Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Author Archives: 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.

Area 45: The (Second) American Civil War? With Victor Davis Hanson

On the 210th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, some have suggested that United States faces a second “civil war” – a conflict over culture, economics, and world view. Victor Davis Hanson, the Hoover Institution’s Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow, contrasts the hands dealt to Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump. 

Listen to the interview here.

The Mythologies of ‘Joe Being Joe’ Biden

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Some polls put 76-year-old Joe Biden as the Democratic front-runner for the 2020 presidential election. There is certainly some logic to that reckoning.

Biden has far more experience than any of his likely party rivals—36 years in the Senate, eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president and two past presidential runs.

He may be the only Democratic candidate who could likely win back some of the “deplorables,” “irredeemables” and “clingers” of the critical Midwestern swing states.

But all of that said, the folksy Biden is hardly the sober and judicious alternative to a supposedly reckless Donald Trump.

In many ways, Biden has been far wilder in his speech and decorum—despite nearly a half-century in politics.

Read the full article here.

Merkel Salvages Nord Stream, But Is Putin Losing Russia’s Gas Monopoly?

Please read this piece by my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory in Forbes

The European Union took a first step with its February 8 vote towards turning Russia’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, from an instrument of Russian power politics into a regulated utility, deprived of its monopoly power. In an odd twist, Germany, the self-proclaimed guardian of European unity, found itself politically isolated from the rest of Europe, which sided with U.S. President Donald Trump. A bitter pill for Germany to swallow.

Meanwhile, Putin and Germany complained that U.S. intervention was exclusively for its own plans to sell its expensive LNG to Europe.

As the European Union (EU) permanent representatives gathered in Brussels on Friday, February 8, to vote on the EU’s Gas Initiative of the Third Energy Package, Russia’s Nord Stream 2 (NS2) undersea pipeline project was in jeopardy. Even Germany’s reliable ally France had declared its intent to vote against the German-Russian project. Without France, Germany could not block an anti-NS2 vote, and an alarmed Angela Merkel swung into diplomatic overdrive. In hasty negotiations, Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron reached a compromise agreement that allows all parties to fight again another day.

Read the full article here.

Strategika Issue 56: The Defense of Europe

European Defense

Please read a new essay by my colleague, Angelo M. Codevilla in Strategika.

Europe was never a full partner in its own defense. The very question—Will Europe ever fully partner with the U.S., or will the European Union and NATO continue to downplay the necessity of military readiness?—is no longer meaningful as posed, because the political energies of Europe’s elites are absorbed as they try to fend off attacks on their legitimacy by broad sectors of their population.

Read the full article here.

NATO Renewed (Coming Soon To A Theater Of War Near You)

Please read a new essay by my colleague, Ralph Peters in Strategika.

Clio, the muse of history, has a fabulous sense of irony: As the human pageant unfolds, she delights in confounding our intentions and expectations. Thus, two public enemies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (whose acronym, NATO, sounds like another Greek deity) promise to be the unwitting saviors of the alliance, rescuing it from complacency, lethargy, and diminishing relevance.

Read the full article here.

Urging More From Our NATO Allies

Please read a new essay by my colleague, Robert G. Kaufman in Strategika.

The United States should never expect to achieve full burden-sharing with the European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Even in the most balanced alliances, the most powerful member will pay some premium for ensuring its credibility and effectiveness. The United States can strive plausibly to minimize but not eliminate the massive degree of free riding and strategic incoherence that has become politically untenable and strategically unwise.

Read the full article here.

Progressives Bearing Gifts

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Donald Trump in 2016 did not only run against the planted rumors of the fake Steele dossier, 90 percent negative media coverage, his own boisterous past, and the “Access Hollywood” tape. He also was campaigning against Hillary Clinton—and the nation’s quarter-century weariness with the Clinton scandals, crimes, money-grubbing, and hypocrisies.

For a quarter of the country, independents especially, a vote for Trump was not a referendum on a Democrat or Republican, or even love or hate for Donald Trump, but rather reflected a “Never Hillary” desire to be done with the very name Clinton.

So, too, in 2020 Trump will not be running only on his own record, or even his person but also against a living and breathing alternative candidate, one that both offers a precise antithetical agenda and displays a concrete personage.

Considering all of that, during the last week, Trump has been given great gifts in a way no one might have imaged just a month ago.

Read the full article here.

Angry Reader 02-05-2019

From An Angry Reader:

You, sir, are a traitor,

To call the FBI and the representatives of the United States “Bolsheviks” when the POTUS you seek to defend consistently lies about contacts with GRU officials; whose chief strategist Stephen Bannon claimed to be a Leninist because he was advocating the destruction of the establishment, you are a hypocrite and a liar. You are enabling the dissolution of American institutions. You are a traitor to the cause of liberty. Go fuck yourself.


Ken Rabe


Dear Unhinged Angry Reader Ken Rabe,

You score a 9 on the unhinged Angry Reader scale: ad hominem invective—check; personal slurs—check; obligatory profanity—check; rants without facts—check.

I did not call the FBI and Congressional Representatives “Bolsheviks”; what I did say was the procedure and protocols of any government officials who assume that a person is guilty first, and then hunt for crimes second, to prove the deductive assumption was Bolshevik like—in the fashion of Stalin’s NKVD head Lavrentiy Beria.

