ASPEN An Aspen Times opinion column has sent ripples of glee through the community of politically conservative thinkers around the United States. The column has raised hopes for the defeat of a leading Democratic candidate for president and for a resurgence of putative American values and beliefs.The column, The Redneck Tree-hugger by Gary Hubbell, was titled, In election 2008, dont forget Angry White Man, and was intended as a paean to the feelings, frustrations and alienation felt by an entire class of American males.As the column reaps nationwide exposure for its author, it also is generating enough online comments from readers that it slowed down response time on the newspapers website.It was cited on the nationally broadcast radio show of Neal Boortz, and at length on the Sean Hannity syndicated radio show Monday. It also was read in its entirety by conservative standard-bearer Rush Limbaugh on his Tuesday morning syndicated radio show.Hubbells words apparently have ignited the imaginations and passions of conservative citizens all over the U.S., specifically in their opposition to the presidential bid of Hillary Clinton and generally in their unhappiness over certain aspects of current American culture.It had attracted more than 400 comments on The Aspen Times website as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, believed to be more than any other article or column the paper has ever published.Published in the Feb. 10 Aspen Times Weekly, it is all about what Hubbell believes is the outrage felt by a segment of the American electorate that is not getting enough attention from politicians.The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard, wrote Hubbell, formerly of Marble, Colo., and a columnist for The Aspen Times since the mid-1990s.Hubbell, who has been monitoring the reaction via The Aspen Times website, said by telephone Tuesday that he also has been contacted at home.The phones been ringin, he said, adding that all of the comments he has received personally have been supportive and laudatory.One website comment, for example, read as follows: Superbly written!!!!! I heard Rush Limbaugh reading this article today on his radio broadcast. I jotted down the date & source of the article, and knew I had to find it when I arrived home. I thoroughly enjoyed it in my car and I will enjoy reading it many times over. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you ... it made my day!Other comments, which are anonymous, have not been quite as complimentary.For example, one person wrote, Hubbells article could have been titled Dont Forget the Dinosaurs. Angry white men? Please ... The article is replete with code words for people who are racist, who are sexist, who are homophobic, who are intolerant and who pose as defenders of family values yet support an unjust war and a President who never served. Im an angry white man and Im angry at the intolerant bigots who Hubbell postures as real men.Hubbell, 45, and the father of two young boys, while clearly pleased by all the attention, said he is not actually the person he has described in his column.Some of it is me my personal background and feelings, he said. But mostly, he continued, it was meant to describe people hes known, such as the 400 or so elk hunters for whom he has worked as a hunting outfitter over the past eight years. Every one of them despised Hillary Clinton, he recalled of this group, noting that he specifically modeled the column on the sentiments of a golf pro he knows who lives in the valley, Dave Alvarez, who currently is working at a golf resort in California.Dave Alvarez is the original Angry White Man, Hubbell said, describing him as a Vietnam veteran who flew numerous missions as a door gunner on an Army helicopter.Hubbell distanced himself somewhat from those he described in his column, noting that he did not vote for President George Bush in either 2000 or 2004, and that he disagrees with many of the beliefs held by such men, particularly in the area of environmental issues.But, he said, the column clearly touched a nerve among people who are almost in fear of losing their constitutional rights through political correctness and who were amazed that a liberal publication such as The Aspen Times would even publish such a column.He said he has not been invited to appear on any national conservative talk shows, but added, I think the momentum is building. Its unbelievable to me where this column has gone.He said his sons are excited by it and his wife, Doris, is supportive, but she also knows that the trash needs to be taken out.Expressing a hope that the notoriety of the column may provide a boost to his career as a freelance writer, Hubbell said, I think I can read the thoughts of the average guy a lot better than some politicians. I guess theres a feeling in the country that people are not being heard.Online readers might have had difficulty accessing The Aspen Times website Tuesday after Limbaughs broadcast, when a spike in traffic slowed the sites operation.Anyone who hasnt yet read Hubbells column can find it by typing www.aspentimes.com/hubbell into their Web browser.
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