Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

From an Angry Reader:

Dr. Hanson,

Years ago, especially right after 9 / 11, I enjoyed your essays on NRO. One piece I especially liked was your column, in late 2001, titled (if memory serves), “I’m Glad We’re Not Fighting Us.”

Pardon my brusqueness, but what the hell has happened to you?

You’ve turned into a babbling, incoherent “Trumpkin,” in my view.

Look…President Trump may well turn out to be the worst President in US history. The “word on the street” here in DC is that he might resign by the end of the year. Don’t believe me? Google “Sarah Palin 2009” or check out FiveThirtyEight’s recent article on Vice President Mike Pence.

C’mon, dude…get your intellectual “mojo” back and get off this bizarre Trump idolatry.

You’re way better than that.

Take care,

Daniel Weir

Washington, DC

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Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Daniel Weir,

Thank you for your angry reader post.

I do not think anything happened to me.

In summer 2016 we were confronted with two candidates. One was more conservative than the other and far more likely to make conservative executive branch and judicial appointments; the other was committed to a four-year extension of the eight years that had seen the debt double, GDP never rise to 3%, zero interest rates, a foreign policy in shambles (Iran deal, Libya bombing, failed reset with Putin, needless withdrawal of peacekeepers from Iraq, ISIS, Chinese aggressions, etc.), and identity politics and racial and ethnic tensions at an all-time high. The result was that the Democrats under Obama lost 1,100 elections, and now are a minority in the state legislatures and governorships, the House, the Senate, and hold neither the presidency nor the Supreme Court.

To quote yourself, “what the hell happened with you” not to see what Obama did to your party? Do you think Pajama Boys, Black Lives Matter, foul-mouthed politicians, a Tom Perez, Kathy Griffin, and Steven Colbert, Occupy Wall Street, and storming campuses are really going to convince those in Flint and Youngstown that Democrats are for the working classes? Those with nasal accents in Silicon Valley and Dupont Circle should not be running a national party, whatever their wealth and connections.

Hillary Clinton, running on her loathing of the “deplorables” and “irredeemables,” and facing a spate of scandals (email server, Clinton Foundation quid pro quos, sweet-heart speaking deals, etc.) assumed she could xerox Barack Obama’s identity politics blueprint; she could not and lost (in the logic of identity politics, she may have been a pandering progressive, but she was still a 69-year-old white woman).

What is hard to understand about that? And given FiveThirtyEight’s record in predicting a sure-thing Trump loss in 2016, why would I believe them or the majority of polls that assured us that Hillary’s “blue wall” was not in danger?

The chances of a Trump resignation are zero; the Republicans have won four straight House special elections. And the Trump agenda on energy production, conservative appointments, restoration of deterrence abroad, deregulation, and immigration reform move ahead. If he gets Obamacare and tax reform, he will be difficult to beat in 2020, should he run.

Again, “pardon my brusqueness [Daniel] but what the hell has happened to you”: after 9/11 you seemed to have been empirical; now you seem to be a captive of your emotions and groupthink.

You are better than that.

Take care,

Victor Hanson

Selma, CA

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

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.

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