Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Assault on the Capitol Has Let Loose the Electronic Octopus

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Two days after the 2020 election, a defiant Kathy Griffin retweeted the notorious picture of her holding a prop that looked like the bloody head of a decapitated Donald Trump. Earlier last year, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted out a call to his followers to destroy Israel. Both tweets passed the censorship rules of Twitter’s 20-something judges in San Francisco.

In contrast, Trump has been banned for life from Twitter and barred indefinitely from Facebook. Twitter said in a statement that it excluded Trump “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The president had called for thousands of his followers to assemble at a massive Washington, D.C., rally protesting the results of the election. Splinter groups broke off from the massed protesters. Some stormed into the halls of Congress. Social-media platforms canceled Trump after he urged his followers — albeit “peacefully and patriotically” — to go protest at the U.S. Capitol, where the mayhem followed.

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Is the Wisdom of Homer Immune to Cancel Culture?

Victor Davis Hanson // The Patriot Post

Amid the current hysteria of toppling statues and renaming things, we keep mindlessly expanding the cancel culture.

We are now seeing efforts to ban classics of Western and American literature. These hallowed texts are suddenly being declared racist or sexist by preening moralists.

Or, as one Massachusetts high school teacher recently boasted on social media, “Very proud to say we got the Odyssey removed from the curriculum this year!”

Proud?

Over 20 years ago, John Heath and I co-authored “Who Killed Homer?” We warned that that faddish postmodernist race, class and gender theories — coupled with narrow academic specialization — was killing the formal discipline of classics in universities.

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Defenders of Civilization?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

The year 2020 witnessed a long series of writs lodged against an America beset with plague, quarantine, recessions, riot and arson, and the most contested election since 1876.

What was strange was not so much the anarchist Left’s efforts in the present to wipe away the past to recalibrate our Animal Farm future. What was odder were both the absurdities of the complaints against American civilization, and the unwillingness or inability of Americans to rebut them and defend their own culture.

Demonizing Our Past

In just a year, thousands of memorials and icons have vanished. Names have changed, words are banned. Careers were ruined. As new totalitarian rules were enshrined, old freedoms became despised.

Yet most of the country sat in lockdown quiet, as it was told that it, and its history, were toxic and culpable—and by whom exactly? Moralists like Labron James? Steve Kerr? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

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A Guide to Wokespeak

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

With the rise of the Left inevitable over the next two years, the public should become acquainted with the Left’s strange language of Wokespeak. Failure to do so could result in job termination and career cancellation. It is certainly a fluid tongue. Words often change their meanings as the political context demands. And what was yesterday’s orthodoxy is today’s heterodoxy and tomorrow’s heresy. So here is some of the vocabulary of the woke lexicon.

“Anti-racism.” Espousing this generic compounded -ism is far preferable to accusing particular people of being “racists” — and then being expected to produce evidence of their concrete actions and words to prove such indictments.

Instead, one can pose as fighting for “anti-racism” and thereby imply that all those whom one opposes, disagrees with, or finds distasteful, de facto, must be for “racism.”

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Victor Davis Hanson: After 2020 election – here’s how to keep track of upside-down world of media and politics

Victor Davis Hanson // Fox News

After Nov. 3, the meaning of some words and concepts abruptly changed. Have you noticed how new realities have replaced old ones?  

Media cross-examination of the president is now an out-of-date idea. The time for gotcha questions has come and gone. Why ask a president whether he is a traitor or a crook when you can focus on his favorite flavor of milkshake or compliment him on his socks? 

The old pre-election truth was that new vaccines take years to develop. The new postelection truth is that it’s no big deal to bring out new vaccines in nine months. 

Impeaching a first-term president after his first midterm election – on a strictly partisan vote, for political reasons other than the Constitution’s “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” – is now a terrible idea.   

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What Will Historians Make of Our Annus Horribilis?

Victor Davis Hanson // Townhall

The year 2020 is now commonly dubbed the annus horribilis — “the horrible year.” The last 10 months certainly have been awful.

But then so was 1968, when both Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. The Tet Offensive escalated the Vietnam War and tore America apart. Race and anti-war riots rocked our major cities. Protesters fought with police at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A new influenza virus, H3N2 (the “Hong Kong flu”), killed some 100,000 Americans.

But an even worse 2020 saw the COVID-19 outbreak reach global pandemic proportions by March. Chinese officials mislead the world about the origins of the disease — without apologies.

