Words That Don’t Matter

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

From time to time, I’ll try to update our contemporary American vocabulary.


This noun and its adjective have lost all currency. Ostensibly, diversity assumes that variety in general is better than uniformity. In some cases, perhaps it is, although the Japanese, for example, might argue their homogenous society avoids many of the problems in contemporary America. And after all our original motto of uniting states into the union was e pluribus unum, not ex uno plures.

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A Child’s World of Animals

Childhood on the Ranch

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

 Part Two

Was my Dad a militarist? Hardly. He was a farmer and junior college administrator, who hated war and swore to me once when I turned 18 and waited for my lottery number: “No one in this family ever volunteers and no one is ever going to refuse the draft.” I nodded.

We crawled, ran, and ran through acres of grapevines, plum trees, and majestic walnuts—squirrels, possums, hawks, crows and snakes everywhere. The town was still almost three miles away. If we saw a turtle or perch caught in the pipeline, as he washed down from the Sierra, we were told to “Put the poor fellow back where you got him.” 

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Biden vs Republicans: The next 100 days and beyond

Mikio Sugeno and Alex Fang // Nikkei Asia

Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution

Q: You have called the Biden presidency “the most radical first three months of a presidency since 1933, the most divisive and certainly the most dangerous.” Can you elaborate?

A: Biden’s policies of de facto open borders, blanket amnesties, cancellations of pipelines and fossil fuel leases, planned radical increases in corporate, income, and capital gains taxes, identity politics and Green New Deal rhetoric, along with his appointments and resets in the Middle East, are the most left-wing agendas since [Franklin D. Roosevelt]. Their common denominators are utopian globalism, redistributionism, criticism of America’s founding, traditions, history, and values, and identity-politics tribalism.

The world looks to the U.S. to be overtly supportive of its friends and rock-solidly unfriendly to its enemies. The Biden administration instead is interested in pan-global climate change, identity politics and world governance in a way far beyond even the [European Union], and this could be quite dangerous to [Asia], where nations like China, North Korea and Russia have no such naive assumptions and constantly remind their proximate neighbors that the U.S. is in decline economically, torn apart culturally and can’t be counted upon.

Q: Biden pledged in his inaugural speech to unite the country and to heal the division. Do you believe he can do it? If not, is there someone in either party who can unite the country?

A: The better question is whether he wished to unite anyone rather than simply profess ecumenicalism.

Nothing in Biden’s past senatorial record, his rhetoric or his conduct gives any evidence of such outreach. His first 100 days are truer to his character: those who want voter IDs as required in most states are “Jim Crow” racists; those who after being vaccinated doubt the need for masks outdoors are “Neanderthals”; those who want legal and measured immigration are “nativists.”

Read the full interview here

Tuning Out Wokism

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

If wokeness should continue and “win,” by now we all know where it will end up. After all, this is not a prairie-fire, peasants-with-pitchforks, spontaneous bottom-up revolution.

The woke Left seeks a top-down erasure of America, engineered by the likes of LeBron James from his $40 million estate talking revolution to Oprah at her $90 million castle, as Mark Zuckerberg throws in $500 million here, and his colleagues $400 million there, and as the top executives of Coke, Target, and Delta Airlines believe their $17 million-a-year salaries make them experts on the crimes of non-diversity, exclusion, and inequity. Anytime revolutionaries at the outset of their enterprises seek exemption from the consequences of their own ideology, we know their plans will end badly for everyone else.


A Child’s Garden of Animals

Nested Owls on the Ranch

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

 Part One

One of the problems of the modern world is our helicopter society of well-meant, but over-parentage.  Or is it the belief that the more we shield and protect our children, the safer they become, as if a houseplant carefully tended can survive when thrust outside among weeds and thistles. Do orphaned doves who fall from the nest survive better (if at all) when we take them inside and nurse them for 3 months?

I was blessed to have grown up free-ranged on a farm in the quiet time of 1950s and early 1960s, and I think probably grew stronger even for the occasional scary brush up. 

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