How Does One Become Morally Obtuse?

July 22, 2017

I have a letter in today’s (?) New York Times.  It’s in the on-line version, the post is dated yesterday, and perhaps it will be in tomorrow’s print edition (The Sunday Review section). The letter is in a collection of reader responses to various stories about Trump: Trump Critics All Around.  Mine is one of two reacting to a David Brooks column titled Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump that appeared on July 14.  Here’s the letter:

To the Editor:

I appreciate David Brooks’s account of how Donald Trump and his son Donald Jr. were led morally off kilter by their fathers’ examples, but how do we account for the silence of Vice President Mike Pence, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan?

Did their moral obtuseness come from amoral fathers or grandfathers? (I doubt it.) For that matter, what are the wellsprings of moral clarity and courage?

Donald Trump remains president only because the Republican majorities in Congress excuse his behavior by their silence and apologetics.


I’ve had other recent letters in the New York Times:

On February 16, 2017 about Our Polarized Politics, also reacting to a David Brooks column.

On May 4, 2016, regarding A New Foreign Policy Elite.

About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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