Disappearing Names and Standards

Cohost Jack Fowler asks Victor Davis Hanson to reflect on renaming US forts, the great man theory, and the inflated grades at universities.

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17 thoughts on “Disappearing Names and Standards”

  1. This renaming of Army military installations fascinates me, since I’m an Army brat and the father of two active duty Army officers. Among us, we’ve lived at, or been stationed at, Forts Bragg (my truncated military experience), Gordon, Benning, Polk and Hood – all named after Confederate generals. Perhaps there should be some name changes. Not to assuage the woke crowd, but to recognize more of the great military leaders of, say, World War II. Patton, as Dr. Hanson suggests. Or Marshall. The only installations named after WW II generals that any of us are connected to are the former Ft. Buckner (Okinawa) and Ft. Wainwright (Alaska). And the re-namers need to beware. Some posts are not well liked. Ft. Polk, for example. It will be named Ft. Johnson, a Black Medal of Honor winner. By and large, soldiers do not like Ft. Polk, and in years to come, Ft. Johnson will not be well spoken of, as Ft. Polk is today. The name change won’t help. Sgt. William Henry Johnson deserves better.

  2. Ask Victor this. Have him take a guess where I was introduced to him. John Batchelor Show? “Tucker Carlson? Other blogs? Twitter? I think he may be surprised. The Dennis Miller Show. He was on every Tuesday at 10 AM when I was listening to his show, Mountain Time.


  3. I am so grateful for Mr Hanson. I had been reading his newspaper columns for a long long time, until they became difficult for me to find. Now that I have found his podcasts and website articles, I feel like a weight has been lifted – I can find truth and context on a range of subjects and just hearing his voice lifts my spirits. He is one of The Great Men of our time. I’d certainly pay 10x more for his insights in the wealth of material he produces. Be well Mr Hanson, we need you. JHS

  4. Hello and Greetings,

    I have enjoyed the podcasts with VDH and the various hosts. I have read Mexifornia and am currently reading The Second World Wars. I wrote Mr. Hanson directly and hesitated in doing so, as it is a web site problem. I have attempted on several occasions to sign up for the ultra content. However I keep receiving a note that states: “email address already in use.” I only have one email address where I receive the free content of VDH. Please be so kind as to help me resolve this problem as I wish to initiate a one year $50.00 subscription. Sincerely, Mark J. Miller

    1. Hi Mark, your email address is in use by you. It probably carried over from the old site subscription. You only need to click the “Lost Your Password” on the Login page. It will send two messages — one will have a password and the other will tell you to click here to change the password. Be sure to check your junk mail since they are automatically sent the end up there sometimes.

      If that fails, contact Jennifer at jheyne@victorhanson.com. Cheers.

  5. Hello Victor Davis Hanson,
    Thank you, You are a great teacher and so is your family:/angels and community. I have a friend who became a Navy Seal and we use to play pool at a dive bar pretending we were Clint Eastwood smoking cigars from the GBU(the Good the Bad the Ugly) plus many more stories – God Bless You and Jesus , Mary and Saint Joseph be with you on your way- as my Beautiful Irish grandmother would tell me every morning going off to school – Marie the youngest of 7 Cossacks:/Celtics

  6. James Longstreet not only became a Republican, but he also led African-American militia against the anti-Reconstruction White League at the Battle of Liberty Place in 1874. He briefly served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and only resigned to take up his long-time goal of becoming the U.S. Marshall for Georgia.

    The organic chemistry prof had spent 40 years at Princeton and had previously retired. By the way, he literally wrote the textbook that most organic chemistry students learned from. When they complained that he hadn’t acknowledged their efforts, he replied to the effect that he knew how to count and had observed how many of them hadn’t come to classes.

    1. Yeah. Confederates always had to downplay Longstreet to boost Lee, especially after Gettysburg. Longstreet is the one who should have the statue and the painting.

  7. Barbara Humphreys

    That “sociology” professor is nothing but an apparatchik, but at least she characterizes the students correctly: they are entitled.

  8. Barbara Humphreys

    “Critical science theory”? It had to happen, Victor. Wait until you get to see the new iPhone designed and built with 2+2=5 mathematics and E=mc^(whatever) physics and raw materials including the new Periodic Table element called Homophobium and the novel engineering material made from all elements in the periodic table in equal proportions to be known as Inclusivity. The LGBTQ-1 iPhone won’t work, but then that might not be a bad outcome for society as a whole. People might look out their window and see the trees and hear the birds chirping instead of staring at a screen all day hoping the bluebird of happiness finally appears in their metaverse. And thus did the machine stop.

  9. Brian L. O'Connor

    I loved your comment about appreciating southern fort names (and I’d add monuments) as indicators of “the mistaken cause of the Confederacy.”

    To me, there were two reasons to leave the names as they were:

    1) They remind us of the importance of reconciliation which was the policy of the victors. That’s a hugely important quality that deserves honoring.

    2) They serve as reminders, warnings even, that the causes we know in our hearts to be virtuous and honorable sometimes are just the opposite. So to me, this is a warning against being too certain that “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

  10. I have been listening to your Podcast for over a year. Thank you, so much for your insight. It is quite refreshing. I have to ask, how or why is your theme music “Garry Owens” selected? Are you inspired by George Armstrong Custer and/or the 7th Calvary? Just asking. I like the Music.

  11. In talking about “good men” and how essential they are, I’m reminded of Robert Heinlein’s words:
    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man.

    Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.”
    I especially like the phrase “”opposed by all right-thinking people.”

  12. No matter how history is presented there will always be differing opinions.
    Dr. Hanson praises General Mathew (Iron Tits) Ridgeway and I agree, but several weeks ago I ran into a Korean War veteran and we had a discussion on the war. This individual praised McArthur and criticized Ridgeway. According to this veteran, McArthur took care of his troops by not trying to take the high ground with frontal assaults but once you have the high ground continue the advance. One the other hand according to the veteran, Ridgeway would jeopardize troop lives with frontal assaults on the enemy but once you have the high ground stay in place and fortify it.
    One, the veteran had a hands on but limited scope of the matter, while Dr. Hanson takes on a larger perspective of the history. Neither is wrong, just varying degrees of perspectives.

  13. The talk of forts being renamed and the background of how they were named originally reminded me of something that I often see during similar discussions. During a discussion of some topic that shines a bad light on Democrats because of something that was done decades ago, it’s only a matter of time before someone states that it’s because the parties switched. I would really like to hear VIctor’s take on the argument that anything blamed on Democrats of old should really be blamed on current Republicans because the parties switched.

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