Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Crack-ups at the Crossroads of Intersectionality

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Progressives do not see the United States as an exceptional uniter of factions and tribes into a cohesive whole—each citizen subordinating his tribal, ethnic, and religious affinities to a shared Americanism, emblemized by our national motto e pluribus unum. Instead, they prefer e uno plures: out of one nation arise many innately different and separate peoples.

Progressivism’s signature brand is now tribalism: all of us in different ways are victims of a white male Christian heterosexual patriarchy—or a current 20 percent hierarchy that past and present has supposedly oppressed anyone not like themselves. In contrast, our differences define who we are, and are not incidental to the content of our characters. The salad bowl, not the melting pot, is the new national creed. America is to be a conglomeration of competing tribal parties in the fashion of the Balkans, Rwanda, or contemporary Iraq.

How does the relative victimhood work politically? Progressive elites (oddly often white, but “woke,” males) serve as umpires who adjudicate familial spats and intersectional fractures. Like good cowboys, they ride herd, directing the squabbling and snorting flock in the right direction without losing too many strays on the way to the election booth.

Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg, recently confronted as an unwoke white guy by Black Lives Matter activists, a white male elite, or an oppressed gay male victim who feels the Christian faithful, like his former working associate Mike Pence, supposedly oppress him to the degree he cannot ever be slurred as an oppressor of others who are nonwhite, not affluent, and non-male? In this world of collective woke stereotypes, are inner-city blacks and Catholic Hispanics victims of white males like Buttigieg, or disproportionately insensitive victimizers of such gays as Buttigieg?

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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.

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