Not-So-Swift Smear

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

I recently wrote about a number of retired high-ranking generals and admirals, none running for office or currently serving in the Trump administration, whose strident criticisms of the present elected president were setting an unfortunate precedent.

Many disagreed. There are certainly arguments to consider on both sides. But rarely have I read an attack that is wholly disingenuous, so poorly written as to be incoherent, and mostly adolescently ad hominem, of the sort leveled by one Jim Swift of the Bulwark.

Swift says I am a hypocrite (“hypocritical criticism wrapped in a history lesson”) for criticizing current strident political attacks on an elected president, given that I had not previously objected to Generals Mattis, Kelly, and Flynn serving in the Trump administration. (“So much for keeping the military out of politics.”)

But surely even Swift can see the difference between a retired general serving in a government and a general blasting a president while in retirement and not in government. Mattis, Kelly, and Flynn probably all have differing political views. They did not necessarily serve the Trump administration to advance their own or Trump’s political agendas; perhaps they aimed to serve the country if so asked.

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