Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

From An Angry Reader:

I have heard your act numerous times, mostly on the John Bachelor show, and I find it tiresome.

 

You really need to spend more time on your “idyllic” farm and not venture out into reality.

 

Times change, places change, and people change, but you will not change or cause change.

 

I am a California native, born in San Francisco and raised in Los Altos, so I have seen, firsthand,

 

the decline in California and especially the Bay Area during my 66 years.

 

I cannot argue with many of your observations, but much of what you say is not unique to

 

California.

 

The opioid crisis is but a symptom of a much larger national problem.

 

That problem being that many capable, working age persons have given up on working and are

 

merely leading lives of ignorant dissipation at increasing rates.

 

They have fundamentally given up on life and are just marking time until their sad lives end.

 

The worst part of this death spiral is that there is no end or improvement in sight.

 

No government leaders can come up with a solution to this problem.

 

The U.S. is headed down the road to second class status in the World and there appears no

 

solution or national will to reverse things.

 

Nothing said by you and your ilk will change this. The toothpaste has simply left the tube.

 

Maybe you would do better to adopt my philosophy.

 

That is that I grew up during a golden time in both California and the Bay Area and that no one can

 

take my fond memories away from me.

 

Let the newcomers squabble over the crumbs while I am looking beyond California and what it has become.

 

They will never know what you and I know having grown up in one of the best areas on Earth.

 

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

 

Dear Angry Reader Kevin Curtin,

 

You need to define what you mean by “you and your ilk.” And if you find “it tiresome,” there is no penalty in turning the channel. Otherwise, I find your angry reader note not so angry, but somewhat incoherent. Is your criticism that I fault present leadership, suggest changes, and lament the trajectory of California downward—when I should just accept it and lament the consequences?

 

In a nutshell, massive amounts of unprecedented wealth in a few coastal enclaves—the result of globalization and high-tech Silicon Valley—and epidemic interior poverty (the result of massive illegal immigration and flight of the middle classes out of state) have created two states that are ungovernable as one.

 

Otherwise, I agree we can retreat to the monastery of the mind to remember a lost California that once worked.

 

Victor Davis Hanson

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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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