Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Looming ‘1984’ Election

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

For a variety of reasons, the 2020 election is going to be a referendum beyond Donald Trump’s record and his Democratic opposition.

The furor that Trump has incurred, and the radical antithesis to his agenda and first term, have redefined the looming election. It is becoming a stark choice between a revolutionary future versus American traditionalism.

The choice in reductionist terms will be one between a growing, statist Panopticon, fueled by social media, a media-progressive nexus, and an electronic posse. Online trolls and government bureaucrats seek to know everything about us, in Big Brother fashion to monitor our very thoughts to ferret out incorrect ideas, and then to regiment and indoctrinate us to ensure elite visions of mandated equality and correct behavior—or else!

In other words, the personality quirks of a Trump or an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernie Sanders will become mostly irrelevant given the existential choice between two quite antithetical ideas of future America. In 2020 we will witness the penultimate manifestation of what radical progressivism has in store for us all—and the furious, often desperate, and unfettered pushback against it.

Targeting Traditional America

We are also well beyond even the stark choices of 1972 and 1984 that remained within the parameters of the two parties. In contrast, the Democratic Party as we have known it, is extinct for now. It has been replaced since 2016 by a radical progressive revolutionary movement that serves as a touchstone for a variety of auxiliary extremist causes, agendas, and cliques—almost all of them radically leftwing and nihilistic, and largely without majority popular support.

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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.

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