Idaho, where he graduated in 1979 with a degree in forest resource management. His work with private landowners has taken him everywhere from rural New York state to southeast Alaska. Hassoldt served on the Latah County Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Lewiston Tribune’s Community Advisory Board. He’s also dabbled in politics, having waged campaigns for the Idaho Legislature and the Latah County commission.
To some degree, both are known commodities to Tribune readers through their frequent contributions to the letters page.
From Eggleston, you can expect such themes as “the importance of fathers, the planned usurpation of liberties with COVID-19 as the excuse, the mathematical impossibility of macro evolution ... (and) the corruption in the hierarchy of my Catholic church.”
“For sure, some few readers will opine that I am uneducated, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.,” he writes. “Preemptively, I would inform them that I am board certified in two medical specialties — ophthalmology and alternative medicine. I understand the scientific method, biology, heredity, mutations and the very brief whiff of life time during which our fate for eternity is determined.”
Hassoldt intends to “challenge the politicians, environmentalists, courts and academia that think they know more than the people, college-educated or not, that deal in this environment on a daily basis.” He’ll also scrutinize tax support for Planned Parenthood and what he considers the over-hyping of climate change while promoting more trade school and technical education.
“I’ll be civil but firm in my opinions and will back them up with hard facts,” he writes. “My desire is to get people to think and if I pop some liberal bubbles along the way, so much the better.”
Eggleston and Hassoldt will join the Tribune’s local columnists, former state Rep. Cindy Agidius of Moscow, and retired journeyman carpenter Marvin F. Dugger of Lewiston.
On another front, expect a bit of a shake up among the syndicated writers who appear on this page.
When political columnist David Broder died almost a decade ago, his syndicate at the Washington Post replaced him with submissions from Eugene Robinson and Dana Milbank. Both are exceptional writers with a keen sense of the national scene, but they contributed toward a left-of-center drift.
It didn’t help when Donald Trump’s presidency transformed conventionally conservative writers such as Kathleen Parker and George Will into never-Trumpers. Even Trump ally Marc Thiessen turned sharply critical with this month’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In the interest of ideological equilibrium, the Tribune will begin publishing Dennis Prager’s column.
Prager has been a part of talk radio in Los Angeles for almost four decades. Since 1999, his program has been nationally syndicated Monday through Friday. As his listeners know, he’s a foe of Obamacare and same-sex marriage and a staunch ally of Trump.
If you need a sample of his perspective, consider this: “ ... Since my graduate studies at the Russian Institute of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs (as it was then known), I have always believed that only in a dictatorship could a society be brainwashed. I was wrong. I now understand that mass brainwashing can take place in a nominally free society. The incessant left-wing drumbeat of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and almost every other major newspaper, plus the Atlantic, the New Yorker, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, all of Hollywood and almost every school from kindergarten through graduate school, has brainwashed at least half of America every bit as effectively as the German, Soviet and Chinese communist press did (and in the latter case, still does).”
If nothing else, your mornings won’t be tame. Prager’s column begins appearing in the Tribune next week. — M.T.