Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Hanson: Struggle Between Elites And Masses Defines US Policy

Clifton Parker // Hoover Institution

Victor Davis Hanson says history offers lessons for today’s technology-driven world, especially when it comes to elites, the masses, and the future of society.

“When the masses feel their will is not reflected in government policies or respected by the professional classes that manages society, then historically there can be a pushback in the form of a populist movement,” said Hanson, the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Conventional society typically views populist movements as “good” or “bad,” Hanson said, depending on whether they are progressive or traditionalist. While the Left traditionally embraces a Bernie Sanders-style populism of high taxes and an expanded welfare state as the “good” form, they typically show disdain for middle or lower class-driven Trumpian populism highly skeptical of an elite class that in today’s landscape benefits almost exclusively from globalization—a “bad” populism, in other words, that appears to them too nationalist or parochial.

Read the full article here.

The Truth Will Set Us All Free

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was star-crossed from the start. His friend and successor as FBI director, James Comey, by his own admission prompted the investigation — with the deliberate leaking of classified memos about his conversations with President Donald Trump to the press.

Mueller then unnecessarily stocked his team with what the press called his “dream team” of mostly Democratic partisans. One had defended a Hillary Clinton employee. Another had defended the Clinton Foundation.

Mueller did not at first announce to the press why he had dismissed Trump-hating FBI operatives Lisa Page and Peter Strzok from his investigative team. Instead, he staggered their departures to leave the impression they were routine reassignments.

But Mueller’s greatest problem was his original mandate to discover whether Trump colluded with the Russians in 2016 to tilt the election in his favor.

Read the full article here.

A Post-Trump World

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

It has been quite a ride since Inauguration Day — or, rather, from Michael Wolff to Omarosa and Michael Cohen, or from the Emoluments Clause to the 25th Amendment, or from talk of decapitating Trump to talk of blowing up the White House.

Yet what might happen should Trump be removed from office, either by impeachment leading to conviction or resignation or by federal indictment from Robert Mueller?

Given the evidence so far, the results could be civil chaos, and for a variety of reasons:

Had Trump misled his base and not fulfilled his campaign promises, he would have little popular support. Had he tanked the economy and started a war, he would be polling in the 20s rather than the mid to lower 40s.

Read the full article here.

The Ideology of Statue Smashing

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Statue smashing is back in the news.

One night last week, University of North Carolina students pulled down “Silent Sam,” a bronze monument to students and faculty of the university who fought as Confederate soldiers in the Civil War.

The bronze figure is portrayed as static, quiet and without ammunition for his gun—and facing northward—apparently a postwar “silent sentinel” impotent, but still defiant.

The Confederate states fought the Civil War to preserve slavery, if not expand it. One can certainly object to the state showcasing an icon that can be seen as inseparable from that evil institution. Yet not all Confederate soldiers thought slavery was their own cause. In North Carolina, about 5 percent of the population, or a quarter of family households, held slaves. The vast majority of the population did not. No doubt some of the non-slaveholding citizenry opposed the idea of indentured servitude. Yet somehow, they squared the circle of fighting for a bad cause by redefining it as protecting their ancestral homeland.

Read the full article here.

The Diversity of Illegal Immigration

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

I live on farm beside a rural avenue in central California, the fifth generation to reside in the same house. And after years of thefts, home break-ins, and dangerous encounters, I have concluded that it is no longer safe to live where I was born. I stay for a while longer because I am sixty-five years old and either too old to move or too worried about selling the final family parcel of what was homesteaded in the 1870s.

Rural Fresno County used to be one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States. I grew up with first-, second-, and third-generation farmers—agrarians of Armenian, German, Greek, Mexican, Japanese, Portuguese, Punjabi, and Scandinavian descent.

Race and ethnicity were richly diverse; yet assimilation was the collective shared goal—made easier because immigration was almost entirely a legal and measured enterprise. No one much carried for the superficial appearance of his neighbors. My own Swedish-American family has intermarried with those of Mexican heritage. My neighbor’s grandchildren are part white, Japanese, and Mexican. The creed growing up was that tribal affiliation was incidental, not essential, to character.

Read the full article here.

The Bombs of August

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

On Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped a uranium-fueled atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, another U.S. Army Air Forces B-29 repeated the attack on Nagasaki, Japan, with an even more powerful plutonium bomb.

Less than a month after the second bombing, Imperial Japan agreed to formally surrender on September 2. That date marked the official end of World War II — the bloodiest human or natural catastrophe in history, accounting for more than 65 million dead.

