Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Election 2008

Illiberal Liberalism

The left’s disdain for ordinary Americans has deep historical roots.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas 

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama let slip his disdain for the middle-class when he explained his lack of traction among such voters. “It’s not surprising then,” Obama said, “that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade482px-Presidentwoodrowwilson sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” More recently, U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley mocked his opponent incumbent Chuck Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” The liberal disdain for ordinary Americans has been around for a long time. Beneath the populist rhetoric and concern for the middle class that lace the campaign speeches of most liberal politicians, there lurks a palpable disgust, and often contempt, for the denizens of “flyover country,” that land of God, guns, religion, and traditional beliefs.

In Revolt Against the Masses, the Manhattan Institute senior fellow and New York Post columnist Fred Siegel presents a clearly written and engaging historical narrative of how nearly a century ago this strain of illiberal liberalism began to take over the Democratic Party. Along the way he also provides an excellent political history of the period that illuminates the “ugly blend of sanctimony, self-interest, and social-connections” lying at the heart of liberalism today.

Siegel begins with a valuable survey of the “progenitors,” the early twentieth-century thinkers and writers whose ideas shaped the liberal ideology. Those who know English writer H. G. Wells only as an early pioneer of science-fiction novels Read more →

Reap What You Sow

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

In the next few weeks, we will probably hear more stories about journalists whose correspondence was monitored, and more creepy details about the corruption of the IRS. Read more →

Obama’s Second-Term Embarrassments

“Hope and change” is looking like the 1973 Nixon White House.

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

In Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he ran to the left of Hillary Clinton as a moral reformer. Read more →

Who Will Bell America?

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Remember the medieval fable about the mice that wanted their dangerous enemy, the cat, belled, but each preferred not to be the one to attempt the dangerous deed? Read more →

Obama’s Hypocritic Oath

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Barack Obama has a habit of identifying a supposed crisis in collective morality, damning straw men “them” who engage in such ethical lapses, soaring with rhetorical bromides — and then, to national quiet, doing more or less the exact things he once swore were ruining the country. Read more →

The Way of the Community Organizer

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

As the campaign heats up, and the self-imposed restrictions of 2008 disappear, we will likely hear more about the once proud associations and friendships of Barack Obama that were all Trotskyized by the media ministries of truth during the unhinged summer of 2008. Read more →

From Hope and Change to Fear ad Smear

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

Barack Obama lately has been accusing presumptive rival Mitt Romney of not waging his campaign in the nice (but losing) manner of John McCain in 2008. But a more marked difference can be seen in Obama himself, whose style and record bear no resemblance to his glory days of four years ago. Read more →

Two, Three, Many Obamas

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

As the campaign heats up, one problem is that we continue to meet lots of different Barack Obamas — to such a degree that we don’t know which, if any, is really president. Read more →

Obama’s Gay Marriage ‘Evolution’ Deception

by Bruce S. Thornton

FrontPage Magazine

In yet another act of election-year cynicism, Barack Obama has announced, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” This statement follows similar pronouncements by Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. To hear Obama tell it, this change reflects his “evolution” away from his previously stated position, which he made clear in 2008 a few days before the election: “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Read more →

Presidential Narcissism

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Former president Bill Clinton just appeared in a reelection television commercial for President Barack Obama. At one point, Clinton weighs in on the potential consequences of Obama’s decision to go ahead with the planned assassination of Osama bin Laden. Read more →

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