Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Is Trump an Island?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review


If Trump would let his deeds speak for themselves, he would quiet his enemies far more than he does with Twitter broadsides.

No man is an island entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . .

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

— John Donne

The pathological hatred of Donald Trump — from impeachment votes to the emoluments-clause suits to assassination chic to talk of invoking 25th Amendment to sexual-harassment writs — would grind down almost any 71-year-old man. Trump may be ego-driven and have a proverbially thin skin, but even a rhino would finally chafe under the 24/7 media detestation of his person, his family, and his presidency.

Someday soon now, we will look back at the Russian-collusion psychodrama, the strange transference of his transition team’s emails to Robert Mueller, the Clinton role in the Steele-Fusion GPS dossier, the destruction of journalistic integrity, and the slant of the Mueller investigation team and appreciate that we were living through an effort to swing the 2016 election and, failing that, a veritable slow-motion effort to remove an elected presidency.

The ubiquitous Lisa Bloom, we learn, was attempting to arrange payments for, or at least merchandise the testimonies of, supposed Trump harassment victims in the waning days of the 2016 campaign. Both liberal and conservative surveys of the media reveal that at least 90 percent of Trump coverage has been negative. Those who once held positions now held by Trump disown them; what they used to oppose, they now embrace — the only constant being whatever Trump is against, they are for.

Fake news will not stop. The rewards among peers and the media profession for getting a whack to Trump are felt worth the costs of largely betraying the cannons of journalism. A generation ago, a Brian Ross — twice now caught trafficking in untruths — would have been through as a journalist. Today, he is merely suspended as a temporary casualty in the noble war against Trump evil. Read more →

From An Angry Reader:

Victor David Hanson, you’d sweep the table. Your post-tweet Presidency column entry tops all possible contenders in its unique blend of so-bad-its-good upending suspension of logic and unearned laudatory excess that the academy is bereft of adequate means of expression to honor its achievements.

 Perhaps its heaps and heaps of praises could be stacked in a pyre with the rest of your journalistic output in the same vein, your reputation placed on top, and the whole saccharine malodorous pile set ablaze.

That guy with your name who writes those sober and sane books and historical studies must daily be abashed at being confused for you.

 Paul Freedman

Vienna, VA


Dear Angry Reader Paul Freedman,


Davis not David—not a good start. Whoa—slow down: your vocabulary and syntax of outrage have stampeded.

To write an effective Angry Reader letter, you must be specific and give examples, rather than start out with “you’d sweep the table” boilerplate. What then follows is mostly generic hyperbole without references or examples.

I made a simple argument: 1) Trump so far had defied expert opinion in using Twitter, sometimes crudely, for political advantage; 2) But after 10 months in office he has achievements (good economy, recalibrated foreign policy, likely tax reform, good appointments [especially judicial], soaring energy production, and deregulation; 3) Consequently, while Twitter is effective in reaching millions to convey his messages, he need not joust one-on-one with individual journalists and celebrities, but rather let his record and improving economy speak for itself and not be impaired by rhetoric distractions. Read more →

The War of Wars Analyzed to the Third Decimal Place

By Larry Thornberry // The American Spectator

A magnificent contribution from Victor Davis Hanson.

Disruptive Politics in the Trump Era: Yuval Levin or Victor Davis Hanson?

By | December 15, 2017
American Greatness

The crucial question for the American Right today, as it has been for at least 60 years, is: What is the nature of its confrontation with modern liberalism?

Is it a policy argument over how to achieve the common goals of liberal democracy? Are we working to expand liberty, equality, and prosperity for all citizens? Do we share the same principles with American liberals but differ with them  over policy and how best to implement those principles? Is it really,  as  Yuval Levin has said, “a coherent debate between left and right forms of liberalism”?

Or is this conflict a much deeper existential struggle over the very nature of the American “regime” itself—its principles, values, institutions, mores, culture, education, citizenship, and “way of life”? Is it, as Victor Davis Hanson has put it, that we are in a “larger existential war for the soul of America”?

I would argue that Hanson is essentially correct: We are in the middle of a “regime” struggle. Read more →

From An Angry Reader:


It’s a good thing I’m 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) away from you.


You can take that any way you want.


Daniel Weir

Washington, DC




Dear Angry Reader Daniel Weir,


Making personal threats against someone with whom you disagree is not good for the soul.


Victor Hanson

Selma, CA



From An Angry Reader:

You live in an alternate universe, silly clown, silly institute, silly magazine. But the article was funny so congrats.


