Victor Davis Hanson

Category Archives: Gop

Our Neutron Bomb Election

 by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The shells of our institutions maybe survive the 2016 campaign, but they will be mere husks.

The infamous neutron bomb was designed to melt human flesh without damaging infrastructure.

Something like it has blown up lots of people in the 2016 election and left behind empty institutions.

After the current campaign — the maverick Trump candidacy, the Access Hollywood Trump tape, the FBI scandal, the Freedom of Information Act revelations, the WikiLeaks insider scoops on the Clinton campaign, the hacked e-mails, the fraudulent pay-for-play culture of the Clinton Foundation — the nuked political infrastructure may look the same. But almost everyone involved in the election has been neutroned. Read more →

The Case for Trump

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Conservatives should vote for the Republican nominee. Donald Trump needs a unified Republican party in the homestretch if he is to have any chance left of catching Hillary Clinton — along with winning higher percentages of the college-educated and women than currently support him. But even before the latest revelations from an eleven-year-old Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump crudely talked about women, he had long ago in the primaries gratuitously insulted his more moderate rivals and their supporters. He bragged about his lone-wolf candidacy and claimed that his polls were — and would be — always tremendous — contrary to his present deprecation of them. Is it all that surprising that some in his party and some independents, who felt offended, swear that they will not stoop to vote for him when in extremis he now needs them? Or that party stalwarts protest that they no longer wish to be associated with a malodorous albatross hung around their neck?

Read more →

The So-Called Trump Supporter/Defender/Endorser

The Corner
The one and only.
 by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
I think we at National Review have to be very careful in blanket condemnations of Trump “endorsers,” “supporters,” “defenders,” and scare-quote “conservatives” as if they were a monolithic group of mindless extremists or utter fools. Many or perhaps even most, who for years have supported National Review, did not support Trump in the primaries. Many saw the Trump phenomenon not as melodrama, but as tragedy — given eight years of Obama, the sense that the so-called “rules” are not applied equally to an elite in Washington, the past failed centrist campaigns of McCain and Romney, the perceived inability of the Republican party to address open borders, staggering debt, Obamacare, and the trajectory of social extremism, along with the ineptness of what had been billed as — and what we thought would certainly be — an especially gifted Republican primary field. Into that void, Trump barreled in with searing heat where in the past sober and judicious light were perceived to have failed. The rest is history.
The challenge for Republicans — whatever the election result and to the extent that it is fixable — will be to bridge the gaps between the diehard Trump core, the so-called conservative media and political establishment, traditional-minded independents, and the conservative base. Key will be discovering what were the conditions that created Trump (especially that undeniable strain of supporter that saw losing with Trump as preferable to possibly winning with a more marketable Republican candidate), both the candidate and the message, and the avoidance of self-righteous disdain that will only be perceived as the sort of elitism that empowered the Trump phenomenon in the first place.
Many National Review readers (as well as those who we all hope will return to NR) are hardly fanatics in their support for Trump. Their common bond is a deep and existential fear of what four, and likely eight, years of Hillary Clinton will do to the country on top of eight years of Obama’s hard progressivism. It is sometimes true that they overlook Trump’s glaring flaws, most recently his gross language, and that has and will have more consequences, but mostly they are frustrated with the double standards of the Left, which poses as morally superior on matter of gender, sex, and feminism, and yet has had for a half century no problem, for political reasons, canonizing the fatally negligent Ted Kennedy or the serial sexual groper, philanderer, and perhaps sexual assaulter Bill Clinton.
Finally, it would be wiser before rather than after the election to seek common ground. And one way to do it is to be careful in all but writing off millions of conservative voters and thousands of loyal National Review readers who will vote Trump as somehow beyond the pale, and whose support, and the expansion of that support, are essential to finding ways of unifying conservatives.

