Carol Swain Commentary: Bill Hagerty Is My Choice for the U.S. Senate

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I enthusiastically endorse Bill Hagerty in his bid to become Tennessee’s next U.S. Senator.  My decision is based on several factors: personal conversations with Bill, a comparison of his issue positions with those of his primary opponent Dr. Manny Sethi, who has emerged as a serious contender, and lastly, President Trump’s early endorsement of Bill.  In evaluating the candidates, I have spoken with numerous people and heard from supporters and opponents on both sides. 

Who I am 

Let me share a little bit about myself. I am a political scientist who has been cited three times by the U.S. Supreme Court in voting rights cases. I am also a former university professor tenured at Princeton and Vanderbilt Universities.  I am on the Advisory Board of Black Voices for Trump and the Steering Committee of the Mighty American Strike Force.  

During my time at Vanderbilt, I was a faculty adviser for Christian student organizations,  and I  led the battle to keep Christian groups such as Campus Crusade, Intervarsity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Catholics, and other orthodox Christian groups on campus after the university changed its policies toward student organizations. I have been outspoken about the sanctity of human life, the dangers of radical Islam in America, and the Marxist nature of Black Lives Matter.  

Despite my being labeled as controversial and not the kind of person that a Republican in Name Only (RINO) would give the time of day,  Bill reached out to me as soon as he returned to Tennessee after his stint as Ambassador to Japan.   

Why I support Bill

I support Bill because he understands the social and political environment affecting our nation. He is the best-qualified person to represent Tennessee at a time when amateur politicians have proven themselves inadequate on too many occasions. 

I support Bill because he has the full endorsement of the Donald Trump family and was encouraged by them to run for office.  Bill has supported President Trump since July 2016 and volunteered to serve full-time as chairman of Trump’s Tennessee Victory Campaign.  He has proven himself trustworthy and loyal to the president in the same way he was loyal to Governor Haslam, even though Bill – the most conservative member of the Haslam team – did not agree 100% with his boss on issues.  Loyalty is something to be treasured. 

I support Bill because his issue positions are ones I care about. Anyone voting in this election needs to compare the candidates’ websites and their grasp of issues.  Bill understands Marxism and socialism and the fact that our nation’s future hangs in the balance. We must not only re-elect President Trump but also make sure the people we send to Washington share all our values.  Bill’s issue positions include support for law enforcement, fighting human trafficking, the opioid crisis, stopping illegal immigration, confirming constitutionalist judges, supporting our military, standing with Israel, and holding China accountable, protecting national security, and the right to life.  Bill’s website lists 19 issue positions covering state, national, and international affairs.  

Dr. Sethi’s reasons for running for office include his faith, pro-life support, the opioid crisis, healthcare, immigration, and veterans.  His website cites Matthew 9:13: “The harvest is plenty but the workers few.” 

Bill is a statesman and a Christian family man who says his Southern Baptist uncle led him to Christ while he was a child.  When Bill speaks to young people, he excites them about service to our nation, and he encourages the married members of his staff to be better spouses and parents.  I have spoken with several young, conservative activists who have met Bill or worked on his staff, and they love how he has time to listen to their concerns.  

Bill is a kind and caring individual who has the kind of character we need in Washington. He is also a self-made millionaire whose manual labor background includes shoveling asphalt.  It takes a special kind of person to achieve what he has achieved.  

Answering Bill’s Critics

Bill has been the target of numerous smears in this campaign, including a  2½ page, single-spaced letter signed by “Concerned Citizens of Tennessee” and mailed to party chairs across the state warning them not to vote for Bill and that he would be a Trump backstabber, that he is a globalist with Muslim connections, and that he has supported the wrong candidates in the past, such as Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Marco Rubio.  Most recently, Bill has been accused of supporting Black Lives Matter. 

Several blogs have accused Bill, former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, of hiring Samar Ali, a Muslim, in 2012. According to the narrative, Samar was hired as an expert on Shariah-compliant financing.  The true story is that Samar was one of several exceptionally qualified young people hired to work in Bill’s office. She held the position of assistant commissioner of international affairs to Bill Haslam, who appointed her. Her job responsibilities had nothing to do with obtaining or advising about Shariah finance.  Samar left her position on less-than-favorable terms and some of her comments and actions since suggest she has become radical over time, much to Bill’s expressed regret.  

