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The Progressive Disintegration

The self-destruction of so many failed progressive gods.

A month ago, progressives were having a conniption fit over Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election. So of course, now that Trump has won, they are rioting, vandalizing, staging “cry-ins,” ditching class, group-hugging, tweeting threats, calling names, seeking counseling, and doing everything in their power to make sure that their party declines even further. If this behavior continues, and if––a big “if” –– Trump governs the way he promised, we may be witnessing the start of the progressive disintegration.

Start with the melting snowflake millennials, all those “cocksure women and hensure men,” as D.H. Lawrence once described feminists of both sexes. These layabouts have become used to throwing tantrums whenever they don’t like something or they feel “unsafe.” Most of them are spoiled brats, the pampered detritus of the middle class. But don’t forget the Alinskyite activists who manipulate these juveniles and bus them in on George Soros’ dime. These two-bit Leninists are adept at using “useful idiots” in order to further their aim of destroying America’s political and social order. They’re skilled at manipulating empty slogans like “income inequality,” “fair share,” “social justice,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” and all the other bumper-sticker bromides in order to consolidate and increase their power and influence. Read more →

From an Angry Reader:

The new kind of Republican party is part 1930’s Nazi and 1950’s Dixiecrat.

Raye Harper

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Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Raye Harper,

Since you assert rather than argue or explain, it is hard to fathom what you are getting at. But in the spirit of the Angry Reader, I’ll give it a shot.

There is a reason why etymology is a valuable pursuit. Seek the root meaning of words and thereby learn. Our English word Nazism derives as an English transliterated abbreviation for the German Nationalsozialismus (“National Socialism”)—Hitler’s effort to combine fanatical nationalism with socialist and anti-capitalist principles.

Take also your “Dixiecrat” (which incidentally was a one-time phenomenon of the election of 1948, and did not reappear as you suggest in the “1950s.”) Note the suffix “-crat” (Greek, kratos, “power/rule”). It was so named in 1948 because it was a derivative of the Democratic Party. It was not called the Dixiepublicans because it had no similarities to the Republican Party.

Ironically, Dixiecrats’ official name (“The States’ Rights Democratic Party”) reflected and championed the idea of federal nullification (in this case school integration), which had been the source of the 1828 (in this case tariffs) and 1860 (in this case slavery) secessionist fervors. How odd, then, that 300 liberal jurisdictions currently are now “Sanctuary Cities” (perhaps better described as “Nullification Cities”) that defy federal immigration in the neo-Confederate spirit. Ask yourself which party, in the spirit of the Dixiecrats, is more likely to excuse race-base segregation, where on-campus “theme houses” or “safe spaces” with impunity discriminate on the basis of superficial appearance. Who is more tolerant of the idea of La Raza (“the Race”), a noun whose pedigree is found in Franco’s fascist Spain and Mussolini’s (as Razza) fascist Italy—Democrats or Republicans?

Is there any need to ask further where the impetus of contemporary anti-Semitism originates? Just walk on any contemporary campus, and visit the free-speech area. Being Jewish and pro-Israel is far more likely to incur left-wing anti-Semites than old-fashioned right-wing ones.

In sum, I don’t see how the present pro-capitalist, pro-federalist, pro-Israel Republican Party can derive from either a foreign imported socialism or an indigenous states’ rights Democratic Party.

Finally, most readers are aware of your insidious liberal trope. In 1980 Reagan was called a Nazi. When he left office, newly-elected George H.W. Bush was the next extremist and suddenly the Left nostalgically called Reagan moderate, given that he was out of power. In 2000 George W. Bush was the new Nazi, and his father reinvented as a moderate in comparison. By 2016 a “new” Republican Party under Trump is now supposedly Nazi-like and W. is now seen as sober and judicious. So the playbook is transparent: assassinate the character of your present adversary by claiming he is an extremist by the standard of his predecessors, whom you of course smeared when they were in power as well.

Bottom line: a lot of incoherence in your short sentence.

Sincerely,

VDH

Who Are Wise, Who Not?