The Tenth Life of Donald Trump

  by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review Online
By seizing control of Sunday night’s debate, he steadied his faltering candidacy — a bit. The Sunday debate recalibrated the moribund Trump candidacy. It will not end this week. The stampede and groupthink calls for his resignation will ease. Trump might have lost the debate on points of detail, but by the end of hour one, he had won it on energy level and audacity.
No one has ever spoken so bluntly to Hillary Clinton in her 30 years in politics. The confrontation was long overdue. In an either/or race, Trump at least reminded the audience that he is running as a refutation of the status quo. Hillary still bores with the idea that Obama’s record is fine and her continuance of it will make things even better.
Trump, as the teenage delinquent, was at times, as expected, repetitive and brash. Hillary, as playground monitor, was characteristically off-putting, sanctimonious and disingenuous. At one point she foolishly explained her advocacy of being duplicitous by comparing herself to a supposed two-faced Abe Lincoln. Pulling Old Abe down to pull yourself up is not a good idea. Nor is referring voters to “fact-checking” at her own website! And there is something now surreal about Hillary’s promises to get tough with Putin, after she cooked up that ridiculous stunt of a red “reset” button in Geneva in 2009, while subsequently caving on almost everything the Russians wanted.

Read more →

Trump, Politics, and Our Sexual Schizophrenia

 Conservatives should know better than to so quickly validate a dishonest narrative that benefits the other side.


A few minutes into Sunday’s debate Donald Trump’s decade-old crude sexual banter with a reporter from an entertainment show was mentioned by the CNN moderator. Donald again apologized for the comments, and Hillary immediately pounced on Trump’s misogyny, throwing in his alleged racism and Islamophobia. To his credit, Trump ignored her slurs and attacked her record. When Democrat loyalist Martha Raddatz pressed on, Trump let loose with a powerful contrast with Bill’s record of abuse––which Hillary side-stepped.

Welcome to another debate on everything except the issues. Consider the reporting on Trump’s comments, which is the mother of all dog-bites-man-stories. I don’t know what cocoon you have to come from not to know that every single day millions of men––and women–– of all ages, races, and sexual persuasions exchange vulgar, crude banter about sex. And you’d have to be particularly dumb, or duplicitous, to be shocked that a New Yorker with a flamboyant and braggadocios personality who is involved in casinos, reality television, construction, and beauty pageants probably would do so on a regular basis. Or, if not dumb, then a partisan hack indulging in rank hypocrisy in order to gain political advantage. Welcome to another episode of America’s political hypocrisy and sexual schizophrenia. Read more →

It’s not hard to find California Trump voters, if you know where to look

By Victor Davis Hanson // Los Angeles Times

About 18 million of California’s 40 million residents are registered to vote. Most polls show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by between 20 and 25 percentage points. Trump will be lucky if he can do better in California than John McCain (36%) and Mitt Romney (37%) fared in the last two presidential elections.

Still, if polls represent the general — voting and nonvoting—population, then some 14 million Californians of all ages want Trump to win — a far greater number than found in most die-hard red states. They resemble Trump supporters elsewhere, but they seem even angrier, in part because they are an emasculated political minority.

As a man in a Prather foothills supermarket recently told me when I asked about his Make America Great Again cap, “They need to see that lots of us aren’t like them and don’t like what they’re doing.” “They” and “them” he could define in a lot of ways: state bureaucrats, California elites who never experience the consequences of their advocacies, or the open-border activists who damn the very culture they insist on joining.

It’s not hard to find Californians who feel this way — if you know the regions where to look.

Twentieth-first century “California” has become a misnomer. In truth, there are not one, but two quite different Californias, defined by both geography and mindset. Read more →

Hillary’s Neoliberals

Some Republicans have cultural and political affinities that are pulling them away from Trump and toward Clinton.

By Victor Davis Hanson //National Review Online

Trump vs. Trump

Can Trump get out of the trap of running against himself?

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

A Convention of the Absurd

The Democratic Convention was an exercise in absurdist theater.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Ten Reasons Why Trump Could Win

With four more months until Election Day, be prepared for chills and spills.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
%d bloggers like this: