Bret Stephens’ misguided thinking is on full display in this column. The fatal flaw in his thinking comes when he said “This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness, is to pretend it doesn’t matter. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto G.O.P. motto. ‘Virtue Doesn’t Matter’ might be another.”

That’s badly misreading tons of Republicans’ thinking. The 2016 election was, in terms of integrity, a choice between the lesser of 2 evils. It isn’t that we didn’t recognize Donald Trump’s character flaws. It’s that we noticed that Hillary Clinton’s character imperfections were pretty disgusting, too.

To Mr. Stephens: when I’m left with a choice between a man with character flaws who appoints conservative judges, cuts taxes and regulations and stands up to the DC Swamp, vs. the woman who personifies the DC Swamp and the failed status quo, I’ll vote for the flawed man who appoints conservative judges every time because 7 years from now, we can hopefully elect a man or woman of integrity but we can’t get back those judicial appointments. When I think of Neil Gorsuch, I smile:

This shows why I don’t agree with Mr. Stephens:

Trump is normalizing all this; he is, to borrow another Moynihan phrase, “defining deviancy down.” A president who supposedly wants to put a wall between the U.S. and Latin America has imported a style of politics reminiscent of the cults of Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez.

Seriously? Stephens thinks that President Trump is the same as Hugo Chávez? That’s frightening.

I’ve agreed with a number of President Trump’s policies without hesitation. I won’t say that I’ve always appreciated the things he’s tweeted. Unlike Mr. Stephens, I’m perfectly capable of differentiating between policy and behavior.

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