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
 Insight often comes not from an Ivy League degree but by way of animal cunning, instinct, and hard work.
“Cleverness is not wisdom.” — Euripides, the Bacchae
At the height of the sophistic age in classical Athens, the playwright Euripides asked an eternal question in his masterpiece, the Bacchae: “What is wisdom?”
Was wisdom defined as clever wordplay, or as the urban sophistication of the robed philosophers in the agora and rhetoricians in the assembly?
Or instead was true wisdom a deeper and more modest appreciation of unchanging human nature throughout the ages, which reminds us to avoid hubris, tread carefully, always expect the unlikely, and distrust the self-acclaimed wise who eventually prove clever fools? At the end of the play, a savage, merciless nemesis is unleashed on the hubristic wise of the establishment.
Euripides would have appreciated the ironies of the 2016 election.
Millions of Americans, far from the two coasts, kept largely quiet. They either did not talk much to pollsters or they politely declined to reveal their true feelings. They tuned out talking heads and ignored blue-chip pundits. They did not listen to the shrill bombast of President Obama on the campaign trail or pollsters who ad nauseam declared Hillary Clinton the sure electoral-college winner.
They were not shamed or much bothered by the condescension they receive from the media and the Washington elite, who proved wrong or biased or both in their coverage. They believed that free trade was not worth much if it was not fair trade, that illegal and politicized immigration was as subversive as legal and diverse immigration was valuable, that real racists were those who used race and ethnicity to encourage others to break the law for their own political and elite interests, and that it was stupid to trust their job futures to those who never lost their own jobs while often losing those of others.

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From an Angry Reader:

She WON the popular vote!!!!!

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Suzanne Williams,

I got your point without the capital letters and the five exclamation marks.

As a general rule the resort to exclamation is a reflection of an absence of argument. Let words speak for themselves—and in your case fail on their own merits.

The Founders created an Electoral College for a reason: to avoid the sort of fickle demagoguery that characterized ancient Athenian democracy and that turns up in chilling scenes in Thucydides and Xenophon, and was thus in depth critiqued by Aristotle and Plato. We follow more instead Roman Republicanism that sought to provide reflection to the pulses of the people before they translated into instant political change. A few additional points:

1) Would you have written this sentence had the opposite occurred: that is, suggesting that Hillary was somehow an illegitimate president because Trump won the popular vote?

2) Do you think that candidates would campaign quite differently had the rules been different? Do you not think that both candidates otherwise might have skipped more sparsely populated swing states to focus on population density? Who knows that outcome?

3) You seem somewhat in a state of denial. The Trump victory was remarkable in ways well beyond his substantial victory in the Electoral College:

  1. a) I cannot remember a candidate in modern memory who was bitterly opposed by those in his own party. Trump won despite a dearth of party endorsements, with the hostility of conservative media (Weekly Standard, National Review, many at The Wall Street Journal). The #NeverTrump people shook the Republican Party in a way Bernie Sanders did not the Democratic Party.

 

  1. b) Trump was outspent at somewhere between 3-1 to 2-1 by Hillary: he had few bundlers; his campaign team was much less experienced; he had no ground game in traditional terms; far fewer ads; no real celebrity rallies; etc. Yet he blew up the “blue wall.” Why was that?

 

  1. c) The media hated Trump in a way the Left have never quite matched before. Read WikiLeaks and you can see that both reporters and opinion writers were checking in first with Podesta, Inc. The entire media was corrupt and sought to shape the election by collusion with Hillary and yet all for naught? Why?

4) Unfortunately, Trump was not a fluke: A 2016 red/blue county by county map of the U.S. shows a geographical sea of red (85% of the territory of the U.S.) In sum, Barack Obama destroyed the Democratic Party in just 8 years: Senate lost; House lost; state legislatures and governorships lost (just 6 states have combined Democratic legislatures and governors); 1,000 elected Democrats have lost their offices since Obama took power; the Supreme Court will be conservative at a likely 6-3 or even 7-2 margin for a generation.

It would be wiser to look forward and be introspective: what are liberals doing that is destroying the Democratic Party at state and federal levels? The answers will be more helpful to you rather than suggesting that the U.S. Constitution is at fault.

Sincerely,

VDH

From an Angry Reader:

To Victor Hanson:

f**k all y’all motherf**king f**kers unlubed with a f**king broom handle, you elitist motherf**king uniparty pieces of sh*t.

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Anonymous Foul Reader who mailed from 4m6sm1+2ewjjnl72o2x0@guerrillamail.com,

Even though in cowardly fashion you did not print your name, you did offer a more unique form of profanity than I received from most of your persuasion this election.

No matter, here are five stylistic suggestions, since your letter is otherwise unanswerable.

1) Variatio: the Romans were right that variety in word selection avoids monotony. Your repetition of the f-word does not achieve emphasis, despite your efforts to use the verb, adjective, and noun forms. Ten minutes with Quintilian or Cicero’s rhetoric works would do wonders for your style (easily found in translation on Amazon).

