The Debasement of Our Professional and Political Classes

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

The left-wing professional and political classes bequeathed a number of new protocols during the Trump-derangement years. And it will be interesting to watch whether the Republicans abide by them in November should they take back the House and perhaps the Senate—and the presidency in 2024 as well. 

Will they follow the New Testament’s turn-the-other-cheek forbearance, or go for Old Testament style eye-for-an-eye retribution? 

What Are the New Rules?

Will Republican magnanimity suffice to shame the Democrats to be more professional in the future? Or will tit-for-tat deterrent reciprocity alone ensure a return to norms? Specifically, will Biden be impeached Trump-style, after losing the House in November? Say, to give just one possible example, for deliberately not enforcing and, indeed, undermining U.S. immigration law? 

Will Speaker Kevin McCarthy, in Pelosi-fashion, start yanking troublesome radical Democrats off House committees? 

Will a conservative Robert Mueller-like “wise man” head a $40 million, 22 month-long special counsel investigation of the Biden-family influence-selling syndicate—arrayed with a “dream-team,” “all-star,” and “hunter-killer” right-wing lawyers to ferret out “Big Guy” and “Mr. Ten Percent” quid pro quo profiteering? 

Would a Republican-led House set up a special committee to investigate the racketeering and “conspiracies” across state lines that led to a near “coup” and “insurrection” marked by “the riots of 2020?” Would such watchdogs offer up criminal referrals for all those responsible for attacking a federal courthouse and torching a police precinct or for setting an historic church afire? Or causing $2 billion of damage, over 30 deaths, and 1,500 law enforcement officer injuries—while carving out illegal no-go zones in major downtowns? 

Given the need for “accountability,” the “threats to democracy,” and a need for “transparency,” would another congressional committee investigate the Afghanistan fiasco of summer 2021? Will it learn who was lying about the disaster—Joe Biden or the Joint Chiefs—and how and why such a travesty occurred?

Would a rebooted January-6th committee reconvene under new auspices—with Democratic members limited to those selected by a new Speaker McCarthy—to revisit the lethal shooting of Ashli Babbitt, to review thousands of hours of released surveillance video, to subpoena all email communications between the previous congressional leadership and the Capitol police, to demand the lists of all the FBI informants in the crowd, and to interrogate the sadistic jailers and overzealous prosecutors who have created America’s first class of political prisoners subjected to punishment without trial? Such a multifaceted legal inquiry would eat up most of Biden’s final two years in office. As accomplished leakers, Republicans then would also supply “bombshells” and “walls are closing in” special news alerts on cable TV, the fuel of supposedly “imminent” and “impending” indictments, based on special counsel leaks to conservative media.

Following the Democratic cue, should the Republican-majority Senate consider ending the “disruptive” and “anti-democratic” filibuster? Should there be a national voting law rammed through the Congress, overriding state protocols, and demanding that all national election balloting must require a photo ID? 

Will Speaker McCarthy, Pelosi-style, in furor at more of Joe Biden’s chronic lies, tear up the president’s State of the Union address on national television? 

A Permanently Politicized Bureaucracy?

Will the new Washington apparat likewise adhere to the Democratic Party’s new precedents? 

Perhaps a newly appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs can reassure a Republican majority that its primary mission is not battle readiness—and certainly not climate change or “white rage”— but rather ferreting out service personnel with known ties to radical groups like BLM or Antifa or other “subversive” and “racist” organizations?

Will a conservative Lois Lerner emerge from the IRS shadows to start slow-walking nonprofit-status applications from left-wing organizations on the eve of a presidential election?

Will the FBI become a Republican retrieval service to hunt down and keep inert embarrassing lost laptops, diaries, and hard drives of absent-minded conservative grandees? 

In the middle of a campaign, will the CIA Director believe it is his duty to inform the senior Republican leaders in the Senate that he has good “information” that leftists are intriguing with foreign governments to warp the election? 

The Lettered Classes 

And what of our corporate and professional classes? 

Should conservative zillionaires pool their resources and, Zuckerberg-style, select key precincts in the next general election, hire armies of activists, and then absorb and supersede the work of state or county registrars? Only that way, could they ensure the “right” people vote and their “correct” ballots were accurately counted? 

Should conservatives start rounding up “professionals,” “scientists,” and “scholars” to express their superior morality and erudition in pursuit of political agendas? 

Certainly, a recent trend has been a spate of letters of “conscience” and “statements of concern” signed by revolving-door government, academic, and corporate grandees who pose as disinterested experts to mold public opinion.

When we read such letters of principle—characterized by shared and collective outrage by assorted professionals, replete with letters and/or titles after their name—beware!

Do we remember the recent “stellar” cast of Nobel-Prize winning and near-Nobel laureates who admonished us that Biden’s massive deficit spending programs would never lead to inflation? 

In circular fashion, Biden solicited and then cited this “blue-chip” group of experts led by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz warned the hoi polloi not to worry about printing trillions of dollars at the very moment pent-up demand from the COVID lockdowns was surging, when for millions the government kept issuing checks that made staying home more lucrative than working, when interest rates were at near zero, and when the national debt was cresting at $30 trillion. 

The distinguished economists promised us that if we just followed the Biden lead, then inflation would actually decrease. Or as they put it, “Because this agenda invests in long-term economic capacity and will enhance the ability of more Americans to participate productively in the economy, it will ease longer-term inflationary pressure.” [emphasis added]. 

As inflation nears or exceeds eight percent per annum, will they write an apology or instead issue yet another letter assuring us that inflation is easing?

Do we remember the 50 “former intelligence officials” letter writers rounded up by former National Intelligence and CIA Directors James Clapper and John Brennan? (The latter two previously had confessed to lying under oath to Congress.) Yet just two weeks before the 2020 election, these revered “professionals” assured us that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not just fake but likely Russian disinformation.

Or as the shameful 50 put it in their sorta, kinda conspiratorial style, “. . . our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.” The guidance of Brennan and Clapper alone—apart from the clear evidence that the laptop was Hunter’s—should have made all Americans “deeply suspicious” that the Biden campaign “played a significant role in this case.” 

Do we remember “the over 1,000 health professionals” who in 2020 signed a letter of conscience, assuring us that: 

. . . we wanted to present a narrative that prioritizes opposition to racism as vital to public health, including the epidemic response. We believe that the way forward is not to suppress protests in the name of public health but to respond to protesters demands in the name of public health, thereby addressing multiple public health crises. 

So, in “follow the science fashion” we were told not just that some violations of strict masking, quarantines, and lockdowns were more equal than others, but that flagrantly ignoring health mandates entirely was, in Orwellian fashion, actually good for the health of the exempt. 

Do we remember the 27 Lancet “scientists” who signed the now infamous letter reassuring us the Wuhan lab played no role in the origins in COVID? Do we also recall that all but one of these progressive humanitarians failed to disclose that they themselves had connections with Wuhan? 

Leftist professionals in politics, government, and private enterprise debased themselves for short-term political gain, or in furor at their bogeyman Trump, or in anger at the unwashed. They have now set precedents, which if embraced by conservatives and applied to the Left, would be called unethical at best and fascistic at worst. 

In the end, all the warped grandees accomplished was to further discredit the entire notion that those with high salaries, prestigious degrees, impressive titles, and insidious influence are somehow less likely to lie, connive, cheat, and conspire than those whom they libel and attack.

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9 thoughts on “The Debasement of Our Professional and Political Classes”

  1. Great summary. I dont want congressmen and senators questioning the crooks ( each other for the most part) on the floor. I want indictments and trials. Publicly aired. If these criminals/ traitors are not dealt with, the corruption will continue. There are thousands of them. This has been happening for years, working toward the goal of a kleptocracy with all players using the US Treasury as their piggy bank and trading on Americas resources. I want trials and firing squads. I am not being hyperbolic. This is what is warranted. America and her citizens have been and are under attack. Treason cannot be treated as an archaic charge. The necessary action must be taken or we are finished. By the way, it’s curious that Generals Milley, Austen, Patreus and the rest have not been on TV every day as they were during President Trumps❤ peaceful and prosperous admin. My goodness, you would think that they would be on every day to address Ukraine, Afghanistan, the Houthis, and every other disaster and threat. I did happen to see that Milley and Austen came out from under their rocks to be questioned in the Senate about China being given classified information which they then passed on to Russia. Of course, neither of them knew anything about this. I want to see all of these vile creatures with blindfolds and cigarettes dangling from their lips as justice is served.

  2. What should happen is term limits. 10 years maximum for the House and 12 years for the Senate. This current chaos is due to professional politicians like Joe Biden whom lobbyists can buy and sell.


    Sustenance for the weary. You present a narrative grounded in fact and logic. I continue to hear declarations that this November’s mid-terms will be a time for Americans to Restore honor, and Civility in our daily excursions. GOD, I hope so.

  4. Hmmmm … doubt that the Republicans will pursue payback especially under McConnell and McCarthy. They do not seem to have a strength of character to see it through especially with corporate media hysteria it would generate. Turning the other cheek has not been effective with Democrats so seems timely to push hard for accountability.

  5. 1. The rule of law must be applied to all, including politicians (and presidents). A Republican Congress must act against anyone that broke our law (including all those involved in Russia Russia Russia).
    2. If president Biden (and Voce President) committed treason relative to an open border and the withdrawal from Afghanistan he (she) must be impeached and possibly worse (18 US service men were murdered as a result.). Advisors and cabinet heads that were involved should be addressed via #1, above.
    3. The bureaucracy is hopelessly corrupt and political and the only remedy is a much smaller one; it should be reduced in size by a factor of 10. Government must be small and must be of, by, and for the people. And, its pay scale and benefits must be significantly reduced and mirror the private sector (plus, no unions).

  6. The great professor is completely on the money yet again. Meanwhile, the Gorgon needs a dramatic haircut, and fast…

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