Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

From An Angry Reader:

In your recent article you are off base, friend. Every day that passes proves Trump to be unfit in so many ways.
I figure a Trump believer to be either embarrassingly uninformed or purely hypocritical, willing to push a conservative agenda regardless of flag bearer. No doubt you are the latter…
If conservatism was more about fairness instead of protecting the wealth of the very rich, I might even go for that. Minus the current “leader”, of course.

Stop defending him; you clearly are too intelligent to believe he is worthy.

Bill Sellars

Reply from Victor Davis Hanson:

Dear Angry Reader Bill Sellars,

Is “friend” sarcastic? I don’t recall ever meeting a Bill Sellars. Congratulations, you met one of the angry reader criteria: ad hominem (“you are the latter….”) but are to be commended for omitting the usual exclamation marks, capital letters, and profanity.

In the fashion of Barack Obama’s “clingers” and Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” and “irredeemables,” in your contempt, you are writing off half the country who voted for Trump. I have a number of friends and family members who voted for Hillary, and never resorted to the sort of ad hominem that you and the Left routinely embrace.

No candidate runs solo, but always against someone else. Hillary on every issue—higher taxes, more regulation, restrictions on gas and oil development, open borders, identity politics—was, to paraphrase Obama, on the wrong side of history. She was enmeshed in scandals, shamelessly breaking the law with a private server, destroying documents, trafficking in classified documents. The Wikileaks trove revealed the depths of corruption between her campaign and the sycophantic media. She and her husband had created a net worth of over $200 million, largely by leveraging her political career and offices to earn huge speaking fees, and donations to the foundation, which they manipulated as a source of free travel for themselves and sinecures for their hangers-on. Hillary is “very rich”, and her trajectory started at the beginning of Bill’s Arkansas career, when she leveraged her husband’s governorship to manipulate the cattle futures’ market, earning $100,000 on a $1,000 investment, at odds of over a billion to one.

The “very rich” are mostly liberals. Try looking at counties by per capita income and then look how they voted in the last three elections: your “very rich” are very liberal, largely because they have the capital and income to exempt themselves from the logical consequences of their own ideology. A case in point is socialist Bernie Sanders—with a million-dollar-income, three tony homes, and a wife under investigation for improperly arranging a sweet-heart loan (and she was instrumental in evicting the disabled from the new campus she purchased on her road to bankrupting her college). Why are Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street predominately progressives?

Conservatism is about three things: 1) respect for past traditions and customs and emphases on family, religion, and communities, 2) a growing market economy in which free market capitalism creates wealth that enriches everyone—in which one tolerates some inequality because the vast majority is not poor, rather than one being impoverished like everyone else (cf. Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela,  3) a deterrent foreign policy that believes peace is a dividend of bad people being afraid of the consequences of their natural desire to try something stupid against stronger better people.

The Republican Party is mostly a middle class and upper-middle class party; the Democratic Party is now the domain of the subsidized lower middle classes and poor, and the hyper-rich. It despises the middle class for lacking the romance of the distant poor and the middle classes for their supposedly crass and tasteless culture.

Stop stereotyping: you may be too smart to mouth such ossified liberal talking points.

Vic 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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