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Looking forward to an article on Hillary vs Trump

Reader comment on item: What's Trump's Policy on Visas for Muslims?
in response to reader comment: Trump may be open to many of your ideas

Submitted by Jonathan (Japan), Aug 18, 2016 at 11:34

You seem quite confident that Trump will be a disaster for the country and for the conservative movement, and in a perfect world, that would be enough said.

In the actual world, we should ideally give due consideration to whether a Hillary presidency might also be a disaster for the country and for the conservative movement, then compare the two potential disaster scenarios. I would be very interested to see how you assess the relative seriousness of the two disaster scenarios, because simply precluding Trump means opting for Hillary.

I don't think you will approve of Hillary's probable continuation of the Obama administration policies that have been so problematic in Libya, Syria, Iran etc. I anticipate you will be quite critical.

The key question is, with Trump already being the only politician to support your vetting policy, how confident are you that he wouldn't support other policies that you approve of (more than Hillary would). That's a completely different issue from the question of whether you like him or not.

Even if you find that Trump has changed his mind more often than you like (erratic), a key question is whether he has changed his policies and principles more often than Hillary has and more than Hillary is likely to do going forward.

They both have their flaws, as do most politicians, but I think you would agree than Hillary is less likely than Trump to make changes to the many Obama-style international policies that you disagree with. Denigrating Trump is tantamount to supporting Hillary along with a continuation of Obama-style international policies. I don't think that that is your intention.

I hope you will write an article presenting a comparison of the problems you anticipate with a Trump presidency with the problems you anticipate with a Hillary presidency.

In recent history, we have seen two republican candidates -- Goldwater and Reagan -- portrayed by the media as somewhat lacking in sanity, and Reagan, Ford, and GW Bush among others were portrayed as unintelligent and/or senile. I don't think any of them were actually insane or unintelligent, but it is worth keeping in mind that 'intellectual intelligence' can sometimes lead people, including politicians, to non-commonsensical conclusions/policies.

WF Buckley seemed to be referring to this tendency when he said, 'I would rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the Manhattan phone book than the entire faculty of Harvard.' Given your own affiliation with Harvard, you may not be immediately inclined to support that statement, but I think it has a core meaning that is worth pondering more than just momentarily. In other words, the nuanced and diplomatically articulated policies supported by academic consensuses have a certain homogeneity and distance from the real world.
And as evidenced by the peregruzhka/perezagruzhka fiasco, the academics are not actually as sophisticated as they present themselves as being. Certainly some are, but many are just smoothly articulate, even when they are articulating non-commonsensical policies.
Academics have their weaknesses, and less-articulate people are often smarter than they superficially seem. Trump has his weaknesses and strengths. Hillary also. But I don't think there is any basis for expecting her to be savvier in international relations than she has been so far.

For all his flaws, and despite his lack of academic tone, Trump appears to be seeking to shift policies toward the direction of common sense. I think that you also, despite having a very different style, would also like to shift policies in that direction.

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

"I hope you will write an article presenting a comparison of the problems you anticipate with a Trump presidency with the problems you anticipate with a Hillary presidency."

I have taken a first step toward this at http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2016/07/blowback-from-criticizing-trump#tactics

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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