Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Victor Davis Hanson: War on COVID-19

Below is an interview that I had on the war against COVID-19

The War between Experience and Credentials

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

During this entire epidemic, and the response to it, there is a growing tension between front-line doctors and scientific researchers, between people who must use and master numbers in their jobs and university statisticians and modelers, and between the public in general and its credentialed experts.

In a nutshell, the divide reflects the ancient opposition between empiricism and abstraction — or more charitably common sense and practical application versus scientific knowledge.

When the two are combined and balanced, then knowledge advances. When they are not, both are deprived of the wisdom of the other.

Read the full article here

Biden Has Become an Albatross for the Democrats

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Joe Biden is the apparent Democratic presidential nominee. After all, he had a seemingly insurmountable lead in delegates going into the rescheduled August convention in the postponed Democratic primary race.

Biden was winning the nomination largely because he was not the socialist Bernie Sanders, who terrified the Democratic establishment.

Biden was also not Michael Bloomberg. The multibillionaire former New York City mayor jumped into the race when Biden faltered and Sanders seemed unstoppable. But Bloomberg spent $1 billion only to confirm that he was haughty, a poor debater, and an even worse campaigner. He often appeared to be an apologist for China and seemed clueless about the interior of the United States.

The least offensive candidate left standing was Biden. Many Democratic primary voters initially had written him off as an inept retread, a blowhard, and an impediment to the leftward, identity-politics trajectory of the newly progressive Democratic Party.

On the campaign trail, Biden insulted several voters, using insults such as “fat,” “damn liar,” and, weirdly, “lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

Read the full article here

Do the Media Even Exist?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

If we lived in a fair and just world, most of the current media would simply go away and try something else.

The problem is not that reporters are human and therefore sometimes err. The rub is not even that they are poorly educated or rarely write well.

We also expect officials to leak one-sided stories and then the media to print them without edits. These are all things baked into the media cake and the public understands, even if it does not quite accept them.

The crisis instead is that they are now almost always wrong, and predictably wrong because they are lazy and biased—and they deny it to the point of self-delusion. The result is that, for all practical purposes, journalists no longer exist for the general public as sources of news.

More than half the country now assumes that the New York TimesWashington Post, NPR, the networks, and the cable news outlets are culpable not of merely failing to tell the truth but of being incapable of telling the truth. Even if they wished to, or had the skills to report empirically and dispassionately, they simply cannot, given their investments in the progressive agenda, and its investments in them. In other words, they are owned—creatures of that agenda.

Nowhere has the media nadir been clearer than in the case of ol’ Joe Biden from Scranton.

Read the full article here

Victor Davis Hanson: Biden VP selection echoes decision Democrats and FDR made in 1944

Victor Davis Hanson // Fox News

Few Americans can remember past vice presidents such as Charles Curtis, Charles Dawes or Thomas Marshall. In more recent memory, almost no one can recall vice presidential nominees who lost such as William Miller, Sargent Shriver or Lloyd Bentsen.

John Nance Garner served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president for two terms (1933-41), but he nonetheless described his eight years as “not worth a bucket of warm spit.” Except “spit” was a euphemism used in place of Garner’s profane slang for urine.

Garner was edged out of the job when leftist Henry Wallace replaced him.

But later, as World War II raged in July 1944, the frail Roosevelt was visibly suffering from a host of ailments during his third term. Rumors swept Washington that FDR was increasingly unable to meet the demands of the presidency.

Henry Wallace and FDR

Henry Wallace and FDR (COURTESY: SCOTT WALLACE)

After all, Roosevelt was 62, a paraplegic, smoker and social drinker who suffered from congestive heart failure. For nearly 12 years he had already endured the most stressful presidency in history, guiding the country through both the Great Depression and World War II.

Read the full article here

About Those Press Conferences

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

President Trump seems increasingly ambivalent about the utility of the daily and sometime marathon press conferences. He should be — and for reasons besides just their length and frequency.

First, Trump gets bogged down into long, back-and-forth jousts with the touché Washington press corps. His impromptu skills, honed both as president and in his years on television, usually ensure him tactical victories. He is not peremptory but retaliatory in his put-downs.

Fine. Most Americans don’t especially like the Washington press corps. So they don’t mind them earning the repartee that their rude provocation deserves.

But Trump’s victories are becoming Pyrrhic.

Anyone who watches the entire press conference sees the context, and why the president is legitimately upset with the constant “gotcha” attempts while the nation has more serious concerns. But few in the nation do watch all of them. Instead the public gleans bits and pieces of them as carefully edited sound bites delivered by print and television media.

Read the full article here

New Victor Davis Hanson Interview

Our ‘Corona Project’

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Whatever we eventually call it, there is a coronavirus “project.”

Chemotherapy
It’s a race to identify the origins, nature, and danger of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the best way to treat, vaccinate against, and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 disease — all without destroying America to save it.

However the Corona Project is defined, it remains different from all previous existential American efforts. We are not building any new weapon or infrastructure or deliberately adopting a radical new policy. Much less are Americans fighting a visible enemy, poverty, or just bad habits.

Instead, we are giving ourselves massive social and economic chemotherapy to weaken or retard the virus within us before our massive therapeutic shutdown kills the U.S. economy — a sort of neutron bomb that destroys human interaction without incinerating visible infrastructure. In other words, we the patient apparently must be sickened to the point of near death in order to survive the disease.

It is certainly difficult to compare similar American mass efforts in the past. Their costs are murky — and not just because of inadequate record keeping, the adjustment of prior dollars to current time and inflation, or the need to consider the relationship between lives and money. In addition, the tab for past “wars on” something or other (e.g., alcohol, illiteracy, smoking, poverty, drugs, etc.) usually rippled out for years, both positively and negatively.

Read the full article here

Our Virus Is a Violent Teacher

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Before this virus has passed, those of the New York Symphony, like the defeated Redcoats at proverbial Yorktown, will be playing the real “The World Turned Upside Down”:

And then strange motions will abound.
Yet let’s be content, and the times lament,
you see the world turn’d upside down.

Before the virus, apparently we were prepping for our brave new progressive, centrally planned dystopia.

During the Barack Obama years, government agencies had begun to chart a new inclusive future for hoi polloi Americans. We were lectured frequently that the Obama arc of the moral universe was long, but it always bent toward his sense of justice. Translated that meant, like it or not, we Americans had a preordained moral rendezvous with a progressive destiny.

Suburban lifestyles, yards, grass, rural living, and commute driving were to be phased out. High rises, government run-buses, and high-speed rail were in: more people in less space, with less energy consumed, meant less trouble. Granny was better off in a green rest home, not the back bedroom.

Ohio was over; the EU was our future. Clean coal was a 20th-century embarrassment; the next and future Solyndra would be cutting-edge. The idea that the United States ought to be self-sufficient in energy and food seemed worthy of yawns.

Read the full article here

Pandemic Is but One of America’s Security Concerns

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The world was a dangerous place before — and will be after — the coronavirus pandemic.

While Americans debate the proper ongoing response to the virus and argue over the infection’s origins, nature, and trajectory, they may have tuned out other, often just as scary, news.

Many Americans are irate at China for its dishonest and lethal suppression of knowledge about the viral outbreak. But they may forget that China has other huge problems, too.

Its overseas brand is tarnished. Importers can never again be sure of the safety or reliability of Chinese exports. They will know only that their producer is a serial falsifier that is capable of anything to ensure power and profits.

Read the full article here

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