Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Angry Reader #7: A Response to “The Liberal Aristocracy”

Angry Reader #6 wrote: “Mr. Hanson unfolds the conservative Procrustean hide-a-bed. If a Democratic president is wealthy, he’s a hypocrite. If a Democratic president isn’t, then he’s guilt of envy and class warfare.”

VDH replied:

This is a childish snark. My point is not that wealthy liberals should not enjoy the fruits of their labors like conservatives, but that in doing so to the nth degree they are at odds with their Robin Hood, endless class-warfare rhetoric — fat cat, corporate jet owner, you didn’t build that, at some point you’ve made enough money, not the time to profit, Las Vegas junketeering, etc. True, we see conservatives who are hypocrites, but they are of a different sort: evangelical pastors calling for a return to 1930s family values who have been caught in sexual escapades, money scandals, or extravagant expenditure beyond their devotion to Sermon of the Mount frugality.

If you are a liberal man of the people, and if you stump for much higher taxes, and if you caricature the lifestyle that ill-gotten rich provide, then, please, do not try to welch on your yacht taxes, or junket to Costa del Sol, or sell your TV interest for $100 million to an authoritarian oil-mogul in hasty fashion to beat soon-to-rise capital gains taxes — a few of the ignored examples I pointed out in the article. The Angry Reader’s deafness at those and many more illustrations of liberal aristocratic hypocrisy in the article suggests that he can’t defend or won’t defend such paradoxes and so goes back on the attack.

And finally, note the faulty logic: as one without riches and one who is a registered Democrat still, I don’t think that thereby I am thought to be envious or calling for class warfare. Class warriors John Edwards (“two Americas”) and Barack Obama (“millionaires and billionaires”) — not to mention a Buffett or Soros — are a long way from ‘give ’em Hell’ Harry Truman of Independence. Surely anyone can see that.

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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.

One Thought on “Angry Reader #7: A Response to “The Liberal Aristocracy”

  1. The Angry reader seems to address an open ended statement. A Democratic president as a rule in history fails to address the bipartisan politics that develops out of a secret war that emerges within the white house. Poor leadership is the result of a commitment of an un winnable wars. Republicans since Eisenhower have endured a strategic success in three phases “stabilization,” “restoration of civl authority,” and support to self-reliance” well into 2009. Envy and class warfare shows the conservative hide a bed needs to be defended by the angry reader as not hidden at all. A stable America of Christian principles with troop support is better than the hypocrisy of “not hooking and jabbing with American forces every day,” Bush’s approach along with the conservatives is fighting the right fight. Taking on al Qaeda, insurgents has nothing to do with envy and class warfare. A stable America is a good America. Although a registered Democrat VDH knows that true leadership formalizes and enforces Presidential might. What made Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and even Democrat John F. Kennedy great was their national security advisors. Positive reinforcement without mentorship opens up a contentious and divisive debate. The American people and the voter need to be kept informed. A hypocrite should be defended as one who is unable to be there. Although the military would not take me…my spirt was still with my friends who went to Iraq and Afghanistan. A patriot can be warrior for war and for peace, but a hypocrite does not respect the American flag and is the first to burn the flag! Never is the case in Liberal Aristocracy.
    JWC

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