Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Questions

From An Angry Reader:

If you publish my letter on your website, it may best be placed in the “Angry Reader” category. I only agree with you 10 percent of the time, but I’m not angry. You are one of the two or three best conservative commentators, in my view.

Three questions and one observation:

1) Who is the currently serving U.S. Representative, Senator or Governor that you most admire?

2) Who is the left-wing writer or commentator that you most respect? (The lefty VDH, if you will.)

3) The most negative word I’ve seen you use to describe the current President is “uncouth”. So, what level of uncouthness would disqualify a man from this office? In other words, if his policies meet your approval, is it “anything goes” for you, in terms of a candidate or office-holder’s personal behavior?

Observation: I’ve noticed that when one of your readers criticizes DJT, you acknowledge the complaint, then quickly pivot to a “Dems/progs are worse” argument. Valid or not, this line of reasoning lends some of your writings a certain repetitive nature, verging on boring.

 Thanks from one who wishes to remain anonymous.

_________________________

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Anonymous Angry Reader,

Ten percent agreement is better than none. Here are your answers:

1) I admire freshman Senator Tom Cotton and Rep. Devin Nunes.

2) Hmmm—left wing commentator? In terms of traditional Democrats, I think it would be Joel Kotkin and Walter Russell Mead.

3) What uncouth behavior would separate Trump’s message from Trump the messenger to such a degree that I would withdraw support? Perhaps if Trump 1) had sexual relations in the Oval Office bathroom with a young female intern assigned to him, and then lied about it and smeared her; or 2) I learned that Trump approved the sale of 20% of U.S. uranium holdings to Russian interests while in office, even as his wife got huge honoraria from the Russians and his foundation suddenly found itself showered with gifts. If he invites a rapper into the White House whose ankle bracelet goes off, I’ll give him a pass.

Citing an Obama parallel is not the logical fallacy known as “tu quoque” (you too) for two reasons: I do not rely on “Obama (etc.) did worse without media worry” alone, but only employ it to show the uneven current press coverage and the bias inherent in their reporting (80% negative according to the Shorenstein Center)—along with empirical arguments that have nothing to do with comparative culpability.

Well, I have been writing columns since 2001, often more than three a week. So the aggregate is now approaching some 2,500 or more, so some repetition is natural?

Anonymous

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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