Bruce Herschensohn, RIP

Sad news of the passing yesterday of Bruce Herschensohn, long time conservative activist, documentary filmmaker, and commentator in California. I got to know him a bit in the mid-1980s when he was a commentator on a local TV news program in LA (paired up for nightly debates with former Democratic Senator John Tunney—see the promotional ad below), and then when he ran for the Senate in 1992, losing narrowly to Barbara Boxer while running a million votes ahead of President George H.W. Bush. (In the TV ad below, which aired during the GOP primary that year, Bruce attacks his liberal Republican rival, Tom Campbell.)

I suspect if you had asked Bruce what one word he’d have wanted used to describe him, he’d have unhesitatingly said, “Anti-Communist.” Foreign policy was his main interest, and in later years our paths crossed again at Pepperdine University, where he as a fellow at the same time I was teaching there, offering lunchtime seminars full of history lessons going back to his time as an aide to President Nixon. Among other matters, Bruce never wavered in his support for the Vietnam War, arguing in this brief video for Prager U that the blame for the ultimate defeat in Vietnam owed entirely to the cowardice of the Democratic Party, to the great shame of the United States.

Bruce was a very kind and friendly person. While TV viewers saw him in fierce debates with John Tunney on TV, Bruce told me that he and Tunney had become good friends, and that he was personally fond of Tunney.

They don’t make ’em like Bruce any more. RIP.

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