Think back to how you felt reading the first two paragraphs of this piece. If it was anything like I did typing them, you were likely overwhelmed more by a sense of grief and discomfort than by anger. Reading about Hunter and his family’s pain is unpleasant and evokes feelings of pity, despite its self-inflicted nature. Moreover, his cashing in on his father’s political career is unsavory to be sure, but the lack of evidence implicating his father and the dearth of a history of committing serious crimes related to deceit and national security differentiate Hunter Biden’s exploits from those of Hillary Clinton.

The Trump campaign’s decision to make Biden a centerpiece also took away valuable oxygen that could have been used in far more productive ways. Trump’s path to victory is an issues-oriented election, not one based on the character of the two major-party candidates. The American people have already decided what they think about these two men; Biden will win the empathy gap every single time. Trump’s strength lies in his record: a string of foreign policy successes, a booming pre-coronavirus economy, a sane energy policy, a promise to continue to treat China as the geopolitical rival that it is. A campaign that made the Andy McCarthy case for the president would have been far more successful than the one that has relied upon Rudy Giuliani and a wayward soul like Hunter Biden.