And it is.

Robert Mueller was tasked to find Russian collusion, not to convict Donald Trump or his subordinates of process crimes or violations of statutes going back decades.

Unfortunately what we are witnessing is the leveraging of a vast array of characters on the premise that Mueller will find the crime to prove his targeting was right, threaten to lock them up for ages or bankrupt them, and then offer them exemptions of various sorts if they can claim wrongdoing on Trump’s part—any sort of wrongdoing, given that he has no evidence of his original mandate to find whether Trump or anyone else engaged in collusion with the Russians to warp the 2016 Election.

If Mueller was empirical, he would have long ago discovered that Hillary Clinton, behind 2 firewalls, used campaign funds to hire a foreign national agent to cobble together Russian sources, mostly unfounded and unverified hearsay, to create a smear dossier to be circulated among Obama-officials and thus leaked to the media in time to erode Trump’s campaign before the election—and after to stall his presidency.

I am trying to alert the public that institutions like the IRS, DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA, and NSC have all been weaponized, and in part discredited and eroded due to politicization during 2015-16.

Hiring a foreign national to influence an election is a crime; leaking classified documents is a crime; lying under oath to Congress is a crime; deluding a FISA court is a crime; unmasking surveilled names and leaking them to the media is a crime; destroying subpoenaed evidence is a crime; lying to federal investigators is a crime.

Yet many of our top officials with impunity engaged in all that and more on the theory that their end of stopping Trump justified any means necessary.

Reading your letter is predictable because it confirms that you have no sane argument and are left only with the refuge of four-letter words.

You, sir, are sad.


Vic Hanson

Remodeling America

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

By mid 1793–4, the radical Jacobins had successfully completed their hijacking of the French Revolution.


They openly enacted agendas that might have seemed impossible in the heady days of 1787. Long gone were the pretenses of the original idealism when the revolution abolished feudalism, issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and wrestled with turning the Ancien Régime of Louis XVI into some sort of constitutional or parliamentary monarchy analogous to what had emerged in Great Britain.

Soon executing the clerisy en masse was logically followed by Jacobins guillotining thousands of surviving aristocrats and fellow revolutionaries for supposed counterrevolutionary sympathies.

Most of the leaders of the Jacobins were themselves finally guillotined, largely because their ascendant revolutionary zeal could end only in a sort of cannibalism — given that no revolutionary could possibly meet their accelerating purist demands. Mao’s Cultural Revolution was similar, though he slaughtered millions, not thousands.

Read the full article here.

Progressives pulling a bait-and-switch with ‘Medicare for All’

Please read this piece by my colleague Paul Roderick Gregory in The Hill

Politicians are known to misrepresent themselves to get elected, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is supposed to be an exception. It is said that he has remained true to his socialist convictions through thick and thin.

Surely, such a dedicated socialist can truthfully explain what socialism is. If not he, then Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), the influential newcomer to Congress and member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), could lend a hand. She must know what socialism is if Bernie won’t speak up.

Prepare for a surprise. Sanders has consistently claimed that his socialism is a Scandinavian-type welfare state. He assures voters that his socialism is comprised of free medicine and education and a fair distribution of income, nothing more, nothing less.

Ocasio-Cortez rattles on about giving things away free and that capitalism is rotten. If pressed, she turns to recipes and social-media tips.

Read the full article here.

How to Make It Home in California: Rules for the Modern Odysseus

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

I drove back from San Francisco not long ago to the rural San Joaquin Valley. It is only 200 miles. But in fact, it can feel like Odysseus trying to get back home to Ithaca from Troy.

Walking to the car in San Francisco was an early morning obstacle course dotted with the occasional human feces and lots of trash. The streets looked like Troy after its sacking. Verbal and physical altercations among the homeless offered background. The sidewalks were sort of like the flotsam and jetsam in the caves of the Cyclopes, with who knows what the ingredients really were. Outbreaks of hepatitis and typhus are now common among the refuse of California’s major cities.

The rules of the road in downtown San Francisco can seem pre-civilizational: the more law-abiding driver is considered timid and someone to be taken advantage of—while the more reckless earns respect and right of way. Pedestrians have achieved the weird deterrent effect of so pouring out onto the street in such numbers that drivers not walkers seemed the more terrified.

Read the full article here.

Angry Reader 02-04-2019

From An Angry Reader:

Are your fake-right fellows at NRO going to issue a grovelling apology to the CHILDREN they attacked at Covington Catholic High School? They were so eager to attack white children that they didn’t even bother watching the video before condemning them.

This is why we hate you.


Dear Very Angry Reader Tars Tarkusz,

What planet do you live on?

The moment I woke up on January 20, and started the long process of viewing all the various videos of the Covington incident, I was outraged at the groupthink mob. And so I think I was the first at NRO to post an appeal to stop the Ox-Bow-Incident like lynching of innocent kids and begged my fellow writers to stop it asap and first examine all the evidence as well as in the matter of the Buzzfeed farce of the day before. 

Did you read this or notice the time or the date in which it appeared?

Or cf. this:

Your shoot from the hip accusations condemn you on the very charges you level against others.

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