Bill is a man who understands the history of the world. Consequently, he has taken a bold stance against Islamic terrorism and Communism, which explains. his decision to support candidate Donald Trump in 2016. The accusation that Bill supports Black Lives Matter because he served on the board of one of the many corporations that virtue signaled by tweeting using the #blacklivesmatter hashtag or giving money the organization money is ridiculous.  One board member cannot control the decisions of the majority. Bill is no longer on the board.  Like the rest of us, he believes all lives matter. All include black lives. 

Bill’s critics are grasping at straws.  It seems Bill is guilty of having a diverse set of friends. We see a familiar smear tactic deployed against him. Guilt by association seeks to shame someone for the alleged crimes of other people with whom they are associated.  Mitt Romney’s name is invoked along with Jeb Bush and Haslam.  Romney received the Republican nomination in 2012. I voted for him, and I believe most other Republicans supported the nominee. Does that make us guilty of a crime? I think not!  

Therefore. I am proud to stand with President Trump in support of Bill Hagerty’s bid for the U.S. Senate.  Bill has the character and the temperament we need in Washington. He is a statesman who understands what is at stake and can hit the ground running without the startup costs any amateur would encounter. We should vote for him and hold his feet to the fire. 

– – –

Dr. Carol M. Swain is a former tenured professor at Vanderbilt and Princeton. Her Be The People News blog and podcast empower individuals to think independently, understand their responsibilities, and make a difference in the world.







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32 Thoughts to “Carol Swain Commentary: Bill Hagerty Is My Choice for the U.S. Senate”

  1. Milton

    I don’t have any ties to either of them – just trying to figure out which one to vote for, so I did some research. Doesn’t Sethi go to an ultra-liberal church in downtown Nashville? What does that indicate? And he went to a very liberal college in Mass. (Brown). Is he really the conservative he claims to be? They both live in Nashville. Doesn’t Sethi work for Vanderbilt? If Trump is re-elected the Dems will try to impeach him again – how will Sethi vote? Sethi is only 42 – Hagerty is 60 – I prefer 60 to 42.

  2. CCW

    Alabama will crush Doug Jones with their man Tuberville after 3 long years of wasted space in the Senate by Dem Jones. Tennessee will crush Dem globalism, socialism, illegal immigration, and RINO-ism after 6 long years of wasted space in the Senate by Lamar with our man, Dr. Manny Sethi.

    Late registration pop-up candidates to pull votes from front runners is a typical ploy by RINO forces in the state, by peddling confusing issues and positions

  3. Sim

    “Let me share a little bit about myself. I am a political scientist who has been cited three times by the U.S. Supreme Court in voting rights cases. I am also a former university professor tenured at Princeton and Vanderbilt Universities. I am on the Advisory Board of Black Voices for Trump and the Steering Committee of the Mighty American Strike Force.”

    You University folks live a totally different world than the working people, you think you know and understand all the problems working people faced but really, you don’t have a clue.

    And when it comes to legislation, the “Good ol Boy Club” can convince you to vote for whatever so as to keep your good ol boy membership.

    And that is the reason we refer to people like that as RINOS, your conservative principles fade away when paying your membership dues.

    As seen in the comments, most people recognize Hagerty as a RINO, just like Romney.

    Personally, I’m voting for another working man, Aaron Pettigrew, I’m not “Restocking the swamp”.

  4. 83ragtop50

    “He is the best-qualified person to represent Tennessee at a time when amateur politicians have proven themselves inadequate on too many occasions. ”

    I will take an amateur over a proven RINO every day of the week. Therefore my vote goes to Dr. Sethi.

    1. Boyd

      Gee,….Trump was an amateur, he`s turned out GREAT! Time to turn out the Good Ol` Boy Network to pasture.

    2. akaMOTU

      If Hagerty wins, I have a real dilemma; do I vote to put a Romney/McCain clone in office for years to come, or suffer through 6 years of Hagerty’s Demokrat equivalent…

  5. BJ Zeagler

    Carol by reading the comments you will see you are on the wrong side of the conservative voters. I am still in total shock over this interview. Our votes will definitely go to Manny. I wrote Trump and ask him To please stay out of our primaries. This is for us to decide and God knows I love Trump.
    Jr. boy is out there saying Trump supports Hagerty, then Trump must be uninformed on Manny since Manny is a 100% Trump supporter.Go Manny!

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      No BJ, that should read “some conservative voters.” There were some of us who were not bamboozled by Chris Devaney’s ads when they were touting Bill Lee and we’re not bamboozled by his ads touting Dr. “CONSERVATIVE-OUTSIDER.” Well, if Chairman Manny wins you can add his name to your mea culpas for having voted for Gov. Lee when you find The Chairman reverts back to his mean and has a Heritage score below 75%. As I have been re: your misguided choice of Lee, I promise not to be an “I told you so.”

      1. B J Zeagler

        So you think Hagerty is a conservative we can trust. I’d like to know what makes you feel this way?

    2. Jacque

      You know I heard he Manny surrounded himself with non Trumpets. I am really in a situation that I don’t know who to vote for. I can’t trust any of them anymore.
      Sethi could turn out to be another Romney and so could Haggerty.
      Give me your reason for Sethi.

  6. John

    Another RINO supporter outted herself. Thanks Carol.

  7. paulJ

    I’m voting for Dr. Manny for 2 reasons:
    1. Hagerty’s foolish support of Israel which costs too many American lives.
    2. Donald Trump, Jr.’s support of Hagerty. Don Jr. selfishly left his wife for the ex-wife of Gavin Newsome and I’m sure a dozen other men in between that and Don, Jr. Don’t trust the judgment of Don, Jr. based on that alone.

    Go Dr. Manny!

  8. lb

    I admire Dr Swain . I both supported and Voted for her for Mayor of Nashville.
    That being said, I can not agree with her here. I am glad to see Hagerty reached out to her when he returned to Japan but that doesnt mean he is anything other than a typical ETN RINOgopE Haslam clone. ENOUGH Corker, Alexander,Haslam and NOW Lee RINOs.
    Both Votes in our house will go to Dr Manny–I simply have been burned, and seen PDT burned too many times to trust ANY RINO

  9. MIKE

    I am a strong Trump supporter but Hagerty lost my vote when he was endorsed by Gov. Lee.

  10. I will not vote for anyone that is for Mitt Romney. just can’t. So that means I will vote for Dr Manny.

    1. BJ Zeagler

      I’m with you and shocked Carol thinks Romney is ok. He is really a no trumpster big time.

    2. Leigha

      Would you have rather they be for Obama? I voted for Romney, as the “lesser of two evils”, plus, I know Mormons are good with money, and those are the ONLY reasons I voted for him. It was more a vote against Obama than for Romney. I’m not sure that Hagerty’s “alignment” with Romney is an issue here. ?? It is 2:20pm on Aug 6, and I still am unsure as to who to vote for! I am from WA, where we always got a Voter Pamphlet giving us voters the pros/cons of referendums, and a blurb on where the candidates stood. I find this vitally lacking here in TN! I have been a citizen of TN since 8/17, and I have yet to find access to voting records of the candidates, or any reliable info on where they stand! This needs to be fixed!

  11. Stuart I. Anderson

    There are no proven conservatives running for U. S. Senate in Tennessee in 2020. Anyone who thinks they see one is seeing a mirage and should stop watching those battling campaign ads and stay out of the sun.

    The only reason for conservatives to even vote in this election is to try to salvage something to further the conservative movement. Chairman Manny is a very wealthy man who is running as this blood and guts conservative. Records show that before plunking down $1.5 million to buy himself a U. S. Senate seat over the last twelve years he made on average about $2,800 a year in campaign contributions including the one to Corker. Conservatives lose elections because our candidates run underfunded campaigns against well funded Chamber of Commerce shills. It is the Chairman Mannys that sit on their wallet when conservative candidates come calling that are to blame. Conservatives should use this election to show they won’t put up with political dilettantes doing little for conservatives in civilian life then running as Rambo conservatives when they want to buy themselves an office by voting AGAINST Chairman Manny by voting FOR Hagerty.

    1. Boyd

      Bill Hagerty IS endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and the RINO`s. We often have to choose between the lesser of two evils in voting, but we know Hagerty`s past well. Might as well give Manny a shot at it, even if he has supported Republicans in the past that did not measure up, I`m sure a lot of have done that.

  12. Boyd Bivens

    Considering that Hagerty has the endorsements of Ol` Lamar Alexander himself and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (MORE foreign visa workers! and FREE trade with China), I`ll vote for Dr. Manny Sethi.
    Any University Professor is the last person, whose opinion on who I should vote for, to influence my decision. That`s like asking Taylor Swift for an opinion.

  13. Angelito

    I hope Carol runs for mayor and unseats the desert-snatching, tax-loving troll who currently is Nashville’s mayor.

    1. BJ Zeagler

      I have lost lots of respect for Carol. All the names she mentioned in the interview were 100% RINOS. Shame on you Carol. Romney wow that name alone is irresponsible.

  14. Alex Otto

    Carol. I respect your opinion but I think Hagerty is part of the swamp that President Trump is trying to get rid of. And why is Kimberly Guilfoyle (Trump Jr.’s gf) getting paid $180,000 a year from an ad company that airs Bill Hagerty’s ads? And you say because of experience? We need a new slate of conservative, Republican leadership in Congress like Madison Cawthorn, Tommy Tuberville, Lauren Boebert, Burgess Owens, and Laura Loomer just to name a few. Manny Sethi fits right in with that group and that’s why I will be supporting Manny Sethi! Can’t vote because I’m 16, but I 100% support him. I respect your opinion as we have the freedom to do so (unless Creepy Joe Biden gets elected), but it’s a no for me on Hagerty

  15. Beatrice Shaw

    I want to hear about her COVID test results after being with Herman Cain and hanging at the Trump maskLESS rally

  16. randy haley

    Sorry Carol I like you, but I can’t support Hagerty! He is part of the Tennessee RINOs, A democrat dressed up like a republican. He is part of the Corker, Haslam and Alexander group. We need a real conservative from Tennessee to support President Trump. I voted for Trump last time and I will be voting for him again this year. He does not have the best record of picking loyal people to serve with him. I am Sethi all the way for Tennessee!

  17. Laura B

    Thank you so much for this article. It is so difficult in these critical elections to discern the actual truth about candidates. I was able to hear both of these candidates when they were interviewed on the Tennessee Star Report. Those interviews and listening to Dr. Swain and reading her article are way more important to me in deciding whom I should vote for than any political adds which I don’t trust at all.

  18. Holly Dobbs

    While I greatly admire Dr. Swain and her opinions, we will have to disagree on this one. Dr. Sethi will definitely be getting our vote and deserves much more recognition by Dr. Swain that she has given him. He is truly a standout candidate whom we would be lucky to have as a senator, or for that matter, in any position. Even as a Trump supporter, his “endorsement” of Hagerty does not influence my vote in this case.

    I’ll say it again, I’m going with Manny Sethi.

    1. Pauline Killion

      Just the fact that Bill Hagerty has been endorsed by Dr. Swain has made me reconsider voting for him. I am going to vote for Dr. Manny Sethi. I believe Hagerty to be a RHINO. He seems to talk one way, but goes along with the democrats Haslam, Rhino Alexander, Corker etc. I am happy we now have Dr. Sethi running and he has my vote. I believe all of my family will be casting their vote for Dr. Manny Sethi.

  19. Kevin

    Wow, when I read this piece, it sounds like we’re about to see the 2nd coming, yet again! Sad to say, but I’m old enough to be able to say, “I’ve seen this all before”. 2008 with Obama is the most painful one to date.

    Endorsements are like opinions, certain other annular body parts, and votes, the good Lord gave us each just one. I’ll use mine for Dr. Manny Sethi.

  20. Jeff Hartline

    Hagerty is just Haslam, Corker, Alexander, Romney 2.0. We need disruptive candidates like Trump to break down the entire Deep State. Hagerty is just more glue to the Deep State. Regarding Swain’s comment about asking where Sethi has been during the conservative battles, where was Hagerty? Finally, what difference does your endorsement actually make? It was little help to Diane Black.

  21. Daniel Norrod

    Hagerty is a Jeb Bush boy. I’ll be voting for Dr. Manny

  22. Benny Jones

    No Thanks
    Bill Haggerty’s circle seems to encircle quite a few folks and affiliations that would not turn out to be very appealing to The Great State of Tennessee