Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

When Presidential Character Once Mattered

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Here’s why I did not vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan—despite their records.

1944: Sorry, I am not voting for a fourth term for Franklin D. Roosevelt. He’s a vindictive character and has brought disrepute into the White House. When he didn’t get his way, he pouted and tried to pack the Supreme Court. When critics went after him, he threatened them with targeted regulations and taxes to silence them. He signed the order putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps—another one of his “executive orders” that he so often has abused.

Then there are those rumors. Have we ever had a president who used his own daughter as a conduit to conduct an affair while in the White House? And who knows what Eleanor was doing at the time? Why hide the truth about his health? Anybody who sees or hears the president, knows his army of conspiratorial aides are lying about his ailments as they always do. We’ve known all along that he was paralyzed—and not simply partially disabled, when his braces and aides staged his standing up to make us believe he could almost walk.

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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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