A Sit Down with Roger Hedgecock Part IV: The Nanny State, Father Joe’s Villages, Giving Back to Our Military

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This is the fourth and final part of my interview with San Diego’s Roger Hedgecock, nationally syndicated talk show host. He is heard locally on KOGO 600 AM. You can read Part I of my interview with Hedgecock here. You can read Part II here. You can read Part III here.

A major theme on Hedgecock’s talk show is the government’s micro-regulation of virtually every aspect of life.  I asked him about the micro-regulation and what he believes the purpose of this is:

I used to believe that do-gooder people had a good heart and simply wanted to make things better using the mechanisms of government. I don’t think I’d want go back, for instance, to a time when we didn’t inspect meat plants (laughs). Obviously I believe that government has a role in health, safety and welfare. That’s why those phrases are in the Constitution. I think now the left has seized upon this American idea that we can make things better and used it as a means of control.  Control is how they get power and how they get money. That is their ladder to success. So they want to control everything. They want control the salt in your restaurant meal, the hand sanitizer content.  This is really what they are really saying: “There is nothing that exists or that you do or that is around, that we can’t make better by interfering with it and demanding that you do it our way.”

My optimism is that there is a tipping point for every American. At some point they are going to say, “No, I am not a free person if you are able to do that. There is no freedom. Land of the free, home of the brave, I’m sorry. It doesn’t exist if you can do that: if you can take my farmer’s market and tell them that they can only sell federally approved food that is licensed by the federal government.” Somewhere in any of these scenarios, you’re going to get more and more and more people going, “No, you’re right, that goes too far.” As we mobilize those people, and that’s what the Tea Party is all about, people finally saying, “No, no, no, we have had enough of that.” I always ask my listeners, “Had enough government yet?” I’ll give these little examples. “Had enough government yet?”  I want them to say themselves, “Yeah, I have.” Then I say OK, here’s what you need to do, because the answer is “yes.”  Like jiu jitsu, you can use the force of your opponent against them. Now that they have come forward and clearly made it apparent to everybody that control is more their goal than doing good… and as more people realize that, that energy is going to turn around and wipe those people out of office.  I think 2010 was the beginning of that.

Hedgecock does a lot of work with charities and non-profits.  I asked him to talk about ones with which he is currently involved:

Primarily, I have done two things in the last 25 years. One of them is Father Joe and the homeless (Father Joe’s Villages). The reason is that Father Joe is a private sector, faith-based approach to the homeless problem and it works. So I am trying to drive private dollars to Father Joe to show that we don’t need government. In fact, if we had government involved in homeless relief, we are just going to have nothing but permanent homeless.  Father Joe’s programs get people a suit and clothes, dental work, training, psychological help, whatever is needed… to get somebody on his feet and into a job interview. That kind of stuff is really what we ought to be doing. So make good, independent, productive citizens out of the homeless. A certain number of them you are never going to be able to do that with. Father Joe is so patient, he takes these people, no matter what the background is, and he works with them. Maybe he fails a certain number of times. But a certain number of times he also succeeds, and they succeed. I find that to be a wonderful alternative to the government type programs that don’t work. (Read more about Father Joe at the end of this post)

The second big category is the military. I started Home Front San Diego. I am working now with the Spirit of Liberty Foundation on this cross country trip with Jeeps painted like American flags. We are going to raise money per mile from people. It’s going to go to wounded warriors and their families. I just spend a lot of time with the military folks. I am going to emcee the USO dinner coming up, going to raise a lot of money for USO.  Those are my two main things.

I followed up by asking Hedgecock what motivates him to be so involved with these non profits:

de Tocqueville found this to his amazement coming from France. One of the things about America that is absolutely unique:  We do more than is expected of us. And when we do, things work out great.  We have the widest, most incredible variety of ad hoc citizen organizations. Service clubs have quite a history  of course, going way, way back a hundred years or more. Every community has a community group doing this and doing that, around the Boy Scouts and around the Girl Scouts, thousands of other examples–unique to our society. No other society has that. They expect institutions to do those things. Government, church, military… We don’t. We expect to do it ourselves. So this is why I am doing this. It’s just natural for me to do it. This is what I am. I am American.  I choose to focus on things that I think need to be done in the community–and I am not waiting for somebody else.

Roger Hedgecock was extremely gracious, and even thanked me for coming by his office to interview him. Our conservative warrior is a quick and sharp-witted gentleman who is ready to go to battle. We are lucky to have him on our side, and in our city.

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Today is a fitting day to pay tribute to Father Joe Carroll. After 30 years serving neighbors in need in San Diego, Father Joe Carroll has announced his retirement as CEO of Father Joe’s Villages and its partner agencies, effective April 12, 2011. As President Emeritus, Father Joe will focus on fundraising.

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