Optimism, Inc.: The Exhilaration of Being Ostracized

Image by ALBERTGIBRAN, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Has Any of This Happened to You?

Reader, confess the following. If you voted for Trump, or even were suspected of such, has at least one of the following things happened to you?

  • A once close associate (or was it a grandson, uncle, cousin, or in-law?), perhaps even one of your once best friends, suddenly, out the blue, with no warning, texts, calls, emails or writes you a cancel letter, to the extent that you are now tried, convicted and to be punished as a horrific person. Wow. This is strange, you think. In fact, the provocateur goes on to say that he suspected you were always deranged, or cruel, or xenophobic, and now he has confirmed it during the autumn of 2020. He ends with something like “Don’t ever call me again” (He called you, not vice versa). Or “I don’t want you ever contacting me again” (You never have). You note that you have never so informed any friend who voted for Obama or Biden with such commensurate cut-offs.
  • If you had a Trump sign, a Trump bumper sticker, a (heaven-forbid) red MAGA hat—any sign whatsoever that you might consider voting Trump—you then had a slight brush with anti-Trumpism hatred. A stranger flips you the finger; someone in line at the bank pops off, or a maniac cuts you off in traffic—or steals your sign. I remember getting off a flight at Reagan airport in DC in November 2019. A hoody Antifa-looking punk walked up alongside me, faking interest in talking. He kept saying as we walked, “I saw you on a podcast. Hey, I need to ask you something?” And then after politely stopping and saying “OK, what is it?”, he knocks off your cap, screams “F—k you sucker,” and runs off in fear you might punch back or follow. 
  •  You watch television, listen to the radio in the car and channel surf. Or you read a blog or web site, and bump into some “genius” ranting about “white privilege,” and “white supremacy.” They add in for scary effect adjectives like “systemic” or “endemic” or “inherent” or “implicit.” Soon the rant reveals not just bias and data-absent analysis but pure hatred from someone well-off and by all accounts privileged. Immediately, as the voice rises and the furor waxes, you go blank.

    You instead think of all the past poor or disadvantaged people, whites included, you have met the last half century (in such contrast to the elite voice that is now blaring out on your speakers or whose script is running across the page). You try to recall your childhood friend who grew up with rotten teeth in a broken-window house in southwestern Fresno County of 1960, or that obese, ill fat-guy on the packing-house forklift you once worked with, or the pump mechanic who asked what the coast was like (he’d never been there, a mere 150 miles away). Then you wonder “Where in their hell was all their white privilege?”
  • Reader, try this one. There are certain things you did out of rote but had insidiously been tapering off. Yet suddenly, you inexplicably just quit cold turkey. The NBA became boring, then the NFL. And now MLB is too. Then they all disappeared from your life. Yet you never really noticed, much less missed them, until there was not a trace of them left. You become vaguely aware that you have not been to a movie theater since 2015, and haven’t watched a Grammy, Emmy, Tony, or Oscar ceremony in …when exactly? Now you feel zero need to do so, and are neither angry nor sad, but feel mostly nothing. These referents are about as important to you as a billboard on the freeway. You wonder, for a nanosecond only, how this happened or how little you must have been invested in any of these things in the first place. Were these always mere naked emperors in lavish robes, and suddenly you regained your child clarity, yelling out “They all are buck naked!”
  • You were already but vaguely thinking of quitting an increasingly same old/same old club or burdensome association. You were getting tired of dutifully showing up at a particular event. You found yourself watching a television show and enjoying it less, listening to a music group that became monotonous, watching movies of a particular star, and gradually you suddenly and inexplicably taper off. Then suddenly, there is some sort of mental implosion. You abruptly tune them all out, politely so, but all the more firmly for your years of poorly invested patience. You are not mad, but simply “done with it.” The reaction is only momentarily remorse—a minute or two of regret for “chronicles of wasted time.” Then comes welcome relief if not euphoria that the virtue-signaling lectures are over, the self-pitying sermons gone, and the victimization schtick zilch! I noticed the other day I have not watched a major network newscast in ten years, maybe 15 years for 60 Minutes. PBS? Haven’t seen its Newshour in over a decade too. Is Face the Nation or Meet the Press still on? No doubt they remain highly rated. I used to watch both religiously—around the turn of the millennium.
  • A once favorite actor, or one of your most enjoyable singers, or an athlete you admired, suddenly became obsessive editorializing about wokism, about every imaginable -ism and -ology. You shrug, well it’s a passing phase, a craze, an hysteria, a flight of reason. After all, in the first grade we all went crazy over Duncan yo-yos for a year (and horse-traded “butterflies” for “imperials”). But you bump into this sort of celebrity on the radio—her online, him on the television, both in print. It’s always the same, pure monotony: rich, privileged white people and multimillionaire people of color preaching to you about their moral superiority or victimization or childhood trauma, suddenly connected to your abstract sins–and those of your parents and their grandparents and their great-great grandparents. 

