Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Forgotten Americans

Obama’s coalition is held together only by his personal mythography.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

26 Thoughts on “The Forgotten Americans

  1. John Stephens on November 26, 2014 at 10:27 am said:

    The Democrats under Obama are a cult of personality, and it turns out he didn’t actually have one.

  2. John Lewis on November 26, 2014 at 10:56 am said:

    The Obamite politics are extremely damaging in that it is precisely the spurned centre who do America’s heavy lifting – win its wars, develop its resources, man its factories, and innovate, innovate, innovate! Kill off the middle class and working class and all else withers.

    It is precisely the energy and resourcefulness of that middle and lower middle class where American exceptionalism lies. As Obama finds that so deeply offensive, it means that he is pitted against the very best part of America.

  3. Jeff Stanley on November 26, 2014 at 11:05 am said:

    I would feel better about the progressives’ current problems if the loyal opposition had a deeper philosophical grasp of the principles of liberty, the rule of law, and free markets — along with the ability to communicate those principles to the electorate — than they have displayed since Reagan.

    • Charles Gonzalez on November 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm said:

      I agree Jeff; I mostly find the professor’s sour pronouncements on the USA deeply unaware, but this post does hint at something that you focused on; not having voted for the President in either 08 or 12, I was never captured by his magical message….Neither though was I captured, impressed or engaged by anything the other party was saying. I voted for McCain out of personal respect for his record and integrity, and did not cast a vote for President in 2012. While I am somewhat more impressed with the collection of would be candidates for the GOP in 16; I remain unconvinced that they will create, commit to and articulate a compelling message that really addresses the critical issues that Professor Hansen’s middle class are waiting for, and not just promote lower taxes for their corporate and hedge fund backers.

  4. so now we understand how hitler hoodwinked the germans.

  5. He had it coming. Popular TV series “Homeland” scrubbed Obama’s face in the opening sequence.

    This was the sequence where you saw him upside-down and then the image flips. Does this mean that even if he does what he says, or flip, does the opposite of what he says, he is the wrong guy either way? Now we see H.Clinton and Kerry.

    TV is all about ratings. “Homeland” concluded Obama would reduce the show’s popularity. As the TV audience goes, so goes the nation.

  6. Not sure at all that the dems are on way to ruin. The two party system has failed and until the repubs are able to galvanize as a serious alternative to business as usual which is the continuing growth of government then both parties will trade off. The question really is whether Obama has/will be able to institutionalize his executive orders. The regulatory spider web will surely kill off America faster than anything else. When you want to start a business or maintain a going concern then nothing like onerous regulation will stop it more effectively. I too long for the days of good food- good whiskey- good gamble as Benny Binion said but those days are gone. Everything is more expensive because government is getting bigger and bigger every year and both parties are to blame. There will be less and less places to go to avoid the heavy hand of federal intrusion.

  7. being a conservative, I feel the best person we could choose to lead our movement would be dr. Ben Carson.he is brilliant ,down to earth, and has a proven record of leadership. his a solutions to our country’s needs are honest and are presented in an easy to understand common sense manner[and it will be a lot of fun ,to finally turn the tables and call anyone who speaks against him racist,as we often are accused of]

    • BigMike on November 28, 2014 at 5:29 am said:

      Carson has no political experience at all. The President should have some experience. This in itself makes him unqualified to be President. There is a big overlap between law, and economics and politics, not so much medicine. A medical background is not even most useful on the issue of healthcare, economics is. Carson also has literalist view of the bible; in response to being asked if he would run for President, to paraphrase him, he said he would basically he god directed him to do so…. such self-aggrandizement, as if he is a vessel to channel god’s will. Breathtaking hubris. At least he has some reverence for Greenspan and the market-economy so I’m not saying he’s all bad but there are plenty of better alternatives for President like Newt Gingrich. All the best Ray.

      • You’re on a conservative site and say there are better alternatives like Newt? In what world would we want to elect another Republican establishment hack.

  8. As much as I respect Dr. Hanson’s opinion, I find myself not quite agreeing with him this time. The progressives did not win small. They have effected long-lasting, truly damaging changes within our domestic and foreign policies that will have long-lasting deleterious effects on our country for decades. These are not small victories, but huge victories.

    They have won the argument that health care is a right and that people have the right to have someone else pay for it. They have successfully vilified banks and the wealthy and made financial inequality the centerpiece of any economic thinking. They have successfully won the immigration battle by linking any sound border policy to racism. The litany can go on. These are not small victories, but enormous victories that have degraded our communities, coarsened our discourse, and made us small-minded people with no tolerance for disagreement.

    • I tend to agree with you on the victories of progressives being understated but, healthcare notwithstanding, I don’t agree with which issues were victories. There is no evidence that shows income inequality as being an issue a majority of people cared about or bought into and the immigration issue is an even larger non-victory. A large majority of Americans disagree with progressives on immigration. Where I believe the left has lasting victories is in building a constituency of government employees and in getting a radical, unqualified justice appointed to the Supreme Court.

