Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Did Trump Really Do All That?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Peggy Noonan, apparently like many, believes that Trump’s occasional callousness and crassness are unprecedented. And they have so befouled the political landscape that he has spawned rude and crude leftwing imitators. The result allegedly is the vile language of the “mean girls” such as the anti-Semitism and foul speech of Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib:

I think we all know where this started, the political brutishness, the ignoring of traditions and norms. Donald Trump is both origin and rationale . . . The mean girls of Congress have learned at his knee. They have taken their tactics from him. They claim to be his reluctant imitators but I think they admire his ferocity. They have a taste for it, and a talent.

Collective Amnesia

With all due respect, I don’t think we “all” know that this started with Trump, however crass he can be. Rather, we know all too well the political landscape a decade before Trump.

Do we recall the recent deranged talk of 2004-8 from the Democratic Party, the popular culture, and the media—or the relative passivity of the wounded Bush administration in response to such venom?

Why, after all, did Alfred A. Knopf publish the novel Checkpoint, a boring and tired rant about fantasizing the assassination of then-President Bush? Who created the particular landscape that encouraged filmmaker Gabriel Range to offer up “Death of a President”that trafficked in the same fantasies of a Bush assassination?

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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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