Then it hits like a brick—they were, or are, boring, silly, little people and you were, or are, proverbially “done.” No more Prince Harry psychodramas. No more Oprah’s “stories.” No more Bill Gates pontifications. No more Dr. Fauci with his blowing-with-the-wind twists and turns, as the posse nears his gain-of-function hideout. No more any of our contemporary madness. So in Robert Graves’ fashion, you sigh “Goodbye, to all that.” As the clutter recedes, your now emptied mind sharpens. Tensions fade, little is missed. Less is regretted. Ostracism is pleasurable. Their dislike is praise. You don’t “have” to do, listen to, anything. In a way, you have turned 1984 on its head and upside down: “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved being cancelled, deplatformed and ostracized by Big Brother.”

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61 thoughts on “Optimism, Inc.: The Exhilaration of Being Ostracized”

  1. VDH – you are a voice of reason … much needed in this time of foolishness. Thank you for all you write – say – do to help keep us grounded in reality.

  2. Steve Eisenberg

    I last attended a professional sporting event in 1963. It was the Phillies against somebody.
    I haven’t owned a TV since it started costing money. 80s?
    I waited for somebody like Trump to show up starting around 1970. I never thought it would happen.
    I have never been able to talk about politics with anyone in my family; they can’t handle it. They all have the equivalent of doctorates in something.

  3. TedInPDX (not the mayor)

    Although I try not to provoke confrontation, I have felt “the sudden chill” when I say something which makes the SJW I’m conversing with suspect I may not hate Trump ‘completely’. Example: “Although I admit Trump actually did do some very good things while in office, I’m kinda glad Twitter banned him, cause now I don’t have to suck up his daily feed of assholic tweets!”.
    PS: If you’re stuck in your car for a half hour or so, and want to feel a little better about yourself, tune-in NPR, and see how long you can stand listening to it. (I learned after taking some very close friends to the airport in their car, and after dropping them off, couldn’t figure out how to change the station.) Let me put it this way: Righteous Indignation can, at times, be cathartic.

  4. OMG so many of these things have happened to me, it is like reading a personal diary.
    My family called me unhinged, I did nothing. They threw ME out. How does that make ME unhinged?
    I have lost interest in all sports. I am bored by all awards shows. SNL with so much wonderful talent is boring because they are so obsessed for the left they aren’t funny anymore.
    I am tired of the “experts” who try to fill us all with nonsense. I have lost patience with all of the celebrities who think they are so brilliant as they mocked everyone who supported Trump. Their “wit” escapes me.
    This is all so familiar. If I try to tell my liberal friends about any of this, they have no idea what I am talking about. Who is calling you or anyone else names? They actually asked me that. They forget, when they say Trump had to learn to be more civil and less divisive, all the names he was called, all the lies told about him, all the projection onto his supporters of all the evil things they do.
    This is all so familiar, sir. You hit the nail on the head.

