Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers


From an Angry Reader:

Dear Mr Hanson

I am an independent who voted for John McCain as a write in

 Your op ed entitled Regime Change by Any Other Name is disappointing.

 POTUS has been involved in more demonstrable falsehoods than any President since Nixon

 He undermines the warnings that President Regan gave us on Russia

 How dare you compare him to Reagan and his foreign policy, Trump is a clueless neophyte.

 He attempted to delegitimize our Intelligence agencies when they reported that Russia attempted to influence the election in his favor , and called them Nazis

 He accused his predecessor of a criminal act and previously of not being born in the US with no evidence

 It appears that he obstructed justice , we shall find out . At worst he sold out his country.

 We who watched him in the NY area for decades know he is a con man , a cheat, and a lawbreaker as well as a womanizer.

 Everyone is against him ? Why do you think that is? Does a true leader heighten the divisions in our country or attempt to unite all of us?

 Regime change? The Constitution provides for just that contingency.

 I regret that we could not have McCain for President.

 I regret that so called Evangelicals supported this morally bankrupt person for President.

 I regret that so called Conservatives carry water for this fake in exchange for a Supreme Court Justice , at any cost.

 Shame on you sir


J. Dubniczki

 Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear J. Dubniczki,

Please calm down and take a breath! Life is far too short to scream it away.

Neither you nor I know whether Trump “has been involved in more demonstrable falsehoods since Nixon.” Have you calibrated and collated them? Obama was forced to admit that his once truthful memoir was largely an impressionistic myth. Do you remember “if you like your doctor, you can…,” etc.? And the commentaries of those such as Ben Rhodes and Jonathan Gruber who chuckled about the endemic deceptions they engaged in?

How has Trump undermined Regan (sic)? Aside from the fact that the Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union, and aside from the additional fact Reagan once proposed de facto a negotiated nuclear disarmament with the Soviets, what evidence do you have that Trump is pro-Russian in deed? Did he dismantle missile defense in eastern Europe, or snooze while Crimea was swallowed up, or do nothing after Russian cyber-attacks, or lecture Romney about his anti-Russian obsessions, or promise to be “flexible” with Putin if he would cool it during the election? Again, please cite an example. Did Trump lift sanctions against the Russians? Did he slash our defense budget? Did he ignore the threat of North Korea?

Also, please produce the Trump quote on the “Nazis.” Again, what you assert is pure emotion and not reasoned analysis. Intelligence agencies likely spied illegally on Americans, unmasked identities, and leaked them to the press—all that predated Trump. Collusion charges are being investigated; the head of the National Intelligence Agency and CIA have both admitted they saw no evidence of Russian-Trump collusion. We await the verdict of Mr. Mueller.

 Of course, Trump is crude and uncouth; I wrote extensively about these character flaws during the nomination process, including his wacky birthism. But that conspiracy theory in part was fueled by Obama himself, who, for example, stated on his own book bio promo jacket that he was born in Kenya, not because he was, but because it sounded multiculturally hip and useful in selling his two-cultures fabulist memoir—in the fashion that Barry Soetero did not resonate like Barack Obama. Trump humiliated himself in taking the bait and conflating Obama’s manufactured sense of identity with some sort of proof that he was Kenyan.

 Once an imperfect Trump was the only alternative to a more imperfect Hillary Clinton, a 51% conservative agenda was preferable to a radically progressive one. Ninety-two percent of Republicans tended to agree and knew Trump was a flawed messenger for an otherwise welcomed message on many issues.

 It is quite shameful to say “he sold out his country” when no investigation has found, after 6 months of intensive research, any evidence that Trump did so, and certainly not on the scale of the Clintons, who in tandem green-lighted a vast sale of 20% of North American uranium to Russian fronts for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s lucrative speaking fees. Are you aware of that dubious behavior?

 “Everyone is against” him is the sort of groupthink boilerplate that characterizes your entire puerile vent. “Regime change” does not refer to constitutional remedies for high crimes and misdemeanors but in popular parlance denotes forced overthrow of a leader, in the fashion of Madonna’s “blow up the White House” reference or the various tropes of assassination/beheading chic we see in the popular media.

I do not end with “shame on you, sir,” but rather feel for you, given you have become enslaved to your emotions and hate. Embitterment is a poor remedy for the tragedies that we all deal with in an imperfect world. I sincerely hope you find a cure for your malady, though it won’t be found in transferring your general frustrations to the election of Donald Trump.

 Get well soon, sir,


Victor Hanson

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About victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

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