Each August, Americans in hindsight ponder the need for, the morality of, and the strategic rationale behind the dropping of the two bombs. Yet President Harry Truman’s decision 73 years ago to use the novel, terrifying weapons was not considered particularly controversial, either right before or right after the attacks. Both cities were simply military targets.

Read the full article here.

The Reexamination of Security Clearances Was Long Overdue

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Much has been written about former CIA and FBI official Philip Mudd’s recent unhinged outburst on CNN against Paris Dennard for the latter’s credible suggestion that many ex-officials have monetized the fact that they have retained their security clearances.

Dennard was suggesting that those with security clearances, with a wink and nod, sometimes bolster their partisan expertise by alluding to shadowy knowledge not supposedly known to the rest of us.

Oddly, Mudd himself seemed to have already proven that point, a year earlier, when he sounded “in the know” in expressing his confidence that President Trump was in some sort of physical danger from the intelligence community.

In August 2017, Mudd warned a stunned Jake Tapper on CNN that “the government is going to kill this guy [President Trump].”

Read the full article here.

Angry Reader 08-22-2018

From An Angry Reader:

Subject: Treasonous Historians

You are liar like Trump and you and your fellow Comprotnik should be breaking rocks in Leavenworth… Trying to undermine Mueller won’t work, the report will be devastating. You will be shown just as treasonous, and obviously racist, as the Putin puppet….For memory, how long did the Clinton probes run? You are a liar, not a scholar. LEAVENWORTH CALLS OR IS IT RUSSIAN HOOKERS….


Dear Angry Reader Owen Hall,

Is your angry reader letter serious or a caricature?

I ask only because in such a brief note, you score a 9 on the Angry Reader scale of 10: the anticipated slurs, the mindless repetition of nouns and adjectives, the silly charges of criminal activity, the pro forma capital letters, the incoherent grammar (what is it with the four-dot interruptions? and “you are liar”?), and the comical threats of federal imprisonment or torture (?) by Russian prostitutes.

To the degree that anything like your rant can be answered, let us just wait and let the dual processes of investigation continue. Either the long-delayed Mueller report will fulfill its mandate of investigating so-called Trump collusion and find culpability, and so the president will then be impeached, convicted, and indicted, or he won’t.

And similarly, the cast of characters at the Obama DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSC will be shown either to have used their own offices and power to have weaponized their bureaus to undermine, first, a presidential campaign, and, second, a sitting president, or they will be exonerated from any wrongdoing—such as conspiring to deceive a FISA judge, illegally leaking unmasked names to the press of those found on surveillance reports, implanting informants into a political campaign, using the CIA to help conduct domestic surveillance, lying under oath to Congress and to federal investigators, improperly spying on U.S. citizens, leaking confidential and classified U.S. documents, and massaging and curtailing FBI investigations due to political pressures.

As a preliminary note, however, given the firings, retirements, and reassignments at the FBI and DOJ thus far, and the absence of any indictment involving “collusion,” it may be that those who sought to warp a U.S. election by destroying the Trump campaign face the greater criminal exposure.

From One Psychodrama to Another

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Michael Wolff and his media-hyped blockbuster—that supposedly game-changing landmark of a book Fire and Fury—are now ancient history.

Fading similarly is Karen McDougal, Playboy‘s 1998 Playmate of the Year, and her National Enquirer grifter lawsuit that was also supposed to destroy the Trump presidency.

We are by now mostly tired with Stormy Daniels and her unhinged lawyer Michael Avenatti, who at least proved more entertaining than his porn-star client.

Consiglieri Michael Cohen, the Trump attorney who secretly taped his own client and apparently has been flipped to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s side in his veritable war against Trump, is also sliding into the netherworld of no-news coverage and a legal morass.

Read the full article here.

Was the Pre-Trump World Normal or Abnormal?

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Much of the controversy that surrounds the policies of Donald Trump can be explained as a reaction to the past. He was either clumsily disrupting the sacrosanct or trying to resurrect what was lost.

In other words, what you feel about Trump is inseparable from what you think of the world before Trump.

Was the status quo, especially in the years between 2009 and 2017, normal or abnormal — at least compared with the prior half century?

Take the challenge of China. We are now locked in a veritable trade war with the Chinese. Each side escalates with a threatened new round of tariffs. The subtexts of the conflict range from Chinese military ascendency to patronage of nuclear North Korea.

Read the full article here.

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