Comment from an Angry Reader:
Donald Trump’s campaign statements have consisted of proposals including, but not limited to:
Violation of the NATO treaty by threatening to withhold assistance from allies based on alleged financial discrepancies;
Ordering the US Military to commit first-degree murder of non-combatant civilians (“take out the families” of suspected terrorists) — a war crime in violation of the Geneva Conventions;
Commandeering private and public property in Iraq; specifically, the seizure of their oil fields, pumping equipment, and crude oil — in other words, “pillaging” of conquered territory, which is another war crime in violation of the Geneva Conventions;
Violation of Amendment One of the Constitution (freedom of the press) – specifically, threatening prosecution against journalists who publish information with which he disagrees;
Violation of Amendment One (freedom of religion) – specifically, requiring Muslim-Americans to carry identification cards listing their religion;
Violation of Amendments Five and Six – specifically, trying American Citizens via Military Commissions at Guantanamo, Cuba detention facility;
Utilizing the Justice Department as a tool of personal vengeance, including the unprecedented and reprehensible threat to jail his opponent if he should be elected.
The above conduct, were Trump to be elected and follow through on these proposals, would comprise a minimum of seven separate, actionable offenses, including Violation of International Law; Breach of Ratified Treaty; Defying the US Constitution; and Abuse of Presidential Power.
This list does not even touch on his not-illegal but nonetheless shocking displays of racism; his slightly oblique (but certainly successful) exhortations to violence at several of his campaign rallies; and his boasting of, and history of, sexual predation upon women.
A person who votes for a candidate whose campaign rhetoric indicates willingness, even eagerness, to break the law is either insane, hopelessly uneducated, or willingly complicit in the crimes. I’d say that multiple-choice array gives a pretty good clue as to where you stand.
I have long restrained myself from using the “F” word when it comes to a number of the farther-right politicians and commentators in this country, figuring that reasonable minds can disagree.
No more. Not this time. Not with this candidate, and not when you write something like this:
“… if he were to win, he might usher in the most conservative Congress, presidency, and Supreme Court in nearly a century.”
Knock off the feeble attempts at subterfuge. You don’t mean “conservative,” and we both know it.
You are a fascist. And drowning people in would-be-Buckley word avalanches of self-justification, and hiding behind a variety of fake palliatives like economic arguments does not hide that.
You have no scruples whatsoever to back such a man.
I suggest you consider writing your future columns under the pen name of Philippe Pétain.
Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:
Dear Angry Reader Tom Edwards:
It is always enjoyable to read an unprincipled and emotional leftist rant that suggests the moral high ground as the requisite excuse for descending into the swamp of calling someone a fascist.
I have many disagreements with both Hillary supporters and NeverTrump Republicans—and Trump himself, but I don’t question their motives: if you prefer a liberal agenda, then by all means vote for Hillary and swallow her criminality; if you find Trump too vulgar and inexperienced, then simply do not vote for him. Neither is a fascist position. Nor is voting for him the lesser of two evils.
The adolescent angry reader is incapable of such disinterested views.
He also engages in projection (in the order he presented his “charges”):
Freedom of religion: Trump was quite wrong in his initial statement to ban entry from the war-torn Middle East on the basis of religion (although Christian Middle Easterners are less likely to be ISIS operatives); he was certainly correct, however, to use locale as a criterion (curtail all immigration for everyone from Syria, Libya, Iraq, etc. until we can properly vet applicants). On the topic of religious liberty, remember how the Obama administration sought to force the Catholic “Little Sisters of the Poor” to include a contraceptive clause in their health care plans contrary to their religious beliefs? The Podesta trove, likewise, reminds us how the Left sought to undermine the Catholic Church which it wrote off as medieval. Trump has not predicated relief for the dying (re: Haiti) on a contractor’s past contributions to the Clinton Foundation. He has not horse-traded with the FBI, hoping to have documents reclassified in exchange for space at US embassies abroad.
On murder: Hillary Clinton (“I don’t recall…”) as Secretary of State according to more than one witness pondered the possibility of droning ( = assassinating) Julian Assange—but only when his Wikileaks project was damaging her own campaign. Barack Obama, remember, joked about droning possible suitors of his daughter. Funny stuff, blowing up someone from above?
On the 1st Amendment: a video maker was jailed by the Obama administration on the trumped up charge of inciting a riot abroad (proven false); AP reporters had their communications tapped by Eric Holder’s Justice Department. It is now apparently banal (Politico’s Glenn Thrush: “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u”) for journalists to send their stories first to the Clinton campaign to have them approved or for an operative to leak debate questions to the preferred candidate. “Equal Protection Under the Law” has become satire when one compares the criminal prosecutions of high-ranking military officers for leaking sensitive documents, after the Hillary immunity for doing far more damage.
Violation of American citizens’ rights: I think droning an American citizen is a bit harsher than interrogating one at Guantanamo. As far as citizens’ rights, the abuse under Lois Lerner at the IRS was aimed at denying US citizens’ their free speech rights.
Personal vengeance? Does the author remember the bullying tactics of press coordination with the White House of JournoList? The jailing of Dinesh D’Souza? Nakoula Basselely Nakoula?
The author is incapable of comparing the agendas of the candidates and making comparisons (in this particular election) between their positions on the issues; instead we resort to the subjunctive mood to worry what Trump might do when we know what Clinton has done.
As far as the other boilerplate: Trump campaign rallies? Maybe I missed the story of the resignation of Trump goons (frequent White House visitors?) who confessed to trying to stage riot and violence at Clinton rallies? I deplore racist language, but remember unfortunately the president’s “typical white person,” and Hillary’s 2008 appeal to “white Americans,” and the Harry Reid/Joe Biden discourse about “clean” blacks without “negro” accents.
The law? This administration had broken the law with executive orders nullifying current immigration statutes, by allowing 300 entities to declare themselves “sanctuaries” immune from ICE jurisdiction, or to reorder creditors in bankruptcy laws; but that is minor in comparison to subverting the government email system, ranking times for personal appointments by payoffs, or divvying up federal contracts on the basis of donations.
In sum, the author believes like Hillary Clinton that half of those with whom he disagrees are “deplorables,” and it is just such sanctimoniousness that leads to the sort of constitutional abuse witnessed during the last 8 years and throughout the Wikileaks trove. “Knock off the subterfuge:” you are not liberal-minded, merely confused, sadly uniformed—and strangely quite emotional as well.
I feel quite sorry for you. I mean that sincerely as well.