California progressives are making ever-increasing inroads into what was once politically insurmountable, Ronald Reagan-adoring, conservative Orange County, but Bill Hunt is standing in unapologetic defiance. A onetime San Clemente chief of police, Hunt challenged his unethical boss, Sheriff Mike Carona, at the ballot box in 2006, then paid for his bravery by enduring career-ending retaliation.
The 56-year-old rural Massachusetts native is charismatic, but not elitist. He grew up the son of a state police officer and IRS employee, and he learned the value of hard work while delivering newspapers, pumping gas, stacking farm hay, taking construction jobs and bagging groceries. He also served in the U.S. Army, ran a private-detective firm and celebrated a friendship with ex-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Nowadays, Hunt, the husband of a nurse, works as a cartoonist.
We recently published an interview with Jimmy Camp, a successful GOP strategist who despises Donald Trump. Hunt—a Prius-driving vegan who loves gardening—has a counter-message for the president’s critics: Prepare to whine in misery for another six years.
OC WEEKLY: How do you view most Republican politicians?
BILL HUNT: They say one thing to get elected and almost always do the opposite in office. I gave up on the Republican Party a long time ago. I’m a conservative.
What is Barack Obama’s place in history?
A feckless orator who was all symbolism and no substance.
Which Trump moves have delighted you most?
I love him rolling back Obama’s EPA regulations, bringing back jobs, changing America’s image on the world stage and undoing bad trade deals. He’s also stocking the federal bench with conservative, constitutional judges. Bye-bye, Roe v. Wade!
How did you get interested in politics?
I favored Jimmy Carter in 1976 as a high-school freshman but quickly learned that was a mistake. Carter embarrassed the U.S. with the Iranian hostage crisis, the botched rescue attempt and gas rationing. In January 1981, I was stationed at an airbase in West Germany when the hostages arrived [within hours of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration]. We were proud to be American soldiers that day.
Who has been the least offensive Democratic Party president?
Harry Truman was a military man who fought in World War I and, upon assuming the presidency, had the courage to order the atomic-bomb attacks on Imperial Japan, which was then a fanatical society much like today’s Muslim extremists.
What must Trump do next?
Build the wall, secure the border and protect our people from an illegal-alien invasion that has lasted for decades under both feckless parties.
Who is to blame for the Charlottesville riots?
Eight years of Obama sowing racial discord and undermining police. That led to notoriously intolerant, liberal groups, like those hooded antifa punks who feel empowered to try to silence conservative speakers with violence. In Charlottesville, people who are just as wacko as antifa responded to violence with violence. And somehow Trump is a racist? This is just a modern-day version of the Democratic Party’s last group of hooded cowards, the KKK.
What inspired your 2017 Dr. Seuss spoof?
After Trump took office, I watched an endless line of liberal commentators lamenting his election and the words of Dr. Seuss played in my head: “I do not like him on a boat; I do not like him with a goat. I do not like him here or there; I do not like him anywhere!” That was the inspiration for A Lib I Am! An Adult Reader About Children. It’s a parody of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham that lampoons the liberal left’s hysteria over Trump and is available at amazon.com.
Your retired father, a former high-ranking cop, backs Trump but cringes at his abrasive style.
He’s hung up on decorum. I don’t care what Trump says; I only care about what he does.
How do you view the Russian election-interference scandal?
Of course, the Russians are going to try to interfere. They’re the fricking Russians! The Russian-collusion-with-Trump issue, however, is a joke.
If the Trump campaign assigned you to sell his presidency to a room of progressives, what would you say?
Three beautiful words: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. The stock market is at an all-time high. And he is correcting trade imbalances with our so-called allies. What’s not to like?
Was it hypocritical of Trump to have campaigned on an “America first” theme, even though he manufactured his own products in places like China and Vietnam?
The system was rigged against doing business in America. While he was in business, his duty was to make a profit for his companies. He didn’t like dealing with China over American companies but was forced to. That’s why as president he’s changing trade agreements.
When you challenged Sandra Hutchens for sheriff at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in 2010, you voiced support for a group that alarms liberals, Oath Keepers.
It’s a nonpartisan group whose mission is to encourage people in law enforcement, the military and elected office to uphold their oaths. I know—radical stuff, huh?
Will Republicans maintain entire control of Congress after the November elections, and will Trump win a second term?
Yes, and yes. The same people predicting a blue wave predicted Trump had no path to an electoral college win. He clobbered all of them.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; earned six dozen other reporting awards; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; featured in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.