Ric McCluskey: Is Angela Burks Hill Mississippi’s Manchurian Candidate?

Ric McCluskey

     For those familiar with the story of this nation’s most notorious turncoat, Benedict Arnold was a highly admired military man who supported the American cause for the majority of his career. It was never quite clear as to why he betrayed his country. Was it anger or frustration caused by his inability to advance his professionally which he blamed on others? Was it greed that took over his better judgement? We may never know. However, many conservative Mississippians, from around the state, may tell you that the last 36 hours have provided a modern day “Benedict Arnold” and she sits in the state senate.

     Just like Arnold, Senator Angela Hill was a staunch supporter of liberty and the principles of our Founders. In 2014, she was one of the handful of senators that openly endorsed conservative State Senator Chris McDaniel in his bid for the US Senate against Thad Cochran. She would often be at his side at events and speak for him when needed. She was a passionate and rock solid conservative voice who was known not to back down from a fight. Then like Arnold, for reasons unknown, Senator Hill began to drift away from the side of liberty and toward the power brokers of the state. Yesterday, this shift was on display for all to see.

     A thread on Hill’s Facebook page began to circulate. She had posted an old, edited video clip of District 108 candidate for House of Representatives, Tavish Kelly, where she confused what he said as to mean he was an “anarchist”. Her caption discussed how this means he does not care for the flag, veterans, law enforcement, etc. It confused many around the state as to why she would do this because both Kelly and Hill have been so involved in the conservative movement for years.

     The most pressing question was why would she blatantly mislead the voters against a friend who has supported her so much in the past when she knew the things she said were patently wrong? As the story unfolded, it became painfully evident and the truth was a bitter shot of betrayal for the liberty movement of this state.

     It didn’t take long to figure out who exactly Hill was supporting. After a closer examination of her Facebook page, her endorsement of Stacy Wilkes was found. Wilkes is known by many in the state as a paid staffer on the left leaning, Thad Cochran’s campaign against… no other than Senator Hill’s friend, Chris McDaniel.

     Wilkes political resume is littered with her efforts to keep the Establishment in their position of power, which keeps the people of the Liberty Movement (a movement that gave Hill her political name) out of office and truly hurts the state. Rumors had circulated in the past that Hill had been persuaded by LtGov Tate Reeves to “start playing ball” with the big boys in Jackson or she will not be back after her next election. Lines became even more blurred when she supposedly fought to defeat a Constitutional Carry bill in the shadows while claiming that she supported it. Yesterday provided more understanding to what is an increasingly disturbing transformation of what was thought of as one of the “good ones”.

     After hundreds of people from across the state to include Trump supporters, Libertarians, Republicans and many more, came to her page to express their frustrations, Hill used what has become her “social media safe space” which is block and delete any dissent instead of having to face the heat. Things only got increasingly bizarre and angering as she followed with another post labeling all of the conservatives that were voicing their displeasure as “liberals”. The accusation was odd because they were simply trying to defend small government. Then she said that she “stands by everything she has said” and if conservatives cannot “run with the big dogs”, they can stay on the porch. The obvious irony is blocking people (who were your supporters) and also changing privacy setting changes on the post is not exactly “standing by what I say”.

     The parallels between Hill and Benedict Arnold held true to the end while offering an interesting plot twist.

     Ironically, Arnold’s greatest contribution to the cause of independence may well have been the reaction he engendered after his plot was foiled. Conveniently using Arnold as a foil, the colonists reaffirmed their support for the cause. The renewed enthusiasm for the independence struggle culminated in the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 which was a turning point for the fight against the Crown.

     After yesterday’s attack from Hill, Tavish Kelly’s Facebook page started trending and donations started coming in even more. People who didn’t know Kelly, do now. One Republican elected official, who wants to remain anonymous because of Hill’s obviously reckless attacks, has said that he personally knows 6 voters, in District 108, that were supporting Wilkes but this motivated them to research Kelly and subsequently support him.

     Is it possible for Conservatives to forget this before Senator Hill’s reelection campaign? If history is any indicator, the grassroots, limited government side does not let acts like this go. Endorsing the very people you claim to be standing against, while simultaneously slandering a candidate that is  a known champion for small government, doesn’t seem like the path to glory. However, “Benedict Arnold” is a name that will forever live in infamy. Only time will tell if Mississippi conservatives hold Angela Hill’s name in the same regard. 


“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.”

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