Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

You Say You Want A Revolution?

By Thomas Donnelly

 

To paraphrase the Beatles: Well, you know, you’d better free your mind instead; you may want a revolution but ought to settle for some evolution.

It is an article of revealed religion among defense elites that “we live in a relentlessly changing and fiercely competitive world.” Those words were from former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, once a physicist and someone deeply imbued with the idea that technological change and competition were the elements propelling change, and that those who failed to “innovate” were doomed to defeat: “Today’s era of military competition is characterized by the additional variables of speed and agility, such that leading the race now frequently depends on who can out-innovate faster than everyone else, and even change the game.”

Read the full article here” 

http://www.hoover.org/research/you-say-you-want-revolution-2

NOTE: Strategika is an online journal produced by the Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict at the Hoover Institution. Victor Davis Hanson chairs the Military History Working Group with counsel from Bruce S. Thornton and David L. Berkey, along with collaboration form the group’s distinguished scholars, military historians, analysts, journalists, and military officers.

The World on January 20, 2017

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
Red-blue tensions at home, mounting dangers abroad
Most Americans are worried about our domestic crises. Obama left office after doubling the debt to $20 trillion. Near-zero interest rates over eight years have impoverished an entire generation of seniors — and yet remain key to servicing the costs of such reckless borrowing.
Over the last eight years, GDP never grew at 3 percent annually, the first time we’ve seen such low growth since the Hoover administration. Obamacare spiked health-care premiums and deductibles while restricting access and reducing patient choices. Racial politics are at a nadir and make one nostalgic for the environment before 2009.
Red-blue tensions are at an all-time high, and suddenly there is talk of 1860s-like Confederate nullification of federal laws. It’s now the norm for prominent commentators to call for the murder, forced removal, or resignation of the current president. A New York Times columnist asked the IRS to commit a felony by sending him Trump’s tax returns, and then he boasts by providing his own address.
The Democratic party is nearly ruined, reduced to a shrill coastal party animated not by an agenda but by unhinged hatred of Donald Trump and a new religion of race, class, and gender politics.

Read more →

From an Angry Reader:

Read your column on immigration published in the 2/24/2017 Morning Call (Lehigh Valley, PA) and was wondering – you seemed to indicate that falsification of government affidavits should be grounds for deportation.  Since it appears that Melanie Trump was employed in violation of her visa in the mid 1990’s, and lied about it on her naturalization application, would you support deporting her, or do you favor a different standard for the rich?

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/37dc7aef0ce44077930b7436be7bfd0d/trumps-wife-modeled-us-prior-getting-work-visa

 Thomas Schreiber

 Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Thomas Schreiber,

 I am not aware that news accounts of Ms. Trump’s immigration status of years past were any more accurate than were charges that she worked for an escort service—smears that led to an ongoing lawsuit against the Daily Mail.

 No one has successfully accused Ms. Trump of entering the US illegally or committing document falsification—as you insinuate.

 Rather the election-cycle rumors were that she entered the US on a tourist visa (and and subsequently resided on a work visa and then a green card) and worked before her work visa was processed.

 In contrast, she insists she was scouting job opportunities while on a tourist visa and subsequently went to work only when she obtained a work visa and then a green card.

 The dispute involves a 7-week period in the transition between a tourist and a work visa. The AP story did not substantiate your accusations, given that it is based on anonymous sources that supposedly provided ledgers dating back more than 20 years ago—and which remained unnamed. The accusations appeared, of course, just days before the November election.

 In sum, Ms. Trump’s has not been accused of falsification of documents; and there is as yet no evidence that she jumped the gun by 7 weeks by working rather than just investigating work before the transition to her work visa. To compare this charge with falsification of documents or filing false affidavits is ridiculous. And Melania Knauss was not “rich” when she entered the United States two decades ago as you also falsely allege.

 If you remain worried about equality under the law, I suggest reexamining Hillary Clinton’s exemption after destroying email, illegally using a private server for State Department business, and granting concessions to large donors to the Clinton Foundation; they are better examples of the rich receiving preferential treatment than rumors about one Melanie Knauss working rather than interviewing for work a few weeks before her legal work visa was finalized.

 Sincerely, Victor Hanson

From and Angry Reader:

Dear Professor Hanson,

Evidently you are a supporter of Donald Trump. If I read your essay on this subject correctly, you seem to be implying that, unlike the false elitism of the Washington Beltway, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley, we should look to the real basis of brilliance and repute in a “demonstrable record of moral and intellectual excellence.”

Do you seriously mean to say that Donald Trump’s life has such a “demonstrable record”?  A man who cavalierly treats women as objects for his sexual pleasure and lies at the drop of a hat we are to believe is a man of high moral character?  Or one who has trouble constructing a sentence using a vocabulary of more than 100 words (everything is just “fantastic”) demonstrates intellectual excellence? Read more →

Don’t Sweat the Big Stuff

 by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
Politicians who cannot cope with the realities of governing should stop fantasizing about utopia.
The recent Academy Awards ceremony turned into a monotony of hate. Many of the stars who mounted the stage ranted on cue about the evils of President Donald Trump.
Such cheap rhetoric is easy. But first, accusers should guarantee that their own ceremony is well run. Instead, utter bedlam ruined the event, as no one on the Oscar stage even knew who had won the Best Picture award.
Stars issued lots of rants about Trump but were apparently unaware that one of the ceremony’s impromptu invited guests was a recent parolee and registered sex offender.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg used to offer all sorts of cosmic advice on the evils of smoking and the dangers of fatty foods and sugary soft drinks. Bloomberg also frequently pontificated on abortion and global warming, earning him a progressive audience that transcended the boroughs of New York.

