Two of my favorite writers on politics, culture, and history are Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton. Both men have long bios — here is Hanson’s. Here is Thornton’s. I have read many of their books, and every one I’ve read I recommend. Their columns are just as worth reading, even in the crowded arena of commentary that currently exists.
The two men happen to be good friends. I suspect they’ve discussed the presidential race a good bit over the past year. Not surprising to me, both arrived where I expected them to be in the general election — seeing imperfect reality clearly and making the right call.
Here are excerpts from recent posts by Victor and Bruce:
Whatever his faults, a Trump victory is preferable for the Republic
By Victor Davis Hanson
Seasoned Republican political handlers serially attack Donald Trump and his campaign as amateurish, incompetent, and incoherent. The media somehow outdid their propaganda work for Barack Obama and have signed on as unapologetic auxiliaries to the Hillary Clinton campaign — and openly brag that, in Trump’s case, the duty of a journalist is to be biased. We have devolved to the point that a Harvard Law professor teases about unethically releasing his old confidential notes of his lawyer/client relationship with Trump. Conservative columnists and analysts are so turned off by Trump that they resort to sophisticated metaphors to express their distaste — like “abortion,” “ape,” “bastard,” “bitch,” “cancer,” “caudillo,” “dog crap,” “filth,” “idiot,” “ignoramus,” and “moron.”
Some of them variously talk of putting a bullet through his head given that he resembles, or is worse than, Caesar, Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin. Derangement Syndrome is a more apt clinical diagnosis for the Right’s hatred of Trump than it was for the Left’s loathing of Bush. Had such venom been directed at leftists or minorities, the commentators likely would have lost their venues.
Mysteriously, each time he hits rock bottom, Trump — even before his recent “pivot” — begins a two-week chrysalis cycle of inching back in the polls to within 2 or 3 points of Clinton. Apparently Trump represents something well beyond Trump per se. He appears to be a vessel of, rather than a catalyst for, popular furor at “elites” — not so much the rich, but the media/political/academic/celebrity global establishment that derides the ethos of the middle class as backward and regressive, mostly as a means for enjoying their own apartheid status and sense of exalted moral self, without guilt over their generational influence and privilege.
Read more: National Review
Here are paragraphs from two of Thornton’s recent articles.
The False Comparison of Trump to Hillary
Unveiling the false equivalence.
By Bruce Thornton
In short, Trump has been accountable to the bottom line. Hillary has been accountable to the people. Trump has succeeded in his job; Hillary has failed abysmally at hers. Making the two equally unpalatable to the principled voter is making a false equivalence between two different kinds of public life.
Perhaps Trump’s flaws would make him a bad president. But other presidents who had flaws equally distasteful––such as Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, or Bill Clinton––managed to do some good things as president regardless. With Trump there’s at least a chance he could turn out to be a better president than his bluster and insults suggest. Hillary, on the other hand, has a long public record of using her position for personal gain, and putting her ambition ahead of her responsibilities to the country she supposedly serves. Her role as First Lady was marked by bungling health care reform, indulging silly fantasies of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” and allowing herself––an “I am woman hear me roar” feminist––to be publicly humiliated by her satyr husband while attacking his victims. Her tenure in the Senate lacked any substantive legislative achievements, and her stint as Secretary of State furthered Obama’s destruction of America’s global influence, power, and security from Syria to the South China Sea.
The November election is not a choice between two equally bad candidates. It’s the moment when we reject the candidate who we know, based on her long public record of corruption, lying, and grasping for power and wealth, will take us further down the road to political perdition.
Read more: FrontPageMag.com
* * * * *
Trump’s Words, Hillary’s Deeds
And the media’s glaring double standards.
By Bruce Thornton
What I find more fascinating is the inconsistency of Trump’s Republican critics. The Donald’s crude rhetoric apparently disturbs them more than Hillary’s long catalogue of policy mistakes and abuse of power. As PJ Media’s Richard Fernandez suggests, too many Republicans are content to be the hapless Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, while the Republican base wants to see a real basketball game played by the same rules for both teams.
[T]he attacks on Trump are based on style, the impressions created by his crude, unfiltered statements. “Words matter,” critics constantly preach, and they assume that his bombastic pronouncements are necessarily indicators of future policy. Indeed, words do matter, but in a democracy, as Demosthenes repeatedly warned the Athenians, “All words, apart from action, seem vain and idle.” Deeds matter much more than words. Talk is cheap, particularly coming from politicians and diplomats. Have Trump’s critics forgotten Barack Obama’s seductive “no red state, no blue state,” racial-healing rhetoric in 2008? Did those words matter? Only for camouflaging his true intentions, which his actions as a community organizer, Illinois State Senator, and U.S. Senator had made abundantly clear. With Trump, the relationship of rhetoric to action at this point is unknowable.
Read more: FrontPageMag.com
Image credit: www.frontpagemag.com.