Burnout: Leftism Fatigues America

Victor Davis Hanson and cohost Jack Fowler talk over the destructiveness of Fauci’s mask mandate and other Left lies that destroyed people’s lives, the Durham investigation, what our military should really be focused on, and America as La-la land.

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20 thoughts on “Burnout: Leftism Fatigues America”

  1. I agree with Prof Hanson on most topics! I think his analysis is on point. However, he expresses an essentially neo-conservative view of nationalism. We are a republic, not a nation in the unitary sense. Every state is a quasi-independent power under the constitution and has “rights”, that is, whatever powers are not expressly given to the central government are reserved to the states. They are the locus of power and the central government is composed (constitutionally) of their delegated authority. It is not the other way around, where the federal government allows states to make circumscribed laws and regulations within their jurisdictions. Therefore, it is not a slander to talk about “states rights” or nullification. If the central government makes laws outside the parameters of its delegated powers, then the states have every right to refuse to obey those rules as unconstitutional. Relying on even the federal courts in these circumstances is again surrendering undelegated authority to the “federal” government. Accepting the unitary rule of the central government is a later addition to American polity which the Civil War imposed. Therefore, that position is not conservative of the constitutional order but a revisionist interpretation. Much harmony could be restored in these United States if the original federal understanding was in place, so States could govern the way they choose rather than being told by other states or some entrenched bureaucracy to live how they demand

    1. Couple problems here:
      1. Neoconservatism is a narrow technical term. You need to distinguish how you are using it here or find another term.
      2. Even a casual reading of The Federalist Papers tells against your interpretation -never mind getting into the speeches of Lincoln.
      3. Bloom in “The Closing of the American Mind” convincingly argues that your interpretation is revisionist history with its origins in the warped thought of R.L. Dabney.

      Unless you can clarify on point one, and offer compelling new arguments for 2 and 3, you’re advancing a position that has long been exposed and debunked.

      1. To interpose: I think Pennsylvanian is right on the subject of nullification. One has to accept firstly that the Constitution is a mediator of man vs. man conflicts. Therefore the US govt. is a CREATURE created by its creator, man. The framers eventually amended their original intent of the Confederation in pursuit of greater power over our lives [although they recognized the man vs. God rebellion was over before it even began]. The Neo-Confederates of today are the “abortion sanctuary states” and “sanctuary cities” for illegal invaders which destroys human lives and American citizenship. It isn’t the US of Mexico and Canada and NAFTA. It’s the USA. Technocrats say Mexico and Canada are already states, that the UN rules everything, no nation should exist anymore. Perhaps, but we’re not there yet.

        The 9th Amendment exists; it isn’t a filler, a technicality, a clarification. No lawyer today would dare challenge it, because that lawyer would lose so badly it would be the beginning of the end of the Deep State. The 9th Amendment is inarguably the most important because it codifies that our God given rights can NEVER be taken by any state or government, no matter by lawful or unlawful force.


        1. Thanks for the article! I will read that! To clarify: it seems that you are arguing that he is philosophically right rather than right in terms of Original Intent and the historical flow of United States law. At a casual reading, your philosophical argument doesn’t seem to jive with Locke’s Second Treatise on Government which provides much of the groundwork for the Declaration and Constitution. Could you elaborate on that a little so we don’t argue past each other? Many thanks!

        2. Read the article. It’s VERY cherry picked and comes from a group that keeps bad company. If you aren’t convinced by the arguments presented by the laundry list of notable groups the article opposes then I don’t think we’re going to see eye to eye enough for a comment thread discussion. I don’t discount minority opinions (I hold some myself! ) but it’s also important to own the fact upfront.
          In that spirit, here’s me: M.A. History with a focus on the Ancient Greeks and Turn-of-the-Century China. 12 years teaching 7-12 grade in CA and TX. New Englander and politicaly a BIG De Tocqueville fan (I read ever Yuval Levin article I can find)plus The Congegational Way (See David D. Hall and John Putnam Demos). I register as independent when required.

          1. Maybe Prof. Hanson could discuss nullification in a future podcast? He has a couple articles on the archives here.

            I would say the Constitution is increasingly ignored or overruled, in favor of US Code or Code of Federal Regulations. (Not to mention the irony of the Supreme Court, branch of Feds, resolving any disputes between States and Fed.) We shouldn’t be ruled by imperial presidents who undo their predecessor’s diktats outside of legislative debate with the stroke of the pen. Only 5 Presidents have issued less than 5 Executive Orders in over 200 years (discounting W.H. Harrison – assassinated before he could issue any). Only one Amendment has ever been “nullified.” Federal bureaucrats are apparently above the law, while agencies are weaponized against political opponents of “insurrectionists” and “white supremacists.” Congress, Federal representatives, would never call for an Article V Convention because that would undercut their power in Washington and in their home states, with business deals, subsidies, revolving door, etc. In short, you get what you vote for.

  2. Jack, great shout out to Trumbull and Sikorsky. East Coast represent! I happen to know the engineer who did the first damage to the illustrious Black Hawk when he fell and dented the prototype’s roof during a photo op.

    As for Twitter and Wokism, remember that the pressure on young people from the upper middle class and lower rich to swear to that creed is intense if they want to maintain the jobs and friendships that will keep them in those classes or allow them to rise. If you sell your sword at your own discretion like my friends and I, you can be sure of falling a few tax brackets at the least.

  3. I don’t see how you explain Hanson’s neo-conservatism view of nationalism. I think he is an American conservative and nationalist.

    1. Hi Phil. I listen to every show, and have for some time now. I enjoy the opinions immensely. However, consistently the Prof expresses what I think is 1950s Nationalism. That is, his every mention of the rights of states and nullification are derogatory. These are legitimate ideas that were current before the Civil War. Jefferson and Madison were both proponents of interposition or state nullification, that is the state using its sovereignty to protect its citizens from federal abuse of power (as long as they were not in power). The United States were not founded as a nation in the modern concept, but as a tightly bound republic of nations. The sword was used to override state sovereignty in the Civil War and Reconstruction so that centralized nationalism was imposed upon the republic. Today, groups such as Heritage Foundation call interposition a “heresy” and a “discredited idea”, and yet it was an early answer to federal abuses. We see this being used today, such as marijuana decriminalization and rejection of federal Covid mandates, though it isn’t called nullification. As this is an original constitutional concept, it is part of American conservatism. Unitary Nationalism is not conservative, but one of the key components of Neo-Conservatism.

      1. Look, Washington put down proto-states rights and proto-nullification during the Whiskey Rebellion. Cite your sources and make a full argument for Madison and Jefferson supporting your position; until then, I counter assert with the authorities on my side, that you’re completely misreading them. Jackson and Lincoln both showed up Nullification for the absurdity it is prior to the Civil War. You’re spouting debunked Southern Lost Cause propaganda that was debunked even as the Slave Barons were spouting it. To treat it as just another stream of American thought and to insinuate that it is the older and dominant stream is historical and intellectual malpractice.

  4. I am puzzled with Professor Hanson’s focus and expectation of apologies from anyone in government or actually in any other position of power. They do egregious things that everyone can see. They let their lies sit.

    These people will never apologize, for either they are lawyers or are advised by lawyers, not to admit guilt. Ever.

    The only way to address these lies or errors is sadly but necessarily, through constant and crippling lawsuits. Lawfare. That is the only way of ending this behavior short of violence.

    1. I think his demands are meant to dramatize the point you make. By asking publically, it means the powerful can’t plead that they never heard anyone complain or ask for an apology.

  5. On the subject of missile defense. If I recall it was G.W. Bush who withdrew from the ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY after 9/11 thereby escalating and provoking Putin into a nuclear build-up. This was around the time Communist China acceded to the World Trade Organization.

    Successful missile-to-missile interception has a low success rate and is unproven as there has never been a nuclear war. The best interceptor is a manned fighter jet, and the best place is as far as possible from the “homeland” before the payload can detonate and before the missile becomes too fast to target at suborbital or orbital velocity: as near the launch site as possible, or near the target as possible last resort. The F-22 is an overcostly, underproduced plane intended for air superiority over the USA (missile defense). The Navy lacks a comparable air superiority fighter on the other hand. The F-22’s stealth coating disintegrates in the tropical airstrips of Guam. The F-35 has similar problems at supersonic speeds with its stealth covering. The Navy cut R&D for a supersonic boat plane, Convair’s Sea Dart, in the 1950s, by wisely allocating for the nuclear carrier fleet; today the Navy is more concerned with denying religious exemptions to abortion-tainted experimental medicines while the Army boasts that “soldiers will fail.” To deter China and defend Taiwan isn’t even on the military’s radar. China has just seized Guadalcanal without firing a single shot by the pen mightier than the sword.

  6. Cynthia Dillard

    I believe we have to get over wanting an apology from the Left. We have to simply crush the elements of the Left that tell lies. Same approach if the Right lies. This can’t be tribal. Our Nation matters too much. The Truth matters. Facts matter.

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