Authorities here in the U.S. were sometimes contradictory in declaring quarantines either effective or superfluous. Masks were discouraged and then mandated. Researchers initially did not know how exactly the virus spread, only that it could be lethal to those over 65 or with comorbidities.

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Target: America

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

China sounds giddy at the ending of the Trump presidency. Before COVID-19, it was locked in a likely lose/lose trade war with the U.S. The American corporate world was finally starting to complain that its once easy profits in joint-ventures were now being gobbled up by an increasingly voracious China.

The Left, for all its hatred of Trump, nonetheless after 2017 grew more vocal over the Chinese gulags, the Tibetization of Hong Kong, and Beijing’s Orwellian internal police state. Too many Chinese spies had popped up at the pinnacles of American power, whether erstwhile chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein’s chauffer, or, as we now learn, House Intelligence Committee member Representative Eric Swalwell’s something-or-other frequent associate, or among the Biden, Inc. clique.

With Trump the disrupter apparently gone for now, China is anxious to return to the prior global status quo — and its exemptions for systematic patent and copyright theft, dumping, currency manipulation, huge trade surpluses, and coerced technology appropriation.

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Where Did the New Mad Left Come From?

Victor Davis Hanson// National Review

Bouts of extreme leftism are frequent in history. Plato’s Apology, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, and Vladimir Lenin’s What Is to Be Done? — all offer us insight into the mind and methods of the hard Left.

America has experienced surges of mainstream anarchism, socialism, and communism, most profoundly during the late 19th century, amid the Great Depression, during the Soviet-American alliance of World War II and afterward, and in the 1960s. But rarely have these radical movements openly and without apologies made such inroads into and inside government and the establishment as during the past decade.

We had earlier seen massive rioting, looting, and iconoclasm, similar to the chaos of summer 2020. But seldom did they continue with the de facto approval of mayors who restrained the police and turned their downtowns over to virtual occupiers setting up “autonomous” zones. Nor had we see seen city councils defund police operations. New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio and Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan were not so much hard-Left Democrats or socialists as they were anarchists who ceded control of parts of American cities to other anarchists.

We cannot recall any district attorney in memory who simply declared that an entire array of crimes no longer existed, and that those convicted of them would be let loose on the public. Yet Los Angeles County district attorney George Gascón recently announced that his office will not be charging anyone arrested for making criminal threats, possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia possession, being publicly intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, loitering to commit prostitution, resisting arrest, or a host of other crimes.

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Strategika #69: China and the Pandemic

Remedies For China’s Role In The Pandemic

Please read a new essay by my colleague, John Yoo in Strategika.

The more we learn about the origins of the coronavirus, the more the case against China grows. Chinese doctors and scientists encountered COVID-19 patients as early as November 2019, but Beijing suppressed their efforts to research the virus and warn the world. While the emergence of vaccines holds hope for an end to the pandemic, the campaign to hold China to account, however, is only beginning.

Read the full article here.

China Deliberately Spread The Coronavirus: What Are The Strategic Consequences?

Please read a new essay by my colleague, Gordon G. Chang in Strategika.

“It comes from the lab, the lab in Wuhan, and the lab is controlled by the China government,” claimed Dr. Li-Meng Yan, the virologist who fled Hong Kong, in a “Loose Women” interview in September. “This virus is not from nature.”

Read the full article here.

Will The Covid-19 Pandemic Confound Or Enable China’s Strategic Ambitions?

Please read a new essay by my colleagues, Robert G. Kaufman in Strategika.

Will China’s negligence unleashing the coronavirus and mendacity exploiting it catalyze a reckoning with the PRC, comparable in significance to the Czech Coup of 1948? And will it crystallize long-term American determination to contest China’s scheme to supplant the United States as the world’s preeminent power?

Read the full article here.

Our Brave New Biden World

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

America traditionally has not reinvented reality after an election, although prior presidential winners have often tried, as in the fashion of our politics. But the new powers of social media, Silicon Valley, and a woke media have made reality-changing now a reality.

Suddenly Antifa and BLM have all but disappeared from their heroic barricades. Where and why did they go? Did they ever really exist?

Mysteriously, a week or two before the election, the flood of violence in our major cities began downsizing to a tiny trickle. How strange that former angry throngs are now in nearly suspended animation. Are all those black kneepads, helmets, and umbrellas now in closets? Are all those whiny Pajama Boys on the barricades back teaching in their Zoom classrooms, or taking their college Zoom classes in their parents’ basements?

What changed? What in the world convinced committed revolutionaries to cease their long march to revolutionary justice?

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