Sidney Hook, the prominent liberal anti-communist philosopher, once formulated a rule for debate: "Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they may legitimately be impugned, answer his arguments."

SHARE Unfortunately, Donald Trump's critics have not respected that rule. Indeed, one of the things that strikes me most about the debate over the new President's Russia policy is its vicious nature, especially on the part of those who claim the moral high ground.Words like "stooge", "puppet," and "Manchurian" are tossed about freely and with little in the way of supporting argument. The charges seem perfectly circular. "Why does Trump support detente with Russia?" Because he is Putin's puppet. How do you know he is a puppet? Because he wants detente with the Russians." Unfortunately, Donald Trump's critics have not respected that rule. Indeed, one of the things that strikes me most about the debate over the new President's Russia policy is its vicious nature, especially on the part of those who claim the moral high ground.Words like "stooge", "puppet," and "Manchurian" are tossed about freely and with little in the way of supporting argument. The charges seem perfectly circular. "Why does Trump support detente with Russia?" Because he is Putin's puppet. How do you know he is a puppet? Because he wants detente with the Russians." Unfortunately, Donald Trump's critics have not respected that rule. Indeed, one of the things that strikes me most about the debate over the new President's Russia policy is its vicious nature, especially on the part of those who claim the moral high ground.Words like "stooge", "puppet," and "Manchurian" are tossed about freely and with little in the way of supporting argument. The charges seem perfectly circular. "Why does Trump support detente with Russia?" Because he is Putin's puppet. How do you know he is a puppet? Because he wants detente with the Russians."