2) Why does the Left so often mix sexual profanity and violence? Your vocabulary is a window into a dark soul. I suggest it is a bad mixture, so pick either sexual violence or profanity, but not both. To suggest is to create, to be ornate is to destroy.

3) What exactly is a “uniparty”? Who belongs to “one-party?” Strive for clarity of thought.

4) What exactly is “elitist?” I thought the charge against Trump supporters was that they were yahoos, not elitists; Red-state Americans voted against elitism. Again, seek some sort of consistency in your ideology; otherwise it is mere street thug vocabulary and adolescent swearing.

5) I’m 63 and have never written a single anonymous letter in my life or used a pseudonym—and have never suffered for it. Try signing your angry letters. At least that way you own your crudity.

Sincerely,

VDH

Trump’s Bizarre Winning Formula

  by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Reformulating the Republican message, Donald Trump was able to exploit political mistakes that the Democrats have made.
The Democratic party handed Donald Trump a rare opportunity to make radical changes to the electoral map that could last for years to come.
First, the Democrats gave Trump a great gift by completing the ongoing radicalization of their party under President Obama. After 2008, it was no longer a party of the working and middle classes, but a lopsided political pyramid.
On top were the cynical elites who turned up in the WikiLeaks John Podesta e-mail trove: self-important media members, Ivy League grandees, Silicon Valley billionaires, Wall Street plutocrats, and coastal-corridor snobs. They talk left-wing but live royally. They court minorities to vote in lockstep, then deride them in private. The vast lower tier of the party comprises government employees, the poor, minorities, and the millions dependent on state and federal assistance.

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The Appointment Game

The Corner
The one and only
 by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
 Everyone is playing the “what if” recommendation game. For what little they would be worth in an ideal world, here would be four of my slightly unorthodox recommendations:
First, Larry Arnn, Hillsdale College president, for secretary of education. No one, for obvious reasons, understands better how that department works or does not work, or is more familiar with ways of saving kindergarten through graduate education, or is a greater protector of constitutional principles.
Marine general James Mattis would be a unique secretary of defense. He is apolitical, a widely read Jacksonian, blunt, and combative; he has a wealth of experience, especially in the Middle East, and is highly respected abroad and at home. It is no exaggeration that he is acknowledged as America’s most admired retired soldier.

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The “Deplorables” Get Their Say

By Craig Bernthal

 

Most of the pundits I’ve been reading on the Democratic side who have decided to explain this election chalk up the Trump victory to an America which turned out to be far more racist and misogynistic than they’d ever believed. Among the most hysterical and bitter was Garrison Keillor in the Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-voters-will-not-like-what-happens-next/2016/11/09/e346ffc2-a67f-11e6-8fc0-7be8f848c492_story.html, and any internet survey will find much of the same. Paul Krugman had a vision of the apocalypse,

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/the-unknown-country, colleges across the country called out their grief counselors, people started wearing Brexit-inspired safety pins (another way of perpetuating fear and division), and riots, possibly pushed by MoveOn.org, are all over TV. The vitriol hurled at Trump voters by progressives is truly astonishing. It does not just show a hatred of half of America, but astounding ignorance about it. Racists! Half the country is racist! (And this claim despite Trump getting 29% of the Hispanic vote and 8% of the African-American vote, bettering Romney’s performance.)
I did not vote for Trump. After he called John McCain a loser for being captured, that did it for me early on. I found his comments about women particularly disgusting.  I didn’t like what he said about Judge Curiel. I saw Trump as a thin-skinned narcissist, a bully, and a potentially dangerous loose cannon on foreign policy. May I be proven wrong. But I didn’t vote for Clinton either, and when the election went for Trump, I felt a vast sense of relief: relief that the corrupt Clinton machine, supported by 80% of the media, had been turned out once and for all, that they hadn’t gotten away with it yet again, that a progressive in the White House wouldn’t continue to talk down to me for the next eight years. Read more →

Carpe Diem, Mr. Trump

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
Forgive, but do not forget, and be the strong horse.
While we speak, a jealous age will have fled. Seize the day! Trust as little as you can in tomorrow.
The Latin poet Horace’s advice of carpe diem— to seize the day and not worry about tomorrow — should be Trump’s transitional guide.
The attacks on Trump won’t even wait until he takes office; they begin now, well apart from rioting in the streets. And they will continue to be of several types.
Of the personal sort, expect more “investigative” reporting and “speaking truth to power” op-eds about his tax returns, his supposed theft of the election, his purported instigation of turbulence and mayhem, his locker-room talks about women, his business conflicts of interests in office, Trump University, and so on — perhaps written from the high moral ground by the WikiLeaks journalists of the Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, Glenn Thrush, Wolf Blitzer, or Donna Brazile sort.
The nexus of attack will not be a dramatic scandalous revelation — it will be intended to induce bleeding from a thousand tiny nicks and cuts, all designed to reduce his moral authority and thus his ability to ratchet back the progressive decade.
Another trope, as we are now witnessing, will be of the hysterical policy brand: Trump will cook the planet, put y’all back in chains, conduct war on women, traumatize students, destroy dreamers — all the boilerplate extremism designed to put Trump on the defensive so that he will settle for half an agenda and “reach out” to cement his respectability as a “listener” before the court of D.C. fixtures, the campuses, the foundations, the think tanks, the media, the social circles of Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
The Siren strategy of the Left will also be to point out that his future is already destabilizing America — Trump must therefore reach out right now to the “disaffected” in the streets who are “hurting.” Thereby, he will “heal” the nation, if only he backs off from “right-wing” and “extremist” ideas of selling coal overseas or building a wall and taxing billions of dollars in remittance from illegal aliens to pay for it.

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Comment from an Angry Reader:

I’m sure it was fun exercising your giant brain, but my surprise and I imagine most “liberals” was that enough Americans were willing to vote for what appears to be a sociopath.

He disqualified himself for me when he openly espoused physical violence against those who disagree with you. Basically the root principle justifying fascism—when the entity being disagreed with is the state.

 No matter what the real Trump turns out to be—even the greatest president that ever was—anyone who voted for him is no better than a Nazi.

 Don’t bother to answer, I don’t give a shit what your rationalization is, or indeed the rationalization of anyone who equates Clinton and Trump as two equally bad choices.

 Richard Waddle

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Richard Waddle,

Are you referring to Trump’s intemperate remarks to protestors disrupting his rallies? I thought that unwise, but we learn post facto that such use of disruption was paid for by operatives in pay of the Democratic National Committee, and the architect of the project was a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. Did that fact, given it was actual, not verbal, disqualify Clinton from being the President, not to mention the current president of the United States?

I would like to have replied to your charge of “fascism,” but you realize that your formulation here is utterly incoherent. What exactly does your half-thought mean: “Basically the root principle justifying fascism—when the entity being disagreed with is the state.” Hieroglyphics or English?

I was wondering when the Nazi charge would come, and was surprised that you held off until half your rant was finished. How exactly is voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton—roughly half the country did the same—synonymous with starting World War II and exterminating 6 million in death camps?

And again, you are seriously confused: the statement “No matter what the real Trump turns out to be—even the greatest president that ever was—anyone who voted for him is no better than a Nazi” is internally inconsistent. A president greater than Washington, Lincoln, or Roosevelt obviously is antithetical to Nazism. For example, do you mean to imply that a president who might be greater than the man who warred against and defeated Nazism is a Nazi?

And why so emotional?

Passion without self-control only leaves you confused and adolescent-like. Take you exclamation, “Don’t bother to answer, I don’t give a shit what your rationalization is, or indeed the rationalization of anyone who equates Clinton and Trump as two equally bad choices.”

So you took the trouble to write, but do not wish an answer?

Was the point of this incoherence just to rant rather than to take anti-anxiety medications or to visit a campus safe space lamentation center to pet puppies and play with toys? Note that I never “rationalized” my vote as something equating Clinton and Trump as “two equally bad choices.” They are not. Clinton was worse. Her crimes occurred as a public servant, undermining the idea of equality under the law. Tragically, the Clinton Foundation was run as a veritable crime syndicate that used the cloak of charity to enrich the Clinton family. In contrast, Trump’s excesses were as a private citizen and more rhetorical than factual: what Clinton did is a matter of record; what Trump might do is a matter of conjecture.

After the Nazi smear, I was waiting for the other requisite leftwing trope of obscenity, but again was surprised “sh*t” came so late in your diatribe.

You confirm the old adage the Left loves humanity in the abstract, but does not like people in concrete; in your case, that works out in decrying supposed violence in theory, but in the fact of your writing revealing yourself to be both crude and violent minded to the degree you were occasionally coherent. Quite sad, but also disturbing.

Sincerely, VDH

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