Read more →

 03/10/17

From an Angry Reader:

Mr. Hansen –

In this commentary, you appear to be engaging in sophistry. In other words, you appear to be decisively imparting falsehoods. First you fabricate a definition of the “American elite” comprised exclusively of progressives. Then you fabricate a reality where the mainstream press disseminates lies, where college campuses lack diversity and muzzle free speech and where progressives have fallen down in addressing the problems of the inner cities. Finally you fabricate an argument that the so-called elite have “titles, brands and buzz” but no “demonstrable knowledge or proven character”. This is a perfect example of deflection and psychological projection. You have, wittingly or not, described your populist hero Donald Trump, a man with “brands and buzz”, who disseminates lies, impugns minorities, muzzles the press, cares little about the inner cities and clearly lacks knowledge or character.

– Allan Cooper

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Allan Cooper

One of the themes of the Angry Reader column is the predictable use by Leftists such as yourself of personal invective (“sophistry”, “falsehoods”, “fabricate”, etc.) along with intellectual laziness.

Take your allegation that I wrote that elites are “comprised exclusively of progressives”.

How does that assertion square with my allusion in the column on elites to “many in the Republican Party as well” or to the “Bush or Clinton families”. Are the Bushes and the Republican Party progressives?

So it is hard to take you seriously when the first allegation you make is demonstrably false.

And it sadly it is all downhill from there: Read more →

The Ancient Laws of Unintended Consequences

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review

Eight years of a fawning press have made the Left reckless.

The classical idea of a divine Nemesis (“reckoning” or “downfall”) that brings unforeseen retribution for hubris (insolence and arrogance) was a recognition that there are certain laws of the universe that operated independently of human concerns.

Call Nemesis a goddess. But it was also simply an empirical observation about collective and predictable human behavior: Excess invites unexpected correction.

Something like hubris incurring Nemesis is now following the frenzied progressive effort to nullify the Trump presidency. Read more →

Talk Radio, Cable News, the Mainstream Media, and the News Revolution

The Corner
The one and only.
by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
In the hubbub over Trump’s attack on the media, we sometimes forget that Barack Obama et al. customarily went after talk-radio and cable-news conservatives — whose job, after all, was opinion journalism — as biased, whereas Trump went more after news-gathering organizations who deliver the news under the pretense of straight reporting.
Who has suffered from this ongoing media crackup?
Not conservative opinion journalists on television and radio. The role of talk-radio and cable-news outlets is to interpret the news, and they continue to do that well from a conservative point of view.
But are the mainstream news outlets — AP, Reuters, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. — commensurately doing their quite different jobs?
Hardly, given the epidemic of fake news passed off as disinterested reporting, the hysterias about the Russians, the smearing of officials like Jeff Sessions, or the collusion to undermine the Trump administration in general.
What we are witnessing is an utter inversion in the supposed way the media works. Whereas the task of a Rush Limbaugh or Tucker Carlson is to offer cogent analysis from a more conservative viewpoint on the news of the day, a supposedly disinterested media cannot be relied upon in the same degree to do their quite different job of reporting the days’ events.
Or is the implosion of the mainstream media even more revolutionary?

Read more →

Is the American Elite Really Elite?

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review

The public no longer believes that privilege and influence should be predicated on titles, brands, and buzz.

 

Establishment furor over the six-week-old Trump administration is growing.

 

Outraged New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently compared Trump’s victory to disasters in American history that killed and wounded thousands such as the Pearl Harbor surprise bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 

The New Republic — based on no evidence — theorized that Trump could well be mentally unstable due to the effects of neurosyphilis.

 

Talk of removing the new president through impeachment, or opposing everything he does (the progressive “Resistance”), is commonplace. Some op-ed writers and pundits abroad have openly hoped for his violent death.

 

Trump is in a virtual war with the mainstream global media, the entrenched so-called deep state, the Democratic-party establishment, progressive activists, and many in the Republican party as well.

 

The sometimes undisciplined and loud Trump is certainly not a member of the familiar ruling cadre, which dismisses him as a crude and know-nothing upstart who should never have been elected president. (Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and served a full term, a member of either the Bush or Clinton families would have been president for 24 years of a 32-year span.) Read more →

Presidential Payback for Media Hubris

 
 This article is reprinted from Defining Ideas, an online journal at the Hoover Institution. To read the original article click here

Donald Trump conducted a press conference recently as if he were a loud circus ringmaster whipping the media circus animals into shape. The establishment thought the performance was a window into an unhinged mind; half the country thought it was a long overdue media comeuppance.

The media suffer the lowest approval numbers in nearly a half-century. In a recent Emerson College poll, 49 percent of American voters termed the Trump administration “truthful”; yet only 39 percent believed the same about the news media.

Every president needs media audit. The role of journalists in a free society is to act as disinterested censors of government power—neither going on witch-hunts against political opponents nor deifying ideological fellow-travelers.

Sadly, the contemporary mainstream media—the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN), the traditional blue-chip newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times), and the public affiliates (NPR, PBS)—have lost credibility. They are no more reliable critics of President Trump’s excesses than they were believable cheerleaders for Barack Obama’s policies.

Trump may have a habit of exaggeration and gratuitous feuding that could cause problems with his presidency. But we would never quite know that from the media. In just his first month in office, reporters have already peddled dozens of fake news stories designed to discredit the President—to such a degree that little they now write or say can be taken at face value.

No, Trump did not have any plans to invade Mexico, as Buzzfeed and the Associated Press alleged.

No, Trump’s father did not run for Mayor of New York by peddling racist television ads, as reported by Sidney Blumenthal. Read more →

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