Commentary magazine editor-at-large Norman Podhoretz, once a staunch opponent of President Donald Trump and much of what he campaigned on, described how he slowly changed his mind on immigration, Trump and a host of other issues, in a revealing interview published this week.
Speaking with Claremont Review of Books’ Charles Kesler, the 89-year-old Podhoretz, father of writer John Podhoretz and one of the chief intellectuals behind the rise of so-called neoconservatism, vehemently “disliked” Trump when he first announced his candidacy. But as time went by and events unfolded, his mind slowly began to change, as did his friendships with former neoconservative fellow travelers, whose intransigence soon “disgusted” him.
It didn’t take long for Podhoretz to go from anti-Trump to “anti-anti-Trump.”
“As time went on, and I looked around me, however, I began to be bothered by the hatred that was building up against Trump from my soon to be new set of ex-friends. It really disgusted me. I just thought it had no objective correlative. You could think that he was unfit for office — I could understand that — but my ex-friends’ revulsion was always accompanied by attacks on the people who supported him. They called them dishonorable, or opportunists, or cowards — and this was done by people like Bret Stephens, Bill Kristol, and various others. And I took offense at that. So that inclined me to what I then became: anti-anti-Trump.”