Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Understanding the California Mind

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Nancy Pelosi gave a marathon speech on illegal immigration the other day. But how would she know much about the realities of open borders, given her palatial retreat in Northern California and multi-millionaire lifestyle that allows wealthy progressives like herself to be exempt from the consequences of her own hectoring? In the end, the House minority leader was reduced to some adolescent racialist patter about her grandson wishing to look more like his Mexican-American friend.

I was thinking of the San Francisco Democrat’s speech last week, during a brief drive into our local town, in a region that is ground zero of California’s illegal immigration experience.

Illegal immigrants are neither collective saints nor sinners, but simply individuals who arrive from one of the poorest regions in the Americas, without legality or much in the way of English, or high school education.

Read more →

Kill Chic

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

In movies, novels, music, and art, progressives murder their enemies, including presidents, in myriad ways.

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom.

We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping flesh, as if it is some sort of macabre ballet. Rap music has institutionalized violence against women and the police — to the tune of billions in profits, largely as a way for suburban kids to find vicarious street authenticity. And this idea of metaphorically cutting, bleeding, or shooting those whom you don’t like without real consequences has seeped into the national political dialogue.

For example, why does popular culture wink and nod at the widespread metaphorical killing of Republican presidents? Liberals used to believe that words mattered and images had consequences; the casual glorification of carnage trivialized violence and only made it more acceptable — and likely.

Read more →

02/16/2018 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

Sir, Your piece on political scandals is totally skewed of facts. The only so-called FISA-gate has been created by Trump’s lacky Nunes. Your writing of lies and inaccuracies only fuels the clueless base of this president. I don’t need to tell you what the real information about the Carter Page investigation reveals. The vomit you write is just total fantasy building up an immoral and totally unfit president. Hopefully you’ll come to your senses when all of these scumbags are thrown out of our White House. Kelly is on his way out along with two staffers. Forty plus other staffers still have no security clearances after more than a year. Nunes will be brought forth for obstruction of justice, not following his charge to investigate Russian interference, but trying to set up the Justice Department to eventually get rid of Dept. Attorney General Rosenstein. Your column was disgusting at best and a total disgrace to factual journalism. Jack Sweeney

Read more →

Who’s Really Winning the North Korea Standoff?

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

There have been wild reports that the United States is considering a “bloody nose” preemptive attack of some sort on North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Such rumors are unlikely to prove true. Preemptive attacks usually are based on the idea that things will so worsen that hitting first is the only chance to decapitate a regime before it can do greater damage.

But in the struggle between Pyongyang and Washington, who really has gotten the upper hand?

With its false happy face in the current Winter Olympics, North Korea thinks it is winning the war of nerves. Yet its new nuclear-missile strategy is pretty transparent. It wants to separate South Korea’s strategic interests from those of the United States, with boasts — backed by occasional nuclear-missile tests — that it can take out West Coast cities.

Read more →

02/14/2018 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader

From SM:

Your article sucks. What if CNN didn’t hate FDR? You can’t debate a hypothetical situation.

Trump is probably going to prison. Have fun.


Dear Angry Reader SM,

1) Define “sucks.”

2) It is called counter-factual history and offers food, however unwished, for thought.

3) Trump is not likely to be going to prison, because key Democratic Senators such as Diane Feinstein, Obama-appointed intelligence officers such as James Comey and James Clapper, and private FBI correspondence such as the texts of the Page-Strzok archive, all conceded that there is no evidence of Russian collusion, a conclusion borne out by the pivot in the Mueller investigation away from its original mandate. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton might face legal consequences, given her destruction of subpoenaed material, her use of an illegal private server, her quid pro quo relations with foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation, and her present likely permanent distance from power.

4) I always try to have fun.

From VH

02/12/18 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

I was surprised this morning. Usually when I read your column I want to throw up. But today’s column was absolutely brilliant

Nice job

Mike Benbrook

Oakhurst CA


Dear Reforming Angry Reader Mike Benbrook,

Vomiting is not healthy. If I were to do so each time I receive a reader’s ad hominem rant, I would be bulimic by now. Still, I appreciate your ability to find a diamond now and then floating otherwise in a sea of vomit.