Bruce Patten



Dear Angry Reader Bruce Patten,


I congratulate you on your succinctness and your use of anaphora (“silly”…”silly”…”silly”) but otherwise your note is simply personal invective and underwhelming satire that is applicable to anything—and thus unfortunately nothing.



Victor Hanson

Why Trump Should Consider a Post-Twitter Presidency

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review


By now, the president’s record has transcended his social-media idiosyncrasies.


Almost every supposedly informed prediction about President Donald Trump’s compulsive Twitter addiction has so far proved wrong.


He did not tweet his way out of the Republican nomination. Spontaneous social-media messaging did not lose Trump the general election race with Hillary Clinton. Nor has Trump tweeted his presidency into oblivion.


Instead, Trump’s tweets have not just bypassed the mostly progressive media; they’ve sent it into a tizzy. In near-suicidal fashion, networks such as CNN have melted down in hatred of Trump, goaded on by Trump’s Twitter digs.


Trump has often bragged that having a large following on social media — he has more than 44 million Twitter followers and connects with millions more via Facebook and Instagram — is “like having your own newspaper.”


He has a point. Read more →

One Mueller-Investigation Coincidence Too Many

by Victor Davis Hanson//National Review


Stacking the deck with anti-Trump staffers is proving to be a really bad idea.


Special prosecutors, investigators, and counsels are usually a bad idea. They are admissions that constitutionally mandated institutions don’t work — and can be rescued only by supposed superhuman moralists, who are without the innate biases inherent in human nature.


The record from Lawrence Walsh to Ken Starr to Patrick Fitzgerald suggests otherwise. Originally narrow mandates inevitably expand — on the cynical theory that everyone has something embarrassing to hide. Promised “short” timelines and limited budgets are quickly forgotten. Prosecutors search for ever new crimes to justify the expense and public expectations of the special-counsel appointment. Soon the investigators need to be investigated for their own conflicts of interest, as if we need special-special or really, really special prosecutors. Special investigations often quickly turn Soviet, in the sense of “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”


Special Counsel Robert Mueller has led what seems to be an exemplary life of public service. No doubt he believes that as a disinterested investigator he can get to the bottom of the once contentious charge of “Russian collusion” in the 2016 election. But can he? Read more →

Axis powers miscalculated after early advantages in World War II, Stanford scholar says


Axis powers miscalculated after early advantages in World War II, Stanford scholar says

By 1942, the Axis powers seemed invincible. But the course of the war soon changed in ways that offer lessons for the U.S. and its allies in today’s world, said Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institution senior fellow.

In the early years of World War II, the Axis powers had the upper hand. The tide turned when the Axis leaders overreached and the Allies steered their more massive economies and populations into wartime mode.

Bombers and anti-aircraft guns

(Image credit: narvikk/iStock)

By 1942, the Axis powers seemed invincible, but the course of the war soon changed in ways that offer lessons for the U.S. and its allies in today’s world, said Victor Davis Hanson, a Hoover Institution senior fellow.

Understanding how miscalculations by Germany and Japan led to their defeat offers lessons for world leaders today on how to avoid another major conflict, a Stanford scholar said.

“The once ascendant Axis powers were completely ill-prepared – politically, economically and militarily – to win the global war they had blundered into during 1941,” writes Victor Davis Hanson, a military historian and a Hoover Institution senior fellow, in a new book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

At the start of the war, the misperception was “that the Axis powers, particularly Germany and Japan, were ferocious war makers in the global sense and that they were strategically adept and almost unstoppable,” Hanson said in a recent interview. Read more →

Uncommon Knowledge Part 2: The Second World Wars with Victor Davis Hanson

This video was originally published by the Hoover Institution. Click here to learn more about this episode.

Could the Axis powers have won? What are the counterfactuals for World War II?  Find out in part two of this episode as Victor Davis Hanson joins Peter Robinson to discuss his latest book, The Second World Wars.

Victor Davis Hanson explains the counterfactuals of World War II, the “what-ifs” that easily could have changed the outcome of the war. If Hitler had not attacked Russia or the Japanese had not attacked Pearl Harbor, the USSR would have never turned on Germany and the United States would have never entered the war. Hanson argues that the leaders of the Axis powers overreached in their strategies, which ultimately caused their downfall. Hanson also explores the counterfactual surrounding the American commanders and the “what-ifs” that could have prevented American success in the war.

Victor Davis Hanson also reflects on his own family history and connections to World War II and how it shaped him as both a person and a scholar in his life today. He talks about his motivations to write his latest book, The Second World Wars, and how his family history and the current political climate inspired him to write it.

Watch both episodes to learn more about the history of World War II. You can watch the first episode here.

%d bloggers like this: