Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

America’s Descent into Lawlessness

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


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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.

22 Thoughts on “America’s Descent into Lawlessness

  1. The “law” in the USA is not uniform anymore. It depends upon where you reside and the nature of the local politics. Kevin Phillips, in his studies of the various civil wars within the Anglosphere, from the English Civil War to the American, says that ethnicity and religion were the biggest determinants of which side you were on.

    The sad but inescapable reality is that America today is a nation in decline. More and more, we are a country of apathy, alienation, and distrust of public institutions. Accelerating this trend is the multiculturalism fueled by mass immigration. As our common culture erodes, we have no effective standards to acculturate our younger generations, let alone assimilate a massive flow of immigrants. It appears that continued division and balkanization now loom ahead.

  2. . . . And as history sometimes tells us, a descent into lawlessness often leads to a “Man on a White Horse” or other names for a dictatorship, to “restore law and order”. Napoleon after the excesses and chaos of the French Revolution would be the classic example.

  3. sir:

    the country rots from the top down.

    thank you mr. marcuse, mr. alinsky, mr. marx, and all the law professors and lawyers who have become president since bill clinton. (oh, yes, who still likes to cleanse himself in hot tubs w/ bimbo’s and sex offenders.)

    from the top down. barney frank, anyone?

    john jay

  4. Definitely reminiscent of the ’70s.
    Symbianese Liberation Army seems to have emerged triumphant after all.
    It does sell papers. (What?)
    Maybe, there really was a red under every bed. The pathetic rear guard of a defunct soviet state clutches us like a hydra.
    An Argus of a surveillance state monitors each keystroke. She on whom it is death to gaze campaigns for our democratic election. Wherefore art thou Jason? In an age of monsters heroes must be championed, or the stables never get cleaned. God Bless us all.
    Lord have mercy. Amen. There’s your hero. Remember?

  5. Like Nazi Germany, and soon Sharia Law.

  6. Rick Bonsteel on September 10, 2015 at 2:14 pm said:

    What happened to your vaunted “Checks and Balances”? Why are you so helpless? Obama doesn’t strike me as a legal titan.

  7. BlackHelo on September 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm said:

    And all this from a mess of lawyers who are sworn to uphold the law. When truth goes almost everything else follows.

  8. Kevin Miller on September 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm said:

    Brilliant as always, Professor Hanson. It is tragic to think that America is any different from Republican Rome. And it’s a shame to watch us following their path into destruction.

  9. There’s an openly gay judge in Texas refusing to marry straight people until she can marry gay people. Obviously (?), she’s a hero and her wishes must come true if we are to call ourselves fair people… mm-hmmm.

  10. Proudly Unaffiliated on September 10, 2015 at 8:17 pm said:

    The top always sets the tone for what happens. Obama has brought us the lawlessness of the land.

  11. Wasn’t Mr. Nakoula a Coptic Christian? Egyptian Muslims have persecuted his people for several hundred years. Thus, his “insensitive” video was a logical response to his easily offended persecutors. Obama, Clinton, and the rest of their cronies are always sensitive to the grievances of minorities. So, why would we apologize to the Muslims? Well, we all know the answer to that question, don’t we.

  12. Jeff Strack on September 11, 2015 at 4:15 am said:

    Sad, but should we be surprised, laws only are enforced if you oppose the liberal Progressive agenda. We are just a larger version of a “Third World Banana Republic.” I fear we’ve gone to far with the above mentioned examples and the recent SCOTUS rulings on Obamacare and same-sex marriage. I think we should call our legal system “Intreperative Justice.”

  13. Roy Digliani on September 11, 2015 at 10:11 am said:

    It boils down to the integrity of each individual and each choice they make
    regardless of the law.
    That said American laws and our adherence to those laws are two of the main
    reasons for the success of our society.
    Laws have no validity if people don’t understand that cooperation is
    necessary to make them work.
    It has to be quid pro quo of the highest order.
    It should be understood that if we each decide not to stop at stop
    signs then the traffic system won’t work.
    Every little tax cheat or petty theft or illegal cable hook up might have
    minimal consequences in day to day reality
    but when there’s wide spread and continual law breaking on every level in the
    halls of government it becomes a threat to the whole fabric of society.
    It’s always an individuals choice and all those choices add up.
    We might not always make the right choice or do what’s right but if we don’t
    set the bar high and try to follow the rules we can be 100% sure that things
    will fall apart.
    C.S Lewis said: “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is
    If we try to act in that manner we’re good. If we don’t then forget it.

  14. Joan Sands on September 11, 2015 at 10:27 am said:

    All of what is going on in the country is so depressing.

  15. Doctor french on September 11, 2015 at 10:28 am said:

    If Hillary or another democrat get elected president i think we can reasonably say goodby to America exeptionalism.
    America will be like another big european country with the following chaos on the World stage…

    L´amérique a besoin d´une secousse sismique electoral pour la remettre dans le bon chemin.

  16. Anthony Mxyzptlk on September 11, 2015 at 11:04 am said:

    It may be worth mentioning that state and local medical marijuana laws, like “sanctuary city” laws, are in violation of federal statutory law and the Singleton Convention, and people who sell medical marijuana are committing federal crimes. The city councils and boards of supervisors who pass local laws setting up medical marijuana businesses are probably also guilty of federal crimes,

    Right now marijuana merchants are protected by liberal Democrat senators, but if that ever changes, a lot of people who thought they were following the law could find themselves in jail for a long time. For example, if Iran’s leaders use Obama’s $100 billion gift to blow up several major American cities, the political climate here could change almost overnight.

    Medical marijuana dealing is simply not a good career choice for people in their 20s, or any other age. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution says that in any showdown between state and federal law, the federal law always wins.

  17. Chris Philips on September 11, 2015 at 1:21 pm said:

    Limited by space, the author naturally had to leave out many more examples of lawlessness, including the Fast and Furious gun-walking and Philadelphia voter intimidation incidents. This piece is nevertheless a clear and concise description of the process by which our once great nation has devolved into a banana republic.

  18. Commander-in Chief caught on tape bowing to Russia’s masculine will, whispering, ” After my election, i have more flexibility.” That was all Putin needed to hear. The equivalent of…………….we will bend over and bow. Back at home sweet home, we rule with an iron-hand over what’s left of America—– “Thank-you Sir, can i have another—Thank-you Sir, can i have another.”

  19. Kevin Collins on September 12, 2015 at 5:41 am said:

    Thank you for equating Mr. Obama to Hugo Chavez, Professor Hanson. The similarities are unmistakable.

  20. Mark Katzman on September 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm said:

    It’s what Obama wanted…to make the US like any other country, esp. those of the 3rd World. After all, why should Americans enjoy a better standard of living while others in the World suffer (most likely due to the US anyway – according to Obama and Co.’s thinking). I’m just absolutely shocked and angered at the way Americans just rolled over and accepted what Obama has done (not to mention what he will do in the coming months).

  21. “So we are now seeing the logical descent into the abyss of chaos.”

    VDH — And here we are, what’s next, after, the hordes pouring in from the Southern Border, many more wanting in, from the ME and surrounding area’s.

    Manufacturing shipped overseas, H1b visa’s given to millions to displace American Citizen’s. Regulations to protect the Environment from industries, but China and other’s having zero enforcement of their’s.

    Chopping up babies to experiment with, sex change for prisoners, all funded and paid for by US tax payers.

    Do you think the Roman and other Empires sunk this low before they fell?

  22. Jack Shore on September 15, 2015 at 5:06 am said:

    So why hasn’t Congress appointed a special prosecutor to indict Hillary and impeach Obama yet? What is it waiting for? The politicized Justice Dept that is virtually in Obama’s pocket? Remember all Nixon did was order a break in and then try to cover it up. Obama and Hillary have corrupted the constitution of the US and have hardly even faced condemnation in the press.

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