Historian’s Corner: Assessing America in the Age of Woke

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Part Two


The Left has atomized traditionalist American culture. Campus curricula are designed to indoctrinate and graduate cultural Marxists. Society itself is already seeing the result in a general decline in services and professions as the academic quality of college graduates continues to erode. When we get official government notices, or talk to bureaucrats or read of public policy, we expect such communications to be incoherent rather than just weaponized, the work of high-schoolers not of college graduates. Twenty-something BA holders who are as arrogant as they are ignorant do not bode well for the country over the next 50 years.  

In response, half the nation lives in a monastery of the mind—ignoring professional sports, turning off most network news and increasingly network entertainment, avoiding going to the movies, staying clear of college campuses, relying on home-schooling, charter and parochial schools, listening only to select podcasts, shunning the major cities, detouring around blue states and counties, keeping quiet about politics, increasingly arming, moving to red counties and states, not reading the major newspapers, and bonding with family and similarly minded friends. We have not seen such hardening geographical separatism since the Civil War and you readers understand the perilous implications for the nation better than I.

But note: few Leftists anymore are moving to New York, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, or Minneapolis. Many progressives are quietly riding out the insanity within their own ranks or thinking of moving to a place that will not implement their own crackpot theories. They know Leftism is a nice boutique distraction that can enhance restaurants and produce fine wines, funky small shops, and good bed-and-breakfast inns—as long as there are enough traditional adults (whom they will vote against) still to run the government. Heaven for a leftist is to reside in a leftwing community in a red state. Hell for a conservative is to be in a red county stuck in a blue state.


In terms of race, a strange bifurcation is occurring. 

Black, Latino, and Asian elites are increasingly becoming radicalized. And they are promoting issues that their own traditionalist constituencies do not necessarily support—from transgenderism and green mandates to critical race theory, reparations, open borders, radical abortion, and mandatory woke re-education training. For example, the Asian-American majority knows that when the elderly walk alone in a city like San Francisco or New York, the danger of an anti-Asian hate crime will more likely come from an African-American than a white male. And they know that their own loud, activist leadership, for purposes of its careers and psyches, will insist on just the opposite. Ditto the phenomenon with Jews being attacked not by “white anti-Semites” as they are lectured, but by Hamas supporters and largely those with Middle Eastern backgrounds.

Mexican-American of three generations in America know that open borders allow dangerous gang bangers into their communities, crowd out the advanced-placement curricula in their neighborhood schools, and make the use of swarmed government services far more difficult—even as their leaders, seeking a reenergized dependent immigrant constituencies, insist that border security is “racist.”

This class division among Democrats is growing. Mirabile dictu, it occurs even as the Republican Party is focusing on the working classes of all races. The result is that while Republicans are losing the corporate and intellectual “elite,” they are winning over a lot of working-class Democrats, Hispanics, and Asians, and achieving some small gains among blacks—all worried about energy costs, high taxes, crime, and borders. If these bipolar trends were to accelerate, the Democratic Party will continue to become the home of the very rich but culturally become estranged from half of minority America. 

The unknowns are twofold: will the Democrats reset and try to win back the working class, and will the Never Trump/Lincoln Project/Bulwark/McCain wing take back the Republican Party led by Ben Sasse and Mitt Romney types? I don’t see either happening.

The Classicist: The Roots of Left Ideology and Its Detritus

Victor Davis Hanson // Art19 and Just the News

Join Victor Davis Hanson and cohost Jack Fowler, and find out how racist are the anti-racists, how citizenship should replace the Left’s racial tribalism, how Marx and Freud developed the two most destructive ideas of the 19th century, and how the new bureaucratic power is producing a cynicism not unlike that in Eastern Europe about 1955.

Victor Davis Hanson speaks at Hanford Rotary

Donald A. Promnitz // The Sentinel

Author and historian Victor Davis Hanson visited Hanford to discuss the social and political lessons learned from 2020.

Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairs the Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict. He is also a professor emeritus at Fresno State and a visiting professor at Hillsdale College.

Speaking at Glad Tidings Church on Tuesday night for the Rotary Club of Hanford, Hanson discussed the response to the pandemic, the death of George Floyd and the Jan. 6 riot and what he identified as their exploitation to push for more control and to silence dissent. He also spoke on the topic of “cancel culture” and its potential consequences, saying that anyone could be “one word away” from destroying their careers. 

If you’re a teacher, administrator, you own a small business, somebody can walk in your business and say, ‘I heard him say a word,’ and put it on the internet … and you’re done for,” Hanson said. “Or somebody can go through your high school yearbook, speaking to somebody from Selma High School and find things in there if they want to.”

Read the full article here

A Chinese Lab Virus? So What Now?

Ureem2805, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

For over a year, the American establishment and media borg have ostracized anyone who dared to connect the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Chinese military-sponsored, level-4 biosafety Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Then, suddenly and without apologies for their past demagoguery, “journalists” and “experts” concede that the nearby Wuhan lab may well be the most likely genesis.

Why the abrupt change? 

Donald Trump is no longer president. 


The Traditionalist: All the Lies and Pretense

Victor Davis Hanson // Art19 and Just the News

Victor Davis Hanson and Jack Fowler talk about Toobin’s folly, Fauci’s fraud, Biden-Harris diplomacy, and the price of Trump derangement syndrome. Does the new American right have an answer to all the dissimulation?

Historian’s Corner: Assessing America in the Age of Woke

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Part One

Wokism took off in June 2020. It became institutionalized after Joe Biden became president. We have now had nearly five months of the radical Biden political agenda to seep through the larger popular culture. So where are we now in this suddenly strange and nearly unrecognizable land?


For all Biden’s socialist talk, so far the Trump deregulation and tax cuts are still in effect. Their fumes should fuel a short recovery boom, given pent-up demand and post-Covid mania to eat out, to travel, to splurge, and to buy. Eventually, most Americans will leave their home lotus-eating pads and re-climatize back to work.

Continue reading “Historian’s Corner: Assessing America in the Age of Woke”

Anatomy of the Woke Madness

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Wokeism has become our most popular secular religion—at least for a moment dethroning climate change. It reduces all of the past and present into puerile binaries between “whites” and “non-whites.”

Its aim is for the present generation to rewrite our history—whether by The 1619 Project and cancel culture or iconoclastic statue-toppling and Trotskyization of names and places. Wokeism becomes a child’s morality tale of noble non-white victims versus villainous white victimizers. Erasing the past and its language supposedly fuels a recalibration of the future, all in the here and now, a holy Year Zero

In the process, wokeism has done a lot of damage to America, and will do even more if left unchecked. Here are its chief characteristics.