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The Legacies of Barack Obama

Without policy achievements to hang his hat on, Obama’s rhetoric will be how he’s remembered – and the results have been ugly.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Is Deference Really Safer than Deterrence?

Beware international affairs the next five months, a dangerous period for America.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review online

Trump Up, Hillary Down, Obama Out

Without traditional battle lines to fight over, Hillary Clinton is lying low while a frenetic Donald Trump talks nonstop.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Who Are Those Darned “Elites”?

Defining Ideas

The United States and Europe are seeing a surge in populist anger toward the so-called elites. The German public, for example, is furious at Chancellor Angela Merkel for her position on immigration from the Middle East. British voters have forsaken the postmodern European Union. And working class Americans have rallied around political outsider Donald Trump as their presidential favorite, something that neither the Clinton machine nor the establishment of the Republican Party anticipated.

But who exactly are these unpopular elites—and what exactly have they done that has enraged middle-class voters in Western democracies?

Since ancient times, elites have been defined various ways, sometimes by birth (the Greeks’ hoi aristoi), by capital (hoi plousioi), by perceived class (hoi oligoi), by acknowledged influence (hoi gnorimoi), by high culture (hoi beltistoi)—and sometimes by a combination of all of the above.

Today, people are especially mad at political elites, a loose term for those who govern at the state and federal level. They include not just our elected legislators, governors, and President, but also the unelected (and unaccountable) members of the vast government archipelago—cabinet officers, bureaucratic grandees, top military officers, and regulators. Beyond these politicos, the Western elite is comprised, too, of the transnational mega-wealthy, who have been enriched by globalization, especially international finance, investments, and technologies that lubricate worldwide dissemination of capital and communications.

An elite is also defined by education (preferably Ivy League and its coastal counterparts), residence (primarily between Boston and Washington on the East Coast, and from San Diego to Berkeley on the Pacific), profession (executive positions in government, media, law, foundations, the arts, and academia), celebrity (name recognition from television, Hollywood, network news, finance, etc.), and ideology, such as those prominent in the progressive movement. To receive a glimpse of our next generation of elites, read the betrothal notices in The New York Times, look at the interns at Goldman Sachs, and consider the junior faculty at Harvard. Read more →

The Trump Bump

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Virtue-Mongers

If you playact being shot by the police, cry “racist!” on Twitter, or denounce capitalism, you, too, can feel good about your capitalist’s privilege.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The More Things Change, the More They Actually Don’t

Technology hasn’t changed the core of who we are, and history proves it.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Why Hillary Is Never Held Accountable for Her Lies

The media excuse her mendacity because it serves the progressive cause.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Imagine There’s No Border

A world without boundaries is a fantasy.
By Victor Davis Hanson // City Journal

Borders are in the news as never before. After millions of young, Muslim, and mostly male refugees flooded into the European Union last year from the war-torn Middle East, a popular revolt arose against the so-called Schengen Area agreements, which give free rights of movement within Europe. The concurrent suspension of most E.U. external controls on immigration and asylum rendered the open-borders pact suddenly unworkable. The European masses are not racists, but they now apparently wish to accept Middle Eastern immigrants only to the degree that these newcomers arrive legally and promise to become European in values and outlook—protocols that the E.U. essentially discarded decades ago as intolerant. Europeans are relearning that the continent’s external borders mark off very different approaches to culture and society from what prevails in North Africa or the Middle East.

A similar crisis plays out in the United States, where President Barack Obama has renounced his former opposition to open borders and executive-order amnesties. Since 2012, the U.S. has basically ceased policing its southern border. The populist pushback against the opening of the border with Mexico gave rise to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump—predicated on the candidate’s promise to build an impenetrable border wall—much as the flood of migrants into Germany fueled opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Read more →

Diversity: History’s Pathway to Chaos

America’s successful melting pot should not be replaced with discredited salad-bowl separatism.

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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