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Reader comment on item: A Reluctant but Unhesitating Vote for Donald Trump

Submitted by W Krebs (United States), Jun 7, 2020 at 15:08

Dear Dr. Pipes:

This is a very well-written opinion, and I thank you for writing it. I do, however, have several comments on the points you make.

Like you, I did not support President Trump in 2016, and the principal reason for this was that I expected him to triangulate between the Democrats and Republicans in the fashion you describe. To this day, I wonder how things might have turned out had the Democrats sought to co-opt President Trump instead of trying to crush him. This seems to me to be an unwitting service that Hillary Clinton performed for the country.

You write that you are relatively indifferent to economic performance in choosing a president. Here, I am diametrically opposed to you. To me, the economic tone of the United States is the cornerstone of American influence; all of your nice ideas about the uses of American power amount to nothing when the economy is weak.

This was, in fact, the first thing I noticed about the Trump administration. When President Trump was inaugurated, the business climate seemed to pick up almost immediately; at least, I saw a perceptible difference, since I was looking for work at the time. I assume that the achievements of the economy under President Trump are, at least in part, things that would have happened in the Obama Administration, if only the institutional Democratic party had a clue about how to manage the economy.

Finally, you talk about the character issue. Allow me to suggest that whatever importance you assign to the question of character, it is not likely that you will be able to assess character accurately in an environment where one party is systematically defamed and the other systematically excused by the institutional media.

To give one instance, you note with disapproval then-reality TV host Trump's remark about grabbing women by the p***y. These are rough words, to be sure. However, what Trump describes in his words are precisely what Vice President Biden has been accused to doing to Tara Reade. Surely, to perform the act is worse than to casually speak about it. Yet, the amount of media attention Vice President Biden has received is a small fraction of the attention devoted to Trump.


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