Victor Davis Hanson

Category Archives: Obama Administration

Sanctimony, Inc.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Time was, leftists complained of rigged elections, the media paid attention to dirty tricks, and conservatives cared more about results than rhetoric.
Donald Trump, in characteristically muddled and haphazard fashion, said he thought the election might end up “rigged” (if he lost). Therefore, he would not endorse the November 8 result if he found that fear confirmed — unless, of course, in Jacksonian fashion, he managed to win.
All hell broke loose, from both the Left and principled conservatives, that Trump’s allegations had somehow undermined the American electoral process itself.
Not likely.

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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?

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America’s Civilizational Paralysis

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Idea

Image credit:Barbara Kelley

The Greek city-states in the fourth-century BC, fifth-century AD Rome, and the Western European democracies after World War I all knew they could not continue as usual with their fiscal, social, political, and economic behavior. But all these states and societies feared far more the self-imposed sacrifices that might have saved them.

Mid-fifteenth-century Byzantium was facing endemic corruption, a radically declining birthrate and shrinking population, and the end of civic militarism—all the last-gasp symptoms of an irreversible decline. Its affluent ruling and religious orders and expansive government services could no longer be supported by disappearing agrarians and the overtaxed mercantile middle class. Returning to the values of the Emperor Justinian’s sixth-century empire that had once ensured a vibrant Byzantine culture of stability and prosperity throughout the old Roman east remained a nostalgic daydream. Given the hardship and sacrifice that would have been required to change the late Byzantine mindset, most residents of Constantinople plodded on to their rendezvous with oblivion in 1453. Read more →

The Next President Unbound

There is reason to worry about both candidates abusing power as president, because Obama and the press normalized executive overreach.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Construct of the White Working-Class Zombies

Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ have their antecedents in Obama’s ‘deplorables.’

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

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 →

A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall

World events seem relatively calm, but repeated appeasement has built up pressure across the globe, and someone has to be there when crisis erupts.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

America’s Versailles Set


During the last days of the Ancien Régime, French Queen Marie Antoinette frolicked in a fake rural village not far from the Versailles Palace—the Hameau de la Reine (“the Queen’s hamlet”). “Peasant” farmers and herdsmen were imported to interact, albeit carefully, with the royal retinue in an idyllic amusement park. The Queen would sometimes dress up as a milkmaid and with her royal train do a few chores on the “farm” to emulate the romanticized masses, but in safe, apartheid seclusion from them.

The French Revolution was already on the horizon and true peasants were shortly to march on Versailles, but the Queen had no desire to visit the real French countryside to learn of the crushing poverty of those who actually milked cows and herded sheep for a living. It is hard to know what motivated the queen to visit the Hameau—was it simply to relax in her own convenient and sanitized Arcadia, or was it some sort of pathetic attempt to better understand the daily lives of the increasing restive French masses?

The American coastal royalty does not build fake farms outside of its estates. But these elites, too, can grow just as bored with their privileged lives as Marie Antoinette did. Instead of hanging out with milk maids in ornamental villages, our progressive elites, at the same safe distance from the peasantry, prefer to show their solidarity with the dispossessed through angry rhetoric.

Take the case of Colin Kaepernick, the back-up quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who makes $19 million a year (or about $20,000 per minute of regular season play). He has been cited by National Football League officials in the past for his use of the N-word, yet he refuses to stand for the pregame singing of the national anthem because he believes that his country is racist and does not warrant his respect. His stunt gained a lot of publicity and he now sees himself as a man of the revolutionary barricades. A number of other NFL athletes, as well as those in other sports, have likewise refused to stand for the national anthem to express solidarity with what they see as modern versions of the oppressed peasantry. But Kaepernick and his peers make more in one month than many Americans make in an entire lifetime. Still, for these members of the twenty-first-century Versailles crowd, the easiest way of understanding the lives of the underclass is expressing empathy for them for no more than a minute or two. Read more →

Never Never Trump

The Republican dilemma

By Victor Davis Hanson //National Review Online
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