Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

When States Go Wild

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

In past rioting, over the last 60 years, mayors, police chiefs, and governors restored law and order. They often beseeched the federal government for backup when they were unsure of their efforts.

Now, in a first, they are more often passive in the face of massive lawlessness and disorder. Some blue-state officials, in neo-Confederate style, silently sympathize with their local protests, violent though they are. Others are willing to endure chaos in hopes it reflects national anarchy that can be attributed to Trump’s inert leadership come November. Still more are not sure they have reached the tipping point where the once passive or sympathetic suburbanite or inner-city resident trapped at home finally pushes back due to a busy signal on a 911 call, or a nice park littered with bronze and stone corpses of even liberal icons, or a major thoroughfare once again shut down by illegal hood-pounding demonstrators.

Trump can call in federal troops to restore order to downtown Seattle or calm in parks in San Francisco, but given that he will have zero local support in blue states that have a monopoly on the violence (the D.C. mayor evicting Guard personnel from hotels, or the Seattle mayor warning him to stay away from her “summer of love” non problem), who knows what would greet federal troops in blue land?

In addition, our most esteemed retired military, in unprecedented fashion, essentially have called the president unfit and not deserving of military support to deal with the “small number” of violent protestors — to the degree that Joe Biden interpreted their “skinned him alive” commentary as support for removing Trump from office if he did not leave after losing the election — “losing” apparently defined by Biden on the basis of whether Biden himself determines Trump cheated and thus “stole” his victory.

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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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