From an Angry Reader:
I have long been a reader of your essays. I am befuddled by your steady defense – or at least by your stayed hand of criticism – of Donald Trump.
I sense – and share – your glee about the comeuppance that the Democrats received in this past election.
But the rotted and soulless character of Donald Trump concerns me far, far more than any feelings of schadenfreude I feel about the Democrats. His degree of intellectual incuriosity is alarming.
Your kid-glove approach to Trump (especially when those gloves are actually petting him) is surprising and disappointing.
Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:
Dear Angry (Sort of) Reader Loren Thacker,
Donald Trump was not my favorite in the primaries; but once he was likely to win the nomination (April 2016), I simply went to his website and collated his positions with Hillary Clinton’s on sanctuary cities, illegal immigration, defense, foreign policy, taxes, regulation, energy development, the EPA, the 2nd Amendment, the wall, school choice, and a host of other issues. The comparison supported my suspicions that he was more conservative and would not lose the Supreme Court for a generation to progressive massaging of the law, which was inevitable under Hillary Clinton. I think his appointments, Supreme Court pick, and executive orders have supported that belief that he is far more conservative than Hillary Clinton’s agendas. Oh, I came to another conclusion: I initially thought Trump might be the only nominee who would lose to Hillary Clinton; soon, however, I began to believe that he might be the only one who could beat her, given he was the first Republican to campaign in the Lee Atwater-style of 1988 and actually fought back against the WikiLeaks nexus of the media and Democratic Party. Read more →