  5. Steven Shiflett

    Yep. Life becomes so much easier. Thomas Sowell mentioned in an interview that he stopped going to senate hearings to testify because his presence was just tokenism. No one listened. (He spoke of Ted Kennedy’s outward disrespect of talking with someone during his testimony) I thought, “Yeah, why bother? Like casting your pearls before swine.” It is a delight on occasion that someone will ask a question to deliver them a bomb with a quiet smile and eye contact. The message: “No, I’m not afraid of you and I’m not ignorant of the truth.”

  6. Elizabeth Barek

    Terrific piece. I tuned everything out on Nov. 6. and moved my attention elsewhere. Onto crypto, and the fantastic, exciting new space that is being created alongside this woke one. The nastiness can easily be ignored. The real new world is looming DESPITE the hate and the woke will be taken sorely by surprise. Maybe they will move their hate into their own Metaverse. That can’t hurt anybody!

  7. Fantastic piece. The last movie I saw in a theater was American Sniper in 2015. So many things I don’t miss.

  8. Malcolm K. Bryant

    Yes, many of those things have happened to me but, I chalked it up to being four score and more! In a nutshell, I’ve lost interest in it all and have replaced it with daily reading of the comments by the deplorables like me on Fox News articles. Great entertainment and good for my soul!!

  9. … and, in England, Goodbye to All That too — especially : the National Theatre, the RSC, the BBC, the Tate with it’s pious slavery policy, Gagosian – with it’s all girl or non Anglo ethnic art only, the Old Vic, the British Film Institute, the girly FT, University of Cambridge – where VC Toope has published a tell tale snitch line ( even raising an eye brow, it emphasises, can be a hurtful aggression – tell the tale ), University of Oxford – VC is an annoying Irish woman who sounds the usual chimes and adds to them, bizarrely this highly paid fem is an expert in ‘terrorism’ … and then the truly sad case of Trent College – not heard of before – and the crass and cruel way it sacked its resident chaplain for—

  10. You hit the nail on the head only I go back a lot further than you. I am amazed when I think back on all the hours in front of the TV — ditto frequent movies when now I can’t think of one worth remembering.
    Funny though as you go about your business almost everyone out there working, living, etc. is on the same page as we are. When I meet someone new and we start chatting, I say very politely, if we’re not on the same page politically, let’s just not discuss politics – Trump, yes or no. So far, all yesses and that includes people of all ages, melanin levels, bodily configuations and etc.
    Of course, I stay away from academe and the media as any sane person would do.

  11. Doris Alvarado

    This very interesting read accurately reflects my situation. The clarity of the thoughts expressed are comforting and liberating.
    Thank you for giving voice to these realities.

  12. Another one:
    You were initially uncomfortable with the neighbors who planted political slogans in their front yard, but became proud that you were know as a heretic. Happy to stand apart, a free man.

  13. Matthew J. Toth

    I cannot remember exactly when, but I “cut the cord” to my cable TV at least 7 years ago. Even with an indoor antenna (NYC area) and Sling TV that could provide network news, I can count on one hand the number of major network news shows I have watched in the last 6 years. I had been using FOX online during the 2020 election for any news, but I am discouraged about even them in the last 3 months. When athletes began “taking a knee” I lost all interest. I remember a quote from an US Olympian that the US flag “bows to no earthly king”, and I get misty eyed when I reflect on how many men DIED for that flag (especially in the literal sense). Now I am ashamed of our athletes, newspeople, politicians (no surprise there), even some military commanders, current President, etc. with all their money and privileges protecting their supposed interests. I do not recognize our fellow countrymen and countrywomen. We have even surrendered some of our liberty for a supposed security from COVID, and we received neither, nor do we deserve it. No one looks at the facts anymore and forms their own opinion. We are living the novel, 1984, and we deserve to suffer through it because we have lost the faith in our God, in our families, and in ourselves.–“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Do they take us for simpletons?

  14. This is what it is to be a conservative today. We live in a world gone mad and everything is upside down. Everything on the mainstream media is unwatchable . Like you said professional sports a bore. We don’t want to be lectured to anymore. We don’t want to be shamed for wearing a mask. Perilous times are afoot. China and Russia are emboldened. If war starts can our woke military even fight? Is our country on the verge of breaking up and becoming prey to our enemies? There is a lot of ruin in a country and I never thought I would be alive to see the end. Now I am not so sure.

  15. Another outstanding article, thank you Dr Hanson. We do have many things to look forward to, one being your articles, and others being America First/MAGA rallies, appearances by Gina Carano, statements by Justice Clarence Thomas, and so forth. THANK YOU !

  16. WOW! Everything you said happened to me too (I am only bit older than you, if 12 years is “a bit”). And I feel the same euphoria of not having to discuss what the starts wore at the Academy Awards the next day etc. I have read more good books, enjoyed long walks every day and especially look forward to all of your writings and podcasts every day.
    But at the same time, I do mourn for the patriotism of my childhood-the wonderful 4th of July parades, pledging allegience to the flag happily, doing chores/working hard in my parents tiny store and living through some anti-Semitism-with the thought it would end.
    Now I worry about the world my 10 childchildren will occupy. They did not get “good” college educations even though they went to “good” colleges. But they do have family values, sensitivity and a work ethic. So maybe some of them will teach those things to their contemporaries.
    I can’t –go off into the sunset –without hope. And you give some of it to me.

  17. LTC Gareth D. Noren, USA Ret.

    Yes, spot on as always. Thank you Victor! (Graduate Class and Commons Mate UCSC 76-77’)

  18. Amen. I hope this doesn’t sound “todish” or like rock band groupie behavior but The Classicist, The Traditionalist, Uncommon Knowledge, Scholars and Sense, and any other you tube clip featuring Victor Davis Hanson has now become my new nightly news, Netflix series, and overall highly anticipated programs to “tune into” I feel like a kid in the 40’s rushing to the radio as I refresh my Spotify app at the beginning of every week hoping that a new episode of any of those programs appears on the screen. I can honestly say that when I listed to the last episode of The Classicist last week, I was very sad haha! I hope that I can keep listening for years to come, to the wisdom and practical insight of Victor Davis Hanson in any program I can find.
    Thank you for taking the time to study, teach, and think through the issues that plague our day. I have new long-term reading and study goals that I hope can benefit my family and others thanks to listening to the example of VDH.
    -Wyatt Koeven
    Salt Lake City/Provo Utah.

  19. My goodness, our Professor, your comments are right on target. They surely prove true in my life, as well. I was a university professor, a monk, a priest… so many “professionals” avoid me. I am “deplorable.” That’s fine with me.
    Although I am 70 with a Ph.D. from Univ of CA (Santa Barbara) in political science / political philosophy, I feel no need to write because I can in no way come up to your quality. I know a wise and learned mind when I find one. Just one addition: consider Eric Voegelin’s insights on Gnosticism (as in New Science of Politics, chaps 4-6).
    Wm. Paul McKane, Montana.

  20. I agree with all you say, but what is left. Everything is reduced to nothing which is not bad, but what is left.

  21. RoseMarie Mucklin

    Forty years ago I got rid of my TV, for my own sake as well as that of my growing children. Haven’t listened to the radio for decades. Haven’t read a newspaper or a magazine for ages. Have no cell phone and spend very little time on the computer. Yet I’m probably more informed than most of my “liberal” friends, and am always astounded at how much they run with the crowd and the propaganda, without seeming to be aware of it, and all I can do is laugh when I’m accused of being right wing. Actually they just don’t seem to recognize the concept of experience, natural laws, common sense and thinking for oneself. It’s very disconcerting, but the more urban the population becomes, the more dependent on the electronic world which is removed from primary experience, the worse it will be. When I tried to explain the concept of “experiencing something first-hand without it going through someone else’s brain and then regurgitated by electronics” they didn’t know what I meant.
    I’ve been enjoying your little insights into being a kid on the farm when life was still a bit more normal than it seems to be today.

  22. Dorothea Moebius

    Dr Hanson, you never let me down. This is purely BRILLIANT! I am sharing it with as many as I can. You do realize, sir, that you can never stop writing. Insight, wit, wisdom, you are the antithesis of Wokeworld and I thank God for you.

  23. Vince Karlewicz

    Exactly! ..entirely, precisely, quite so…indeed! A Forum I was a member of , with over 7700 contributions over the years, banned me until Aug 3, 2134 at 8:01am. Thats 133 years from now….does this make any kind of sense whatsoever. I couldn’t believe it and it took me a little while but now am glad I’m relieved of this tiresome duplicitous crazed bunch. It is an enlightening experience.

  24. I feel a commitment to my children and grandchildren to fight on. It’s important because a country that teaches it’s young to hate themselves and their history cannot long endure. I can only hope they will see the wisdom of the values I have attempted to pass down to them. A belief sustains me that they eventually will be part of a fact and values-based counter-revolution that all logic says will occur showing the virtue of vitality, industry, and wisdom.

  25. Oh gosh, thank you so much for this! I thought I was the only one who was feeling this.
    I live in England, a nation of greasy fried food, crooked teeth, and quiet bravery. Since the lockdowns, we still have the fried food and the crooked teeth but the quiet bravery has evaporated.
    If I see and hear one more simpering, saccharine fake-sweet celebrity’s mewling message about how we need to “wear a mask or grandpa dies!” I shall run amok with a blunt wooden spoon (we have no right to bear arms).
    Worst of all, we voted for Boris Johnson thinking we were getting another Winston Churchill, but all we got was yet another little Hitler.
    Strangely, I have found that when confronted by the floppy and the flaccid, if you do stare them down with quiet, righteous fury, they slink off with an ashamed air.
    Here’s to quiet, righteous fury.
    “Do not go gentle into that dark night.”

  26. I have experienced several of these things. And as you say, I don’t really miss any of it. Feel a bit sad for some of the people involved, how truly broken and in a real way, enslaved, they are to their greed, fear, delusion. No subject can be discussed without their tossing in some political hit on Trump, GOP, Christians, etc etc. “Hows the new tires?” “Well if that ****** Trump hadn’t I wouldn’t have NEEDED new tires!!”
    They really are that batsh** crazy.

  27. I do hope you will read this note and respond. Yes, I am a Republican of many , many years. Yes, I am a southern woman, Yes, I now live on the coast in PIsmo Beach, Yes, I support Hillsdale college, and Yes, I admire you a great deal.
    A thought came to me the other night and I don’t know how to spread the idea.
    Here it is: ALL LIVES MATTER or ALM or ALMS one can add a “S” and that could stand for service. ALM stands for Charity so that ties into the cause.
    This certainly may have been thought of before. but in my reading I have not seen such an idea. In past years I have chaired projects.
    I really don’t think I am the only person becoming tired of the BLM .
    If you have a suggestion as to how should go about this project I would greatly appreciate the information.

  28. Victor, great article one where you describe thoughts not previously connected. I have experienced many of the same milestones. As a retired public sector Engineer, I have heard my share of progressive crap, and the public sector is overwhelmingly dominated by progressives who have no tolerance for divergent opinions. Retirement has been liberating in so far as I can now have an opinion, and slowly over time I have decided to not tolerate the garbage philosophy, wrong headed thinking and outright lies that dominate the public domain. When encountered I now confront it straight up. Silence was stifling but the truth truly will set you free.

  29. ostracised….
    shunned, ghosted, cancelled, marginalised, erased.
    i wear my red, white, blue hat every day. and a star of david on my little finger.
    i quit watching tv in 2016. now, i watch “the golden girls” for a great brox cheer; and “foyle’s war” to remind me why im here… and what im spozed to be doing.
    its all the same—wwi, wii, now—all the same. just between us, im a little ascared.
    is you?

  30. Victor, our country is so fortunate to have you. The breadth and depth of clarity and context you provide is invaluable. I learn so much from your YouTube lectures/interviews and writings. Thank you.

  31. I felt a heavy burden lifted from my heart after reading your article.
    Thank you.
    I started last summer getting involved with local politics and worked to register people to vote. It was important for me to take responsibility to help our fight for our democracy, freedom and just the love of country and fellow my fellow citizens.
    The best is yet to come.
    # MAGA

  32. Mr. Hanson,
    You are a pillar of integrity and common sense. I have been following you for years. I enjoy your TV appearances and I have read many of your books. I too am a California native and I am horrified what has happened to the Golden State in just a few decades. “Mexifornia” is riveting because it reflects the truth and facts that my family has experienced in our time in California. When I try to point out some of these same facts I am branded xenophobic and racist. The truth can get a conservative into trouble in California. I applaud you for writing this book. I hope to meet you someday. A Professor at University told me: “that if there is someone in the public eye you admire, reach out to them. They will surprise you.”
    This is me reaching out. Good luck sir, in all your efforts. We, who share your views, appreciate you.
    John G. Nelson

  33. John Johnston

    Hell! These have all happened to me, and hell! I live in Australia. This virus is worse than the one everyone talks about! Thanks again for your penetrating insights. Without you, Fox News, and Sky news here in Australia, I’d be bloody depressed.

  34. Michael Omohundro

    Dr. Hanson, you give voice to our concerns and hope to us that intellect and clarity still have a chance to pierce the vituperative political morass in which we now live.
    May God continue to richly bless you!

  35. David H Thurman

    Were we raised
    on Betty Friedan
    and Karl Marx,
    or were Ulysses,
    Jesus, Shakespeare
    the teachers
    of our hearts…

  36. Agree!
    From my “Monastery of the Mind“ I am both unreachable by and oblivious to the woke mob. I am much more selective these days of where I spend my time and resources.

  37. Dr Hugh Williams

    All of the above sublime Victor. But doesn’t Winston in 1984 end up self-cancelled; abnegating with joy (under psychological torture) that to join big brother is bliss. I should check. But I think he eventually caves. Immaterial really; it is fiction, but so prescient it has been we have to in fact ignore it’s finale on human society of this period.

  38. I used to wake up and read the local newspaper daily. Now the paper is in bankruptcy and so desperate for readers they offer a six month subscription for $2, which works out to about a penny a day.
    I wont even pay a penny a day and I don’t miss them at all. They don’t report news they spread propoganda and I’m not buying it.

  39. This is SO TRUE. For me, the relief of no more daily dutiful dose of Mpls Star Tribune, no more PBS, no more All Things Considered – all these used to be my life. Most important of all – no more going to a church where I winced that the Truth was being compromised with progressive religion – found a sound church. (At the first church when you met someone they were more apt to be a lawyer than a busdriver. Reverse at my new church. )

  40. You are a voice of reason and common sense. Love reading your posts. Savoring Fields Without Dreams but find it sad.

  41. Describes me pretty accurately. Glad I’m not the only one.
    But, it’s harder to disengage from Big Brother if you need to earn a living. It’s easier for retired, self employed, or employed by small by small business.

  42. It is happening: really. No FOMO, either. Joy! Freedom! Escape! Thank-you to Dr Hanson for putting it into words.

  43. Dr. Hanson. I could have easily written this post but you did it much better. The only thing I did not experience was putting up signs in my yard or having a MAGA hat knocked off. TDS was and still is a remarkably powerful energy for those needing an outlet for virtue signaling.
    The only common denominator from the people you are describing is an overriding sense of condescension for others. Cults can exist without a God, but they must have a devil to survive.
    Please keep up the great writing and perceptions.

  44. Theresa Valente

    See you on the other side, Brother. You, Me, our loved ones hopefully. I have been reading you for years. And I applaud you for narrowing down the truth and getting to the absolute nucleus. It’s faith filled, it’s patriotic, but mostly it’s unfiltered of the filth and satanic stench of communism and all it’s tar babies, envy, pride, racism, gluttony and hate.
    I know, “tar”, might have been hijacked already, but let’s remember the generation of ‘Painted Black”. Go f yourself and try attacking the Rolling Stones.

  45. This happened to me during the 1970s. I have never been accosted by anyone. If someone said FU I would have hit them, and the judge said “those are fighting words” and dismissed the case.

  46. Ditto Dr. Hanson: “I noticed the other day I have not watched a major network newscast in ten years, maybe 15 years for 60 Minutes. PBS? Haven’t seen its Newshour in over a decade too. Is Face the Nation or Meet the Press still on? No doubt they remain highly rated. I used to watch both religiously—around the turn of the millennium.”

  47. Re: Optimism, Inc. The Exhilaration of Being Ostracized. What a great essay. I to have been subjected to vicious anger and profane epithets from some people who believe I might have actually voted for Trump. I don’t need to mention his name, just indicate an approval of any of his policies. I have stopped watching most news and so called entertainment. The producers are more interested in racial diversity and woke philosophy than quality. Why bother? The newspaper reviews of award shows focus more on how many minorities won awards then on the quality of the winners. Having effectively tuned out, I am now feeling some of the exhilaration which you so beautifully describe.

  48. Cynthia Pearson

    Dr. Hanson, reading your first paragraph was like reading a transcript of a text I received from my sister in law in 2016, before Trump had become the Republicans nominee. It was weird when she did it & a little eerie reading it in your column.
    My husband & I both enjoy your writing. Thank you. And I enjoy your mentions of the Selma area as I grew up there but left over 50 years ago.

  49. Mr. Hanson: How can individual states prevent the federal government from just dropping off illegal immigrants in their state. Please write an article to show states how to stop the influx of illegal immigrants. Can a state load up a bus with illegals, drive them to D.C. and drop them off at the capitol building? Please help.

  50. Robert William Humphreys

    Hi, Victor,
    I underwent such a catharsis after I retired for the second time. My work life was too busy to allow me to think about it, but retirement (including retiring from retiring) forced me to consider, “hey, what do I focus on now?” I don’t have anyone’s mess to clean up (including my own), no customers on the phone, no literature must-reads to remain current, no planes to catch, no endless email pile I must check for that one email I cannot ignore, no super-senior manager on the phone worrying about what “we” are doing about some problem his boss was worried about that neither of them understand nor should be worrying about, no unhappy coworker needing to vent.
    The last domino fell when I ceased watching the NHL. I am Canadian by birth (American by choice), so I need not explain what this meant. I also came to a realization best explained by Lionel Shriver, who mentioned that when she gets her newspaper, she puts it on the shelf for a number of days before reading it. By then, the dust has settled and some facts have finally surfaced that impact how she treats the contents ( I am liberally paraphrasing here). I now get most of my information about the world online through such resources as Hoover, AEI, Manhattan Institute, podcasts (yours, in particular), and other such sources I have learned to trust. By and large, I am pretty sure that if the sites I frequent, and there are several dozen, aren’t concerned about it, it probably is not worth my time.
    Also, I am now well beyond the age where I have more time remaining that I have lived, in all probability. So much I don’t know, so many books not read, so much I have not experienced, plus grandchildren I feel I must try to influence for their sake, as well as mine. And, nothing of value on the TV or on social media. Am I missing something important? Perhaps. But, at 70, I need to make choices about what we take for granted when we are young: time. For those who have followed the path you describe, perhaps time is the most critical influencer in the decision to become cancelled.
    Please keep up the good work. For me, it is time well spent.
    Rob Humphreys

  51. Billy Ruffian

    That would be waving and that would be crying,
    Crying and shouting and meaning farewell,
    Farewell in the eyes and farewell at the centre,
    Just to stand still without moving a hand.
    Wallace Stevens, “Waving Adieu, Adieu, Adieu

  52. The exileration comes for me through the freedom I feel from peer pressure. Once I didn’t care what “they” think because their opinions are so empty and obviously biased, I realized i can invest my time wisely in the true blue people still standing beside me. This era has served to filter out the fakes.

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