  9. Dr. Andy Motes on November 26, 2014 at 2:40 pm said:

    This is not a comment for the blog but a request for permission to quote Mr. Hanson in my upcoming book with title “Ray Man, A Sharecropper’s Memoir.” The following is extracted from the manuscript:

    ****************
    War is an interesting manifestation of human psychology. I’ve always wondered why people can’t settle their differences without resorting to violence. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that diplomats are not the ones that fight the wars. In his article, War — past, present and future[1], Historian Victor Davis Hanson made the following statements about war:

    ZZZZZ

    “What ends wars? Not the League of Nations or the United Nations. Unfortunately, war is a sort of cruel laboratory experiment whose bloodletting determines which party, in fact, was the stronger all along. Once that fact is again recognized, peace usually follows. It took 50 million deaths to remind the appeased Axis that Germany, Italy and Japan in 1941 were all along far weaker than the Allies of Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States. The Falklands War ended when Argentines recognized that boasting about beating the British was not the same as beating the British. Each time Hamas builds more tunnels and gets more rockets, it believes this time around it can beat Israel. Its wars end only when Hamas recognizes it can’t. … [A]fter centuries of civilized life, we still have no better way of preventing Neanderthal wars than by reminding Neanderthals that we have the far bigger club—and will use it if provoked.”

    ZZZZZ-end

    I believe that most wars, like all other evils in this world, are a result of selfishness on the part of one side or the other. Since human nature will not change, war will always be inevitable; therefore, we must always have a strong military to demonstrate that, if diplomatic negotiations don’t work, we can resort to violence. In most cases, just the knowledge that one country is stronger than the other allows diplomatic negotiations to work. Because humans are basically selfish, and that will never change, I believe in the concept of peace through strength; to believe otherwise is foolish and illogical.
    **********************

    May I quote Mr. Hanson as shown in the text above?

    Thank you,

    Dr. Andy Motes

  10. David Seward on November 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm said:

    The GOP needs to get back to its roots and stop imitating the Dems with spending. They are well positioned to carry the ball on jobs and the dismantling of Progressive legislation and regulations. This should begin immediately in January. Chuck Schumer’s recent reversal on Obamacare, though purely self serving, is a signal that the massive overreach of the Obama administration is sinking Liberal ideology.

  11. Hoi Polloi Boy on November 27, 2014 at 7:35 am said:

    Today’s modern democrat party is the Communist Party of the 50’s.

  12. 2013 inaugural address ( On you-tube), Obama’s hand on bible , with supreme court Roberts swearing him in ? Like his 2009 speech, He delivers it with a preachers voice (Jeremiah Wright). On his right is Michelle, the Michelle of bruce bailey—eat fried chicken fame. In his speech, “” The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a King, with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob— A government of and by and for the people.”” Scratching out the government for the people line and with emphasis on tyranny, Barack foreshadowed his second term in office.

  13. The Democrat party is now and for a long period to come the party of color and will shape our political thought for many years to come. Their end will come when the taxpaying productive members of our country cannot support the tax receiving members of our country

  14. “Fairly or not”? The Left “is seen as” taking these stances because it does take these stances. “Fair” doesn’t come into it, it is observable fact.

  15. Ricardo Bravo Jr. on November 28, 2014 at 2:19 am said:

    Sir, I enjoy reading your perspective on issues, and have since I first started reading Carnage and Culture. My condolences for your lost, and thank you for your conservative perspective.

  16. David Park on November 28, 2014 at 7:37 am said:

    Little surprise that the ‘something for nothing’ groups traveled the Obama road, but seeing so many intellectuals on the same highway emphasizes the often ignored distance between higher education and wisdom.

  17. “”putin to push trade in Turkey” from reuters

  18. Bill McKay on November 29, 2014 at 8:26 am said:

    I think history ‘in the streets’ will remember Obama as a punk. A 2 bit, smooth talking, liar. He offers nothing new or consistent with liberty, working only toward the destruction…excuse me the ‘fundamental transformaaaaaaation’ of our ideals.
    Its apparent that so far he’s succeeded beyond his dreams but it will end. I hope our beloved nation is waking up not too late.

  19. Rick Bonsteel on November 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm said:

    I’m glad you said “mythography” and not actual accomplishments or even actual qualities. His reputed rhetorical skills leave me cold: the metromic left-teleprompter, right-teleprompter, the endless “I” and “me” (except when there’s blame to be handed out — then it’s “those folks”, or, at best, a grudging “we”), and the neo-Demosthenean “I’m gonna”……

  20. This is a very interesting point that Obama has hurt the Democratic Party. We saw through the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just how skewed the party is toward socialist ideals. To say Obama has alienated his base by going to far would be a mistake I believe, if anything most of the drones that call in to radio stations think he hasn’t done enough. This leaves how the party appeals to the so called “Independents”. In my view independents are supposed to stand in-between where the two party’s currently place themselves. We have all seen how far left the Republican party has moved, becoming a pseudo Democrat party in a lot of respects. This places Independents pretty much at about a Clinton ideology I think. Can Obama alienate a Clinton Democrat enough to vote Republican…?

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