VDH Ultra

From an Angry Reader:

Russia’s political hierarchy and official press greeted Trump’s Inauguration with unreserved glee. An old order had crumbled and, with it, an impediment to Putin’s ambitions. “In 1917, armed supporters of Lenin stormed the Winter Palace and arrested capitalist ministers and overthrew the social political order,” the lead article in the daily Moskovski Komsomolets read. “On January 20, 2017, nobody in Washington planned to storm Congress or the White House and hang prominent members of the old regime from lampposts, but the feeling of the American political élite, especially the liberal part of it, is not different from that of the Russian bourgeoisie one hundred years ago.” Sound familiar? Why not check out the March issue The New Yorker article on Trump-Putin-and-the New Cold War. You may live in the cocooned atmosphere of CA? (I’m assuming from your position at Stanford University), but you oversimplify the matter. Take for instance where I live in a tiny hamlet in NE Texas—listed recently in a state medical guide as the “unhealthiest region of Texas.” My town of approx. 25,000 is 9th out of the 10 most crime-ridden areas of Texas. Texarkana, another city within the NE region of Texas, came in 4th, I believe. I’m surrounded by the white uneducated male and guilt-tripped white uneducated female- with hopefully a few more brain cells than teeth in their head, who repeatedly and loyally vote against themselves in GOP primaries election after election. They deny themselves access to health care, vote in public education budget cuts, (along with the public school teachers who can’t seem to connect the dots to why their work is not rewarded with better pay), and vote in tax breaks for the “elite” corporate/oil and gas CEO’s- while fracking and other forms of pollution wreak havoc across Texas. Just a few examples of how stupid it was for the Rust Belt states to go the way “of Texas.” Rest assured, they cannot afford health care for their chronic medical conditions, but repeatedly vote against it for fear of “socialism.” Why? Long-standing, systemic racial bias that is played out in gerrymandering and voter ID laws, and lack of basic education. So, I doubt sir the general voting population of my state could pronounce “Elitism” much less understand or take the time to pick up a newspaper and read about it. You give them far too much credit, and given the current whoopla over the current administration and its obvious entanglement with Russia, they will gleefully support Trump choosing to remain blind to the bitter end—an end I fear we’re all about to face.

Sherry Scott MD

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Sort of Angry Reader Sherry Scott, MD

You letter is sadly full of inaccuracies. Please get your facts straight before ranting.

1) Russia is currently not happy with the Trump administration, which is far more likely than Obama to pump oil, beef up defenses, and be tougher in the international arena. Russian reset—you forget?—was an Obama phenomenon. It started in Geneva in 2009 with Hillary’s red reset button; it was most famously summarized by President Obama’s hot mic promise to Medvedev that he would be more “flexible” with “Vladimir” after the 2012 reelection, and ended only when Russian hackers supposedly turned over Hillary Clinton’s emails to WikiLeaks. The Trump national security team of Mattis/McMaster/Tillerson shows no desire of continuing Obama reset that resulted in Russian occupations of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. It was again Hillary, remember, who cut deals with the Russians on uranium, Bill who enriched himself with Russian speaking fees, Podesta who was heavily invested in Russian stocks, and the Obama administration who used the Russian pretext to monitor the Trump campaign, and then illegally leak the transcripts of that surveillance.

2) I read The New Yorker and it is not disinterested, but like The New Republic is now a partisan organ and often unreliable.

3) I live in the 2nd poorest county in rural California, at ground zero of illegal immigration. I put my children in the public schools and live in the farmhouse I grew up in. I don’t need professional lectures about a “cocooned atmosphere.” Nor do I have contempt for the poor and uneducated, who live side-by-side on our avenue as you do for your own community.

4) Your arrogant stereotypes about Texans (e.g., they “could not pronounce ‘Elitism’; cannot understand the content of newspapers, and have few teeth in their heads) could easily lead to their own stereotypes about smug professionals, whose education and income unjustifiably lend a sense of moral superiority over others deemed deficient in one’s own perceived advantages. Given your puerile views about Trump/Russia, and venom about an entire class of people, I don’t see anything in your letter that suggests your own professional degree “M.D.” has led to much wisdom, much less grounds for feelings of superiority.

Victor Hanson, Ph.D.

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