An Ex-Liberal Reluctantly Supports Trump Reply

The fellow being profiled in this, historian Fred Siegel, is fairly insightful when he describes the present political conflict as pitting the tech-oligarch/financier/”new clerisy alliance” against the “old bourgeoisie.” Although he’s obviously clueless on certain other things, such as the wider geopolitical and socioeconomic context in which all of this is happening, and is clearly a “special relationship”-firster, as certain comments indicate.

By Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump can count at least one new supporter in this year’s election. “I had a close friend who’d been a business partner of Trump in the ’90s,” the critic and historian Fred Siegel tells me. “Trump ripped off a quarter of a million dollars from him. He told me this when we were discussing the election” four years ago. “Trump just said, ‘So, take me to court.’ I couldn’t vote for him.” Mr. Siegel couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton either, so he “slept through” the 2016 election. Next month he’ll be wide awake—though not woke—and will vote for Mr. Trump.

Joe Biden needn’t worry too much, perhaps. Mr. Siegel, 75, has only twice backed a winning presidential candidate since he reached voting age. But while he’s no bellwether, he does make an energetic case for the incumbent.

Mr. Siegel, a professor emeritus at New York’s Cooper Union and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says he overcame his distaste for Mr. Trump for three reasons. First, foreign policy: “Crushing ISIS, pulling us out of the Iran nuclear deal, moving our embassy to Jerusalem, and making fools of those people who insist that the Palestinian issue is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Second, by his “ability to withstand a prolonged coup attempt by the Democrats and the media,” which started with the Steele dossier: “If I’m saying what I find impressive about Trump, it’s that he’s survived. He has an extraordinary amount of arrogance, egotism, and self-confidence.”

Mr. Siegel’s third reason goes to the heart of his own political philosophy. He sees the president as a champion of “bourgeois values,” under threat from the “clerisy,” Mr. Siegel’s word for the dominant elites who “despise” those values. He regards Mr. Biden as a “captive” of this clerisy, and running mate Kamala Harris as the “embodiment of it.”

I don’t want to see her as president,” Mr. Siegel says of Sen. Harris. “I don’t want a San Francisco Democrat who’s likely to impose elements of the Green New Deal, which she sponsored but lied about sponsoring on television. If Biden wins, she will be president in short order. I don’t know how long Biden will last.”

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