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From A Not So Angry Reader:

Dr. Hanson:

I am a frequent listener to the Classicist. After listening to the episode “A Cold Civil War?” I had a few questions. I do not intend this to be inflammatory, I simply do not want to make assumptions about your beliefs. First, do you believe that approximately three million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election? Second, do you believe that President Obama was born an American citizen?

In the show, you mentioned the varicosity of much of the discourse present today.  I say this not in an attempt change your opinions but rather to provide perspective on the root cause. Much of this stems from different world views. Just as you would be outraged by the oppression an ethnic minority because of their ethnicity. Many people today do not see homosexuality as a choice and therefore see discrimination against them in the same vein as discrimination based on ethnicity. This lens feels applicable to many issues facing society today.

Thank you for your time.




Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Not So Angry Reader John Vincent

Thank you for your reasoned and subtle critique (and without capital letters, obscenity, exclamation points, dots, and ad hominem invective). I shall answer the questions in the order you asked them:

    1. I do not know how many illegal voters cast ballots in 2016, but I believe it may have been a considerable number. Neither Trump nor his critics have ever systematically investigated the controversy. The state of California issues over 800,000 driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and claims that they are separated from citizen licenses that provide an automatic avenue to voting. I wonder. Nearly two million ballots were issues to deceased voters. The voting rolls are not systematically updated and audited. So yes, I believe improper voting occurs all the time; can you explain how in 2012, 59 voting divisions in Philadelphia recorded zero Romney votes. I find that statistically improbable.


  1. I believe that Obama was born a U.S. citizen. But I think rumors grew from the fact that he seems not to have objected later when his publisher issued a publicity booklet claiming that he was born in Kenya, an untruth which Obama might have not objected to given its multicultural resonance. As one who has provided publishers with book bios and audited the published version on over 24 different occasions, I find the excuse that the author was unaware of the publisher’s mistaken bio ludicrous.


  1. I believe in most cases homosexuality is an inherited trait and biologically determined, though culture and fashion can affect the identity of a small minority who may not feel either consistently female or male. In that sense, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation I think is abjectly wrong and illegal. But that said, I don’t think the current gay political movement is always fueled any longer by a desire to ensure civil rights to homosexuals (that goal has largely been achieved), but rather aims at punishing some, who in private and sometimes for religious reasons, do not feel homosexuality is an inherited trait, but rather a failure of ethics. All Americans are entitled to their private opinions and if they follow the law they should not be forced to conform to a particular world view. I would fight for the rights of a homosexual to be protected under the Constitution and likewise the rights of free expression of the critic of homosexuality who feels that it is a sin. I hope both those views are shared by both gays and non-gays.



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