Cage Fight with Bruce Thornton

Victor Davis Hanson interviews writer and scholar Bruce Thornton on his recent edited book Cage Fight about civilian-military tensions from antiquity to the present with essays on ancient Athens, the American Civil War, the Cold War, and Vietnam.

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12 thoughts on “Cage Fight with Bruce Thornton”

  1. What a great podcast. Now I understand Israel’s government a little better. I wish for the people’s sake they had a constitution. But I have more to pray for Israel, not just for the safety of the country in the region, but for the protection of their freedom.

  2. The military heads went nuts because Trump threatened to take away their money and power, right?

    What are the safeguards that have helped to prevent the military from taking over the civilian government beside traditions, and the constitution in the U.S. 200+ years history?

    This line of questioning was so hilarious. Why Trump didn’t fire James Comey sooner, and next question, why Trump appointed Christopher Wray. Maybe because the whole apple cart is rotten? Remember who replaced Mike Pompeo as the CIA director?

    1. Phil, one important protection against a military coup instituted after the Civil War was to always assign people from very different parts of the country to the same unit. That way, you don’t get several all-Californian units banding together to seize the Capital or help CA become an independent country if Trump wins in 2024.

  3. Don’t forget that Obama purged any military officer that had traditianal military values and left Trump with an upper echelon that had been retained because they were willing to be “woke.”

  4. I was listening to this podcast while driving home from western Nebraska. The thought came to me that we are a country resting on our laurels. We brag about our past accomplishments. We act as if the world owes us something. We are blessed with great resources. We do not use them. We have problems. We do not solve them. We lack vision. The thought saddens me. Hope believes we will find ourselves. Reality fears we will not.

  5. I bought “Cage Fight” from Amazon in Kindle form, and I binge-read it today. There were a few typos in the text, “part” for “past” for example, but nothing serious. Bing West, in the 5th Chapter, did a bit of linguistic jujitsu when he flipped the meaning of Churchill’s iron curtain with this bit of analysis: “Churchill’s condemnation of the totalitarian Soviet Union as requiring an Iron Curtain to block its move toward the west.” But it served the purpose of providing historical support for the current interest in helping the Ukraine defy Russia. I presume that his motives were pure, even if his fidelity to historical accuracy are suspect .. Churchill’s “iron curtain” was dropped by the USSR (mine fields, barbed-wire, high walls and guards who shot to kill) to keep the captive populace in, and was not a creation of the west.

    Ralph Peters recaps past riots and protests during war time. His summary of the relative sizes of Northern- and Southern populations and urban/industrial centers, as well as the extreme violence in Kansas and Missouri prior to the Civil War, are illuminating. But I wonder about his concern over the apparent lack of knowledge of American history by the unwashed inhabitants of West Virginia. Surely the entire woke movement, including “1619” and the nonsense about the “3/5th” in the Constitution, have come to his attention at some point in the last ten years? US history was dropped from the K-12 curriculum decades ago.


    1. Thanks, Robert, for pointing out the author’s distortion of the function of the “Iron Curtain”as mentioned by Churchhill. This kind of thing gives me pause. I haven’t read “Cage Fight”, but this mischaracterization does for me detract a bit from the author’s credibility.

      My impression from the high praise that VDH gave the book was that he did read it. I wish that he had brought this matter up to the author during the podcast. His explanation would have been interesting to hear.

  6. Thornton makes interesting observations regarding the last 100+ years of the Progressive march. Would like to hear more conversations between Hanson & Thornton.

  7. Anyone who reads my comments know that I fully subscribe to and applaud what Trump had accomplished during his highly tumultuous first term as president. Indeed the MSM would have been intensely critical of him even if he had the amiable demeanor of say, a Ronald Reagan. But unfortunately due to his highly abrasive demeanor he did not share Reagan’s teflon qualities.

    Due to Trump’s demeanor, those key critics of his that were pointed out by Messrs. Thornton and Hanson in this podcast, as having really crossed constitutional lines, were given cover. This in turn unfortunately allowed them to do it with impunity. The same impunity that Jane Fonda experienced (because of a very unpopular war) for her treasonous behavior with the Viet Cong.

    If we are lucky enough to have a 2nd Trump presidency, I hope that he can soften his caustic nature a bit, without reducing his formidable commitment to “drain the swamp”.

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