I read about this speech by Tom Klingenstein in an American Thinker editorial by M.B. Mathews:
I recently wrote a column about why I believed Trump should not run in 2024. I was wrong. I allowed my distaste for Trump’s personality to override his virtues, which are considerable. Some people want Trump without his vices. I was among them — until yesterday, when I watched and listened to Tom Klingenstein’s speech titled “Trump’s virtues.” It was masterful and shamed me that I did not make the distinction between Trump’s character and his virtues, the former being deeply flawed, the latter being almost perfect. I need to man up in my defense of the former President’s virtues. The speech was among the most pointed I have heard and deserves some exposure. [. . .]
In 2016, we loved Trump for his outspokenness. But many seem to have changed their minds without cause; Trump is the same today as he was before he was elected. The very things we disdain today are the things that made him the man for our time.
Here it is:
These very things are what the Left hate, yet it is not their favor we need to care about. They will not embrace anyone on the Republican ticket and certainly not one they cannot bully. We need to stop worrying about acceptance of our candidates by the Left or they will have won.
Republicans, however, should not forget that it is his support and the spirit they embrace that have become the life force of the Republican party. Among the talked-about alternatives to Trump I have not yet seen anyone who possesses or even understands Trump’s virtues. Nor have I seen anyone with his backbone and fortitude. One does not appreciate the strength of relentless gale-force winds until one is in the eye of the storm.
…which is exactly where Trump and we are at this moment. We have to prepare for the gale-force winds we will encounter. To not do this is to ignore the lessons of the recent past and it will be forever to our sorrow to ignore them.
His virtue must be the standard by which we judge other candidates.
Amen and amen. We don’t have to like his personality but his virtues far outweigh it. I humbly stand corrected and offer my mea culpa.