Victor Hanson

Selma, CA

02/09/18 Angry Reader

From An Angry(?) Reader:

Greetings Professor Hanson!

For many years now, I have followed you on talk radio, TV interviews, YouTube videos, books and published articles. I greatly appreciate your commitment to truth, accurate history and the application of those two principles to current events. Your reasoning and observations are always clear, astute and logical. Good job!

However, I consider myself one of your angry readers, because you either show no interest in or have utterly failed to create 7,969 clones of yourself and get them elected to public office (1 President, 535 Congressmen and Senators, 50 Governors and 7,383 state legislators). I know there is a big drawback to all this, but your wisdom, knowledge and understanding more than make up for your willingness to live amongst the heathen there in California.

Since cloning yourself doesn’t seem to be a priority for you, could you do one other thing for me? Seriously, would you shoot me a “short” list of your favorite classical literature dealing with the nature of man, war, religion and government? I would love to read them.

Read more →

02/08/18 Angry Reader

From An Angry Reader:

I initially became interested in your work after your podcast interview with Dan Carlin many years ago. The need to engage in a priori reasoning is an important lesson. It is disappointing that you have forgotten this lesson in your many defenses of Trump and your unhinged criticisms of Barack Obama. Most telling is how you criticized Obama (multiple times in print) of once pronouncing corpsman wrong while Trump is given a pass for savaging a gold star family and criticizing prisoners of war as losers who got caught. Let us hope you can regain your senses.

Rajdeep Kandola

Dear Angry Reader Rajdeep Kandola,

Read more →

Scandal, Corruption, Lawbreaking — And So What?

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The FISA-gate, Clinton emails, and Uranium One scandals are sort of reaching a consensus. Many things quite wrong and illegal were done by both Hillary Clinton and her entourage and members of the Obama agencies and administration — both the acts themselves and the cover-ups and omissions that ensued.

Remember, in the FISA-gate scandal such likely widespread criminal behavior was predicated on two premises: 1) certainty of an easy Clinton victory, after which the miscreants would be not only excused but probably rewarded for their zeal; 2) progressive hubris in which our supposedly moral betters felt it their right, indeed their duty, to use unethical and even unlawful means for the “greater good” — to achieve their self-described moral ends of stopping the crude and reactionary Trump.

The wrongdoing probably includes attempting to warp a U.S. election, Russian collusion, repeatedly misleading and lying before the FISA courts, improperly surveilling American citizens, unmasking the names of citizens swept up in unlawful surveillance and then illegally leaking them to the press, disseminating and authenticating opposition smears during a political campaign, lying under oath to Congress, obstructing ongoing investigations, using federal funds to purchase ad hominem gossip against a presidential candidate, blatant conflicts of interests, weaponizing federal investigations, trafficking in and leaking classified information . . . The list goes on and on.

Read more →

Republican Embarrassments

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Free-marketers are right that tax cuts stimulate economic growth that in turn lead to expanding production and eventually more federal tax revenue.

But the problem traditionally has been that to obtain tax reductions, Republicans also have had to sign on reluctantly to larger expenditures. Or, worse, they willingly believed they could spend more, simply because more money poured into the federal treasuries.

George W. Bush doubled the national debt. After running against Bush profligacy (remember the Chinese credit card trope), Barack Obama doubled it again by doubling Bush’s levels of borrowing. Conservatives blasted Obama for his even greater lack of thrift. The Tea Party movement emerged in reaction to reckless expenditures and borrowing to fund Obamacare.

Now Donald Trump is caught in the same old matrix. His deregulation, tax cuts, and energy expansion will likely increase federal revenue. But his various budget concessions and his own proposed increases in defense spending and infrastructure would likely bleed the budget at a far greater rate than the growing federal revenue.

Once again, new spending will discredit conservative vows of budget prudence and supply-side economics. (Budget-wise, what good does it do to expand the economy if the political price is acquiescence to ever greater and costlier government?) Read more →

%d bloggers like this: