The Left Knows Leftism Doesn’t Work

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

Do not expect the radical left to survey the wreckage of socialism and communism in history and accept that statism impoverishes people and erodes their freedoms. There will never be admissions by our elite that progressivism exists mainly for the acquisition of power by the utopian and virtue-signaling few, who ensure that they are never subject to the baleful implementation of their ideological agendas on the rest of us.

Still, leftists look around at what they have done to America in the last four years and implicitly know that the plan did not work, the people detested it, or both.

How do we know this? By a variety of barometers.

None of the major Biden “achievements”—10 million illegal aliens across a nonexistent border, key components of the cost of living 25-30 percent higher than in 2020, wars and chaos abroad, DEI racial and tribal obsessions, wars on fossil fuels—poll at even 40-45 percent. Biden’s own approval ratings, as the nominal architect of the most left-wing agenda since the Roosevelt administration, hover between 36 and 34 percent.

But most importantly, the left is not running on its record of the last three-and-a-half years but instead studiously ignoring it, at least temporarily through November. Suddenly, we aren’t hearing so much about cancelling pipelines and freezing federal oil leases, or so much demonization of the “greedy” oil companies. Instead, Biden is further draining the strategic petroleum reserve and begging OPEC in general and the no-longer-demonized Saudi Arabia in particular to pump oil as fast as possible.

We were lied to for nearly four years that the border was “secure,” as 10 million foreign nationals flooded across. Then we were told Biden was helpless to stop the deluge since he had no legal right to enforce federal immigration law through executive orders—a ridiculous excuse that even he would soon drop. Despite their eagerness for new constituencies, no one on the left dares to openly praise the influx of the last four years, much less demand more illegal immigration.

Instead, as November looms, Biden is suddenly reinstating the very Trump executive orders that once, despite deep state and court obstruction, finally closed the border—and which Biden himself had originally overturned. Note that Biden is now partnering with the Mexican government—which terribly fears another Trump presidency endangering Mexico’s annual $60 billion in remittances from mostly illegal aliens in the United States—to curb some of the illegal immigration before the November election.

The administration’s pandering at election time is a de facto admission that its agendas did not work, permanently alienated the people they hurt, and are now being forgotten or reversed—albeit temporarily—to retain power at all costs.

Few on the left praise the disastrous COVID lockdown, the canonization of Dr. Fauci, the mask and social-distancing craze, and the gospel that endless boosters were necessary to protect Americans. Even the left, although again quietly, assumes that the lockdowns did more damage than the virus, that Dr. Fauci repeatedly lied when he swore he did not subsidize gain-of-function viral research at the Chinese top-security virology lab at Wuhan, and that the virus came not from the lab but from a wandering pangolin or errant bat.

Biden and his supporters are no longer blaming or firing the police but rather trying (albeit quietly) to get more law-enforcement officers to serve—given the predictable crime wave that followed the George Floyd riots.

Ditto for all the left-wing hysterias of the last eight years. No one any longer claims that Christopher Steele’s dossier was factual. No one insists that Hunter Biden’s laptop was likely “Russian disinformation”, or that “Anonymous” was a courageous “top-ranking” administration official. All these hysterias, it is tacitly admitted, were cooked-up left-wing canards to emasculate the Trump candidacy and presidency.

Outside of politics, leftists are quiet as their failed bromides are being undone. The idea of the FBI partnering with social media to suppress politically-dangerous news is something the left is not eager to repeat.

The same recognition is beginning to apply to the lawfare waged against Donald Trump. Jack Smith’s crusade to get Trump is undermined by prosecutorial misbehavior concerning the evidence seized at Mar-a-Lago and by the asymmetrical treatment by another special counsel accorded Biden in comparison with Trump. Smith’s efforts to speed up the trial before the election only made his persecution more politically transparent.

Fani Willis’s outrageous behavior will likely delay indefinitely her weaponized indictments. The James and Bragg convictions will likely be overturned and were intended mostly to embarrass Trump, bankrupt him, and harm his presidential campaign.

All of the left’s once-grandiose ideas of packing the Supreme Court, ending the filibuster, admitting two new states to win four more liberal senators, and destroying the Electoral College have little public support and will go nowhere. Corporations like Disney, Target, and Anheuser-Busch have all begun backtracking on their money-losing, market-share-eroding woke/DEI agendas.

Universities are terrified that their endowment income is either static or in decline, given a rising drop-off in public and alumni giving. They know their race-based, non-meritocratic admissions and hiring are increasingly destroying their brand names. To accommodate their new non-meritocratic student bodies, they have variously inflated their grades to the point of parody, watered down work requirements, or introduced gut courses—and as a result, they are quickly losing their once-coveted prestige. Some campuses are already reinstating the SAT and ACT requirements that were thrown out in 2020-21 in the hysteria that followed the death of George Floyd. Harvard and Stanford aren’t boasting that the erasure of the SAT created a more competitive student body and raised standards to new levels.

The twin ideas of foreign-funded Middle-Eastern-studies centers and of admitting tens of thousands of affluent, full-tuition-paying Middle-Eastern students led to institutionalized anti-Semitism on campus and eliminationist rhetoric right out the old Klan playbook. The appeasement by university presidencies only whets the appetites of those who unlawfully occupy, vandalize, deface, and disrupt. Their pro-terrorist chants and emblems are bleeding the universities of billions of dollars in lost donations.

In short, the policies that the left has given us over the last years—hyperinflation, spiking staple and gas prices, racial and tribal chauvinism, dangerous streets, an emasculated and politicized military, and wars abroad—did not work, and are now being masked to retain power, put on hold, or even reversed.

The reasons for the failure are ancient, given that socialism and progressivism are contrary to human nature.

Borders are essential to national sovereignty and confidence and delineate the unique values, traditions, and customs of a people, without which they revert to mere tribes without social commonalities and political cohesion. No society can pick and choose which national laws are enforced and which ignored—and still remain a nation of laws.

People obey laws because, in a cost-benefit analysis, they fear the consequences of lawbreaking. Otherwise, the laws of the wild prevail and the strongest dictate to the weaker. Citizens must be discouraged, not encouraged, from favoring their own tribe and race, tribalism being the oldest of human biases. Money is not a construct but represents the real value of capital and labor and cannot be printed into national wealth. Abroad, most nations are illiberal and their aggressiveness is deterred only through guarantees that they will lose more than they will gain through war.

We sometimes forget all that unpleasant human baggage, due to irrelevant distractions, or the utopianism that is the handmaiden of affluence and leisure. Often, the opulence and freedom arising from free-market economies and limited constitutional government create so much prosperity and liberty that its beneficiaries believe such good fortune to be their natural and commonplace birthright and so begin destroying the very system that blessed them.

But if Biden and his handlers have taught us anything, human nature cannot be fooled, and the current four-year experiment will have to end before it ends us—and soon.


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54 thoughts on “The Left Knows Leftism Doesn’t Work”

  1. Blah blah … Under “related posts” right above this comment section is one from Aug 2023 titled “The Bidens Clan con is coming to an end”…

    Almost 1 year ago.
    Seen any orange jump suits?
    Matching bracelets?

    ,… Nothing but sham show trials and kabuki theatre to placate the masses and stop them from rioting?

    Same as it ever was…?

    Go write another strongly worded letter to your congressman, I’m sure it will work this time.

  2. Michael McDonnell

    I’m still afraid that the 2024 election will at best be, as the Duke of Wellington might say, “a close run thing” or an outright Republican loss. Leftist thumbs on scales across important states is worrisome due to their control of election admin structures. MSM opinion shaping may also push passive voters to choose Biden, thereby securing their “being decent people” status. These are scary times.


    Well, they know it’s unpopular. I suspect they just think it wasn’t implemented well enough. We’re in deep (or deeper) trouble if that crew stays in office.

  4. Richard Foster

    Leftists will never admit their responsibility for their policies’ failures, as they have used the same excuses for most likely forever to absolve themselves of any blame.
    1) “Our policy didn’t work because it wasn’t fully implemented.”
    2)”The right people weren’t in charge.”
    3)”It would’ve worked if it had been fully funded.”
    4)”Right-wing extremists worked behind the scenes to sabotage our plan.”
    5)”Our novel cutting-edge idea will succeed with just “X” minor modification.”

    Feel free to add any excuses that may come to mind.

  5. Random thoughts. VDH should speak at the Repub convention. I take umbrage, annoyance kind, when someone writes that I was lied to. I knew they were lying all the time, as did half the voting populous. Leave me out of that equation. And last, the past 4 years was not some failed liberal experiement. It was a victory for those seeking to injure US world standing, and silence the middle class. Only a partial victory, but victory none the less.

  6. “[T]he Left doesn’t work”? Nonsense. It’s made Obama rich. And Al Gore. All the Castros. Biden. All of ’em. Works GREAT!

  7. Thanks, Victor, for composing such lucid and witty pieces while ensuring my vocabulary is expanded on each read!

  8. Agreed on all points Mr. Hanson. America is at a crossroads this November and if Biden and congressional Democrats hold power our precipitous decline will accelerate. There are signs of encouragement such as right leaning candidates winning in Europe and Trumps fundraising skyrocketing but the leftist-media industrial complex is spinning up hard.

    The stakes are high but let’s be hopeful our mighty ship of America is turned away from disaster soon.

  9. Our once great America has a serious problem and it isn’t Joe Biden. It’s the people who voted for him.

  10. It will all be just perfectly time to hand control of our government to the UN this September. It’s on the agenda!

  11. Thanks, Captain Obvious will be pleased. When do we start indicting these criminals for treason and sedition? Asking for a classical Libertarian.

  12. The hope for America is the right person gets in, because I don’t know if 4 more years of what’s happening can America recover.

    1. Dr. Sylvia Wasson

      We need “public intellectuals” such as Victor Davis Hanson. The MSM, however, will not give voice to scholars of Mr. Hanson’s sort. The MSM prefers partisan, pseudo-intellectuals who help further the left’s progressive, socially transformative agenda. Anyone challenging that agenda is a threat to the American Marxist left’s end goal: POWER — by any means necessary.

      May the Almighty help us preserve our precious nation this November 5th. Let us pray that a majority of Americans still have the common sense to discern between good and evil and right and wrong. I am hopeful.

  13. Given the debunking of the entire George Floyd narrative by Candace Owens, how is it that the Left thinks it’s still a viable narrative? Anyone who watches “The Greatest Lie ever Sold” realizes the complete vacuum of truth in this narrative, plus the callous disregard for Mr. Floyd’s friends and family members in the sad wake of his death. It seems they have lost what Humanity and Reason they had, and are therefore quite dangerous to us all if they remain in power.

  14. Knowing something is not working and admitting it are two different things. The latter is a real problem in the USA now.

  15. This all began when Obama and his pit crew attempted to re-invent the wheel instead of changing the tires. They’ve torn the drive train apart, and now it’s going to take a Hendrick Motor Sports-type engine team to get this back on track.

  16. Why, VDH. . .

    Why would the entirety Federal government be aligned to destroy the economy of the country, its energy independence, its once highly respected medical institutions, its law enforcement agencies, its scientific communities (i.e., climate change), its National Sovereignty, its Judicial System, its education system, and on and on.

    C’mon VDH, SPELL. IT. OUT.

    You’ll be heading to the Gulag to if enough sheeple are still asleep to the reality of what’s going on in the country!

  17. Peter Patterson.

    We all know at this stage that the failed agenda of the Left is failing or has failed. But everywhere you look, on social media and the legacy news the Left are getting desperate. I honestly fear that if they cant jail Trump they will assassinate him. The court cases brought forward against him are a nonsense. Will a war stop the election? Will the grass roots cheating with the multiple ballot scanning and ballot box dumping win it for the left? I worry that the crazy ‘elders’ of the Democrats will do something they will regret in the name of ‘saving Democracy’. I hope I’m wrong.

  18. Lauren Anderson

    The three paragraphs beginning with “Borders are essential to national sovereignty” are one of the most brilliant, succinct declarations of the philosophies underlying prosperous civilization that I’ve ever read.

  19. What I’m reminded of today is the brilliance of the US’s founding fathers. They understood that every system of government will always tend towards the aristocratic. They worked hard to balance power to try to avoid that process. That system is running out of steam 250 years later.

    In both Europe and the United States, we are now seeing a breakdown of the balance of power. In both, we have seen the rise of the bureaucratic aristocracy, who simply no longer believe that the common man should really have much of a say.

    The entire EU project is an attempt to dampen the people’s democratic voice. The entire administrative state on both continents starts with the same premise: that the elite bureaucrats are uniquely qualified to decide everything, and the people are just there to follow elite edicts.

    I still stand with William Buckley: “I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty.”

  20. 10 million – we have 60 million illegals if we have 1
    get them all out – or hang them – and get housing down and rent down and jobs for americans open again – I lost a medical career in new mexico stopping corrupt judges and cops.
    they were breaking so many laws in 2012-2015 the fbi showed up to say so = albuquerque is run by the dumbest most racist people in the country = austin is the sickest and 2nd most racist community
    busted cops in new mexico – tapping phones without warrants
    busted judges throwing cases – leading to election fraud in texas = hang democrats america you need to

  21. “four-year experiment”

    I am often amazed at the inability of some otherwise intelligent people to see what’s staring them right in the face.

    This is not a ‘four-year experiment’ out of which we can vote ourselves; it is a COUP, a. The coup started in 2008 when SDS surrogate, Obama, won the White House. At the end of Obama’s 8-year tenure—during which he eviscerated the American military and solidified his grasp on the FBI and CIA, he moved down the street from the White House and ran a shadow government, wire-tapping the White House, undermining the legally-elected president and conducting an illegal foreign policy through surrogates like John Kerry. In 2020 Trump was blatantly robbed of his rightful victory—TONS of audio, video and statistical evidence exists— and has been persecuted ever since in soviet-style show trials. Anyone who ever helped, or tries to help, Trump is in legal trouble. The Dems have gone after his past administration, threatening their careers, reputations, and futures. They have persecuted innocent Americans who tried to stand against the fraud, murdering some and forcing some to suicide. The fact that Dems will run anybody, regardless of mental or physical infirmity confirms that the Party is the important thing now—not the skills and talents of the individual politician. It’s more a monolithic Politburo than an American political party.

    Wake up, sir.

    1. Agreed. Hussein Obama was the Manchurian Candidate groomed to destroy America from within and the purposely dumbed down masses indoctrinated to feel guilt and worship black skin gave him 2 terms to do it. Then, UNPRECEDENTED in US history he did not remove himself from the capital but moved down the road from the White House to lie low during the Deep State sabotage of the Trump administration and now massages his corrupt VP Biden.

      Not that Obama is any mastermind, too mediocre and lazy but he made a better salesman for the globalist coterie running America into the ground during his term, undermining Trump’s term and re-election and continuing the destruction with their geriatric puppet Joe the 50 year political parasite willing to do anything for the glory of being called POTUS.

  22. “Before it ends us”, is a very telling remark. Total power in the past erodes eventually in small, unobserved places until revolution breaks into the open. However, we have never had total power with the ability to monitor almost everything, record so much, and strike dissidents from above and unseen. The total coverage of our lives could make totalitarian control almost impossible to escape. It is the stuff of dystopian movies and Orwellian nightmares.

  23. I have followed VDH for years and I always appreciate his opinions and expertise. Keep up the good work….Message from a gal who was born in L.A. but now lives close to the Canadian Border….the literal fourth corner of the lower 48 states.
    Sending hugs from Armene

  24. The demo deceivers know that they can get away with it – until it no longer matters.
    So they deliberately deceive, promote immorality, sacrifice helpless innocent preborn children to their god of convenience and comfort. This is a proven successful strategy to get votes from the masses whose minds no longer function. 10 million immigrants feeding at the demo trof of free money will push the easy button and vote for more free stuff. I was with retired folks this weekend. The question – so where does your 30 yr old son work? Answer – he doesn’t. His girl freind just got another check from the government.” Now that Im retired SSA said send us $4000 to keep your medicare benefits. The citizens voted down and increase in taxes for the public schools. a few months later the government announced “the value of your house was reassessed. You now owe us $1000 per month.” Mr fixed retirement income guy. The clear message to those who disagree with the Demo’s – shut up and pay up, we can and will ruin your life.

  25. It’s sad to think that half the population is going to vote for this old person in the White House and we’re going to have to suffer because of it I don’t know how bad it has to get before somebody acts like something’s wrong

  26. Stephen A. Hill

    All Citizens lend their political power to their government. And if government breaches their fiduciary duties then Citizens have a duty to call in their loan. Citizens also have duties in addition to their rights. If my religion is to be tolerated, I must tolerate the religion of others. If my speech is to be tolerated, I must tolerate the speech of others. If my peaceful assembly is to be tolerated, I must tolerate the peaceful assembly of others. If I am to receive Equal Protection Under the Law, I must see that all others receive equal protection under the law. Human Nature is Human Nature is Human Nature, and it will continue to be as long as we are Humans.

  27. Funny how the Left tries to resurrect its system that was long ago LEFT to the ash heap of history thinking somehow that which didn’t work then will miraculously work now despite human nature being a constant. I believe in order to fully appreciate the supreme horrors wrought by leftist ideology driven public policy, one must actually live through it. And if it is true that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged, many a new conservative is being born right now. And if it is also true that you can vote your way into socialism, but you must shoot your way out, this country can ill afford going one step further onto that side of the political spectrum. Viva Trump!

  28. Realistically professor, Biden is NOT implementing Trump border policies. The administration may claim to be securing the border but with 1K to 4K per day still crossing into the USA illegally the border remains a sieve. Whether it be those walking across and claiming asylum or those being flown in on the taxpayer nickel, the nation is being inundated with ‘newcomers’.

  29. VDH nails it again…though I fear that 50% + 1 vote isn’t enough to beat a party that has a warehouse full of votes on standby!!🫣🙄😳😖

  30. Michael Campbell

    “Leftism doesn’t work…” I dunno, illegal immigration added 10 million possible Dem voters, and they will add more — millions more — if they win in November. The 1986 and subsequent small-scale 1990s amnesties delivered them California in perpetuity. The nexty amnesty will hand them Texas. They always get what they want, and Republicans are seemingly happy to deliver it.

  31. Steve of Cornubia

    I don’t disagree with any of that but, like the various ‘inquiries’ and committees looking at the totalitarian Covid responses and other disastrous policies, I can’t summon up much enthusiasm because NOTHING will happen as a consequence. The left (whoever they are these days) doesn’t even pretend to listen to voters any more. Add to this a relentlessly negative campaign against any genuinely conservative figures by the leftist-controlled mainstream media, plus the penchance of the left’s foot soldiers to fiddle with ballots and one can see why they are content to have a senile glove puppet in the White House – it’s because the Long March has finally reached critical mass and, with all the levers now in their hands, they can do as they please.

  32. Jim j Hoffmann

    I hate to admit it, but I don’t trust any of them on both sides of the aisle now!! I am now refocusing all my activist efforts to those grocery chains in our country who do not police their Express Lane check outs!! I personally plan on buying my groceries in bulk (more than 10 items) and specifically going to the Express Lane to check out!! I am no longer a law-abiding citizen thanks to Uncle Joe and his band of lemmings.

  33. Contary to all the predictions . Trump was and will be the greatest president we ever had . Come on November!

  34. All true but apparently nothing is turning it back. The Left doesn’t measure success in terms of their policies working and benefitting the population as VDH and our own lying eyes point out, but in securing their political advantage at every level of society. Only in the ability to complain have they not secured a beachhead but they are hard at work on that problem and, given their success in all other areas, it’s not unlikely that voices such as Victor David Hansen will soon be silenced or otherwise regulated to the point of irrelevance.

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