President Franklin Delano Obama Addresses the Threat of 1930s Violent Extremism

Imagine Obama as an American president in 1939.

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

“The United States has made significant gains [2] in our struggle against violent extremism in Europe. We are watching carefully aggressions in Czechoslovakia, Austria, and in Eastern Europe. My diplomatic team has made it very clear that aggression against neighbors is inappropriate and unacceptable. We live in the 20th century, where the 19th century practice [3] of changing borders by the use of force has no place in the present era.

“Let me be perfectly clear: Mr. Hitler is playing to a domestic audience. He adopts a sort of macho shtick, as a cut-up in the back of the class who appeals to disaffected countrymen. Our task is to demonstrate to Mr. Hitler that his current behavior is not really in his own interest, and brings neither security nor profit to Germany.

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Class, Race, And Illegal Immigration

Photo via Hoover.org

Photo via Hoover.org

by Victor Davis Hanson // Peregrine

The driving forces behind three decades of de facto non-enforcement of federal immigration law were largely the interests of elites across the political spectrum.

Employers in agriculture, construction, the hospitality industry, landscaping, and food processing wanted access to cheap, industrious foreign national laborers. So do the well-off households of the American Southwest, whose current aristocratic reliance on immigrant nannies, housekeepers, gardeners, and handymen rivals something out of Downton Abbey. Such facts were why Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers were known once to have patrolled the border to keep out illegal aliens and thus not depress wages of American workers and thereby ruin their own efforts at unionization. Large employers like open borders; entry-level and poor American workers obviously do not.

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Our Dangerous Historical Moment

Obama and European leaders are repeating the mistakes of their 1930s predecessors.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Photo via NRO

World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it?

The panic from the ongoing and worldwide Depression in the 1930s had empowered extremist movements the world over. Like-minded, violent dictators of otherwise quite different Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and the Communist Soviet Union all wanted to attack their neighbors.

Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain, and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler.

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The Reckoning

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Let us start our grand tour of an increasingly out-of-control world in Russia. Putin plays a two-bit Hitler in trying to gobble up his neighbors. The West responds with  a one-bit imitation of 1930s Britain and France. ISIS reminds us that beheading and human incineration are contemporary, not premodern, practices. The only difference is that we video them on iPhones now [1] rather hear rumors about them by word of mouth a year later.

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Five Middle East Blunders

The underlying causes of chaos in the Middle East are indigenous. But Obama hasn’t helped.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Brian Williams’s Truth Problem, and Ours

The NBC anchor’s lies are symptomatic of a culture in which truth has become relativized.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

How to Make Sense of an Incoherent America

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

The United States can be quite an incoherent place at times. Here are a few examples.

Diversity

Sometime in the 1990s the growing contradictions of affirmative action in a multiracial society became problematic. Ethnic ancestry was often neither easily identifiable nor readily commensurate with class status, and so gave way to a more popular term: “diversity.”

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Snarker-in-Chief

No one — least of all the American people — is exempt from our president’s snark.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Scorching of California

How Green extremists made a bad drought worse

by Victor Davis Hanson // City Journal 

MICAH ALBERT/REDUX

MICAH ALBERT/REDUX

In mid-December, the first large storms in three years drenched California. No one knows whether the rain and snow will continue—only that it must last for weeks if a record three-year drought, both natural and man-made, is to end. In the 1970s, coastal elites squelched California’s near-century-long commitment to building dams, reservoirs, and canals, even as the Golden State’s population ballooned. Court-ordered drainage of man-made lakes, meant to restore fish to the 1,100-square-mile Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, partly caused central California’s reservoir water to dry up. Not content with preventing construction of new water infrastructure, environmentalists reverse-engineered existing projects to divert precious water away from agriculture, privileging the needs of fish over the needs of people. Then they alleged that global warming, not their own foolish policies, had caused the current crisis.

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Are We Smart Enough for Democracy?

Photo credit: peacemartin33

Photo credit: peacemartin33

By Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

In December, MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, had to explain to Congress several remarks he had made about the “stupidity of the American voter,” as he put it in one speech. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh frequently uses the more diplomatic phrase “low-information voter” to explain why bad policies or incompetent politicians succeed. And numerous polls of respondents’ knowledge of history and current events repeatedly imply the same conclusion––that the American people are not informed or smart enough for democracy.

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