How Important Is Donald Trump’s ‘Character’?

As an ROTC product, I got my infantry credentials in the summer of 1971. The Vietnam War was winding down, and, to my surprise, they didn’t need all us young lieutenants on active duty. So they offered us the Guard/Reserve option if we’d agree to a longer commitment. I took it so that I could stay on track in grad school, and right away I found a mechanized-rifle-platoon-leader slot in a little town about an hour away. Turns out, another officer in our unit lived in my city, so we took turns driving to drill.

A number of Saturday mornings, one young woman or another would come out with him to the car, and we’d drop her off at her place before we headed east. They’d spent an out-of-wedlock evening together at his apartment. I, a young Baptist deacon, didn’t appreciate this lifestyle, but I didn’t express my mutually understood disapproval. And there were other differences. For instance, as a “teetotaler,” I didn’t join him in after-hours beers, when his comb-over would fall awry and his conversational composure would slip a bit. Nevertheless, I liked and admired him.

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