Loyal reader and frequent Commenter “Other Bill” sent me this essay by conservative writer Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Intstitution, with the note that it is “Probably as close as you will get to what you’ve been looking for.” I think he’s correct, but since what I’ve been looking for is a single rational reason to vote for Trump, and Hanson’s essay consists of irrational beliefs, rationalizations, terrible logic and skewed values that many Republicans will adopt, it is like sending someone searching for a unicorn this…
It’s interesting but disgusting, and not what I’m after.
Hanson’s piece begins…
If Donald Trump manages to curb most of his more outrageous outbursts by November, most Republicans who would have preferred that he did not receive the nomination will probably hold their noses and vote for him.
How could that be when a profane Trump has boasted that he would limit Muslim immigration into the United States, talked cavalierly about torturing terrorist suspects and executing their relatives, promised to deport all eleven-million Mexican nationals who are residing illegally in the U.S., and threatened a trade war with China by slapping steep tariffs on their imports?
A number of reasons come to mind.
Hanson has already invalidated his essay at the outset by material omission. If the items he mentioned were the only reasons to oppose Trump, his subsequent arguments might make sense….well, more sense than they do. But to even try to list the reasons Trump is unfit is to understate the case. In addition to what Hanson mentions,
- Trump reduces all debates to ad hominem attacks, which would degrade the standard for all debate, culture wide, with devastating effects should he become President.
- He has advocated the virtues of bribery, while mocking the virtue of integrity.
- He sees nothing unethical about conflicts of interest.
- He has endorsed the use of doxxing to retaliate against critics, indicating his disregard for privacy and confidentiality.
- He endorses vengeance.
- He is a misogynist, a sexist, and a sexual harasser.
- He has lied repeatedly, and then lied about lying.
- He refuses to apologize even when he has been exposed as engaging in reckless wrongdoing.
- He has refused to engage in serious study of the issues, preferring instead to improvise answers to policy questions, showing laziness and a lack of seriousness.
- He is a clinical narcissist, meaning that he is unstable and suffering from a crippling personality disorder.
- All of the individuals he has appointed to represent him in the media have been exposed as incompetent, indicting Trump’s judgment as well as his claim that he’ll “appoint the best people.”
- He has endorsed the views of white supremacists.
- He is incapable of giving a dignified, articulate, coherent speech.
- He does not understand the difference between rationalizations and ethics.
- He has no military experience.
- He has no government experience.
- He would probably be the least intelligent President in U.S. history. (There are a few we could have a legitimate argument about. Those Presidents, however, had other virtues Trump not only doesn’t have, but doesn’t care about.)
Is there more? Of course there is more…much more. Pages and pages more. Hanson gives five policy-based reasons to object to Trump, plus the fact that he is “profane.” (This is equivocation: Trump isn’t just profane; he is vulgar, boorish, undignified and crude.) That’s misleading. That’s deceit. That’s how the supporters of Hillary Clinton, if they were Trump supporters, would falsely try to mislead critics.
Here are Hanson’s “reasons” that “come to mind”—I may not be able to resist an occasional bolded remark before I’m through quoting—: Continue reading
No doubt about it: the longer comments have an edge when it comes to getting Comment of the Day recognition. Quantity isn’t quality, of course, but these special reader-composed musings constitute both useful elaborations and extensions on the themes raised in the original essay, and also a chance for me to recognize and reward the thoughtful people who make Ethics Alarms a colloquy rather than a one-man megaphone.
It is a the height of irony that my recent post about the fall-off in traffic here of late has generated more comments and traffic than almost any other May post. It also generated two fascinating comments in succession about objectivity and political orientation by prolific commentator Humble Talent. I have combined them: The comment began in response to Beth, who wrote in part, “Maybe you will start attracting a more moderate or left of center audience. I would love to see positions here debated by people on both sides of the aisle. Increased civil discourse is never a bad thing.” Here is HT’s Comment of the Day on the anxious post, A Brief Message From The Ethics Bunker: