Thoughts of the week

Victor Davis Hanson // Week In Review

We do not know when we hit peak wokeness—only that no constitutional republic can long exist in a climate of McCarthyite fear and anti-racism racism. I wrote about this crux for next week’s American Greatness (“Anti-Racism Racism”in a long essay that will appear on Monday. It refutes the idea that a white supremacist ideology stifles all the aspirations of the non-white, and explains why the current racialization of dialogue and weaponization of debate have a bad history.

One of the most disturbing developments is the recalibration of the military. 
None of us can remember the Pentagon ever going after an individual journalist in the fashion of the recent attack on Tucker Carlson, both in its press secretary’s remarks and on the DOD website, especially in lumping him in with the Chinese communist military. Ferreting out supposed white insurrectionists in the ranks, appointing diversity overseers in critical branches of the military (especially Special Forces contingents), and lowering physical standards for combat units will not end well. It is redolent of the Soviet commissar system and will require a great deal of misinformation and disinformation to sustain its continuance. 
The military, or rather its beltway brass, seems oblivious that it is insidiously eroding its traditional conservative foundations of support. And soon it will be at the mercy of a mercurial Left. The latter, only for the moment, fawns on the chain-of-command, which by fiat can implement progressive social awareness agendas. But the Left is never satiated. Radical progressives have greater designs on the military, envisioning it as a sort of People’s Army that will serve  as the tip of the cultural revolution’s spear. 
All of us are also equally worried about the increasing revolving door habit of top generals and DOD officials retiring onto the boards of large corporate defense contractors, and often revolving back into civilian service at the DOD. Is there any serious refutation that these lifelong public servants are being hired largely for their familiarity with and influence upon the bidding process within the Pentagon? This is no charge of impropriety, but rather of a Caesar’ wife dilemma, in which our retired brass, given their influence within the serving military and in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice, must be above suspicion. Again, the politicalization of the active and retired high-ranking military is opening an entire can of worms, about which the Pentagon for now is absolutely clueless.
I had a lot of email inquiries about whether or not I left National Review after 20 years (cf. I thought I had addressed that issue in my last column for NR three months ago ( At the end of December,  I officially went off the NRO/NRI payroll and ended a two-decade relationship with NR, again as noted at the end of the last column. 
The confusion—to the extent anyone much cares—arises over NRO continuing to carry my Chicago Tribune syndicated column (the syndicator is now called, in yet another iteration, “Tribune Content Agency”). A contributor contractually has no say concerning the syndicator’s clients.
I resigned in January from TCA as well after 16 years (effective April 1), and now write only a long essay (2,000 words) on Mondays for American Greatness and a shorter column (750-800 words) for AG on Thursdays. It may soon be syndicated by American Greatness after my contract expires with TCA. 
As far as the NRO podcast with Jack Fowler(, sometime in May the podcast will be retitled and put on a new platform, and Jack will continue to serve as host for the 40-minute weekly interview about the news. By late April, we hope to have three weekly podcasts, the VDH podcast with Jack Fowler, the Classicist ( ) with Troy Senik—and a new one I’ll do on my own, The New Traditionalist.

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15 thoughts on “Thoughts of the week”

  1. “We do not know when we hit peak wokeness….”
    Let’s hope we’ve already hit it. I wouldn’t bet on it.

  2. Thank you for the clarification, Dr. Hanson. I listen to every Classicist and VDH podcast. I’m so glad you’ll be continuing those.

    Your podcasts are packed full of information. I always learn something new or hear thoughts from a view I hadn’t considered.

    With appreciation,

  3. Christopher Crawford

    Dear Mr. Hanson,
    Thank you for the recent insightful “Thoughts of the Week”, March 27th.

    You do quite a lot to help many of us understand what’s going on with “wokeness” and how to form counter active positions to prevent its spreading too much and too fast. And your views on re-calibration of the military are very interesting, because we always thought the military was above and beyond the trashy parts of politics. (am a Navy veteran – 9 years).

    In spite of all the ins-outs-and-roundabouts of working as a writer who publishes, you still have me as an interested audience who respects you, and appreciates your attitude and approach to things. Not to worry, if things change for you, I’ll still track you down to read your next installments.

    Keep up the good work; and keep your flag flying !

    Christopher Crawford

  4. Robert J Stewart

    Thank you for updating us on your publication plans. I look forward to all your columns and interviews. I think you will find a larger audience with your innovations. I hope you have figured out how to avoid the social media dictators. FB “likes” are easy to tabulate, but they mean nothing. And it’s not clear to me why utube has such a lock on thoughtful videos. The apparent ease of commercializing a popular video if done thru utube is done at the expense of not actually identifying your audience. That information is withheld and may be used for purposes that are generally adverse to those we support. I have refused to apply for a gmail address for exactly that reason, which has locked me out of comments on your articles. Hopefully my comment will be accepted using my present email address.

  5. kenneth whitfield

    I follow you closely. In fact, I just heard your latest podcast with John Anderson as well as his episode with former Australian PM John Howard in which they both agreed that it was a shame that Trump had disparaged his legacy by “not listening to the will of the people” and challenging the results of the November 2020 election. This was surprising to me considering how you had made the case to Mr. Anderson that there was an abundance of evidence to indicate criminal activity in that election.

  6. The military has been a meritocracy for decades.; advancement for the most part relates to ability. While my service was in the 50’s and early 60’s, even then unit cohesiveness depended on everyone regardless of their ethnicity. There probably are some white men in the military who favor one race over another, but they would be so few in number , I would suggest there are as many minorities who are negative to whites. This is a solution in search of a problem. I submit it was a bigger problem to integrate women into the front line ranks, than is this so-called white supremacy. This witch hunt reminds me of the political officers that were assigned to German forces and those in Mao’s army .

    Since the job of the military is to win wars, what does bother me is this recent decision to permit so-called transgenders to receive re-assignment surgery. This makes that person only available for limited duty for at least two years, spends money that has many other direct military uses. I can’t imagine that the people who go through this process will find life difficult should they remain in the service.

  7. Thank you Prof Hanson. Though not a regular reader anymore, occasionally read articles I get in email from you and enjoy your spots at Hoover wit Peter Robinson and also Good Fellows or Pisans as I lightheartedly call them in comments to their meetings. They are kind enough to appreciate the humor and even have highlighted my comments with the Pisans greeting in them.

    The amount of learning and solid info at Hoover has given me much more confidence in my defense of conservatism and traditional values and our beloved Founders, Constitution and Country.
    Thanks again for your part in my learning and growth.
    I comment elsewhere as Don Gaetano.

  8. The Wokeness crusade is steered by the missionaries to accomplish a giant counter-attack by Deductive Reasoning against the menace of Inductive Reasoning that has polluted the path of Progressives in bringing Paradise on Earth to the masses. A lynch mob is a collective of Deductive Reasoners who can get things done, when things are pointed out to them and the start button of Deduction smacked. Lynching has many equivalents.

  9. What will Democrats do after taking control of the military? With big tech, the press, federal government control (including the FBI and CIA and others) and likely the supreme court, defunding the police, and silencing all that disagree, what can be done to regain freedom? Half the country wants freedom, but we are doing nothing to prevent the takeover. Taking guns will be the end! I am extremely worried.

  10. Steven Robinson

    Thank you Dr Hanson. I’m working in the Pentagon, and these next two-to-four years will try our souls, along with our strength to endure “torture”.

  11. Albert H Cooper

    Thoughts of the week 3/27/2021

    The “Military Brass” apparently have their share of blowhards who no longer relevant or remember the days of action that may have gotten them to where they are now. So they, like many others, revert to talk.

    That is quite different than the “keyboard trolls” who only have talk because they have probably never experienced action in any meaningful way, in word or deed.

    The commonality is their cowardice when it comes to debating or defending ANY position!.

  12. The continued military occupation of DC is so anti-Democratic & infuriating especially because our society would not tolerate such a situation under republican leadership, but it goes without question when forced upon us by our increasingly authoritarian democratic party that is insulated by cancel culture & left-wing conformity.

  13. Thank you Prof. Hanson for the insight and for the update on your media work. As a 28 year retired military person (enlisted thru officer), I love this country and I am dismayed at what is happening to it (and our military). I have been following your work for over a year and was a Rush L listener for many years. With the passing of Rush, you have become the go to voice to help me make sense of this madness. It is obvious you are both the smartest and best educated on our great countries’ history and speak to what is going on these days with a depth of knowledge that is rare in today’s media. Thank you!
    Earl F. Allen, LCDR, USCG Retired

  14. John Manspeaker

    The endeavor that is known as the USA can exist under duress. Over the past 2 centuries we have overcome external threats of foreign wars and the internal trials of economic weakness and rapid technological/social transformation, not to mention the great mistake of slavery. We have always heretofore triumphed due to the wisdom and ability of the Founders to not only learn from history but to plan and advise accordingly.

    We are now, as you know, facing a challenge. There is a huge effort afoot to bastardize the great concept of ‘e pluribus unum’ and use wokeness to allow/enforce, only one single, correct, viewpoint by using many institutions: Corporate Media, Social Media, Education, Political Parties, and lately, the Military. The worst aspect of this latest challenge is that it is self induced. The best aspect is that it is self induced and once we get enough of a gutful of the hypocrisy and insanity we can/will say: No More!

    Thank you for your continued efforts to provide an important perspective to the rest of us. Your unique combination of a Lawyer Mater, Farmer Pater, Classic studies and agrarian area environment serve you and our Nation well. Finally, I believe in financially supporting causes I want to succeed. Should I want to consume some of your farm grown almonds, would I purchase Blue Diamond, Planters, Olam Edible Nuts or do you sell your Hanson Farms brand? Please advise so I can proceed accordingly. Thank you

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