VDH UltraWhat Made Us Go Crazy? Part One:

Ignorance of What America Was and Is

As the 2020 election season began, the New York Times promised its readers a recalibration of American history called “The 1619 Project.” The ensuing series of essays and media kits had a twofold agenda. One was to rewrite the origins of American history as the four-century foreign intrusion into a pristine North America, co-predicated on stealing Native American lands with the help of the racist exploitation of imported African slaves. Racism then was the key that supposedly defined the birth and trajectory of the later United States.

A second catalyst was more overtly political. The project was aimed at forcing a supposedly flawed contemporary America to admit its mostly foul pre-Constitutional origins. Only that way might it recalibrate the present nation, in reparatory fashion, to embrace a radical equality of result, one necessitating an all-powerful woke federal government. Aristotle long ago warned that in a democracy those who are politically equal thereby assume that they also deserve equality in all other aspects of their lives—even beyond the reach of the state—and therefore vote accordingly to empower the state to do just that. Almost all assaults on constitutional citizenship reflect both personal and career agendas. To state without evidence that the DNA of America was, and thus is, always racist is to expect to be granted the current material resources and power to redeem such an original sin.

Apparently, the implied preferred model for millions of Americans recently has become the more all-encompassing French Revolution that sought to implement egalitarianism and fraternity at any cost, rather than the American Revolution’s emphases on individual freedom and personal liberty and private property. For example, arguing for free higher education, universal health care, and wealth redistribution, socialist Bernie Sanders almost won the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016—in a way no prior socialist presidential candidate had come close. Sanders, for a while, led the primary candidates again in 2020.

Sanders talked often of “revolution” and his supporters sometimes fancied themselves as French-style Jacobins. In 2011, the journal Jacobin appeared as a self-described “democratic quarterly socialist magazine.” Its motto “reason in revolt” deliberately sought to echo the supposedly rational role of Maximilien de Robespierre (1758–1794), the catalyst for the so-called “Reign of Terror” during the cycles of French revolutionary violence, and the influence of his Jacobins on later movements such as those in Haiti. Statue toppling, name changing, and warring on the customs of the past that followed the death of African-American George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police were in the tradition of the French, not American, Revolution. The targets in spring 2020 among protesters were not Jacobin-like figures such as Robespierre but the names and statutes of Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson.

Critics of the American experiment apparently believe that because our Founders idealistically often envisioned or thought about a free society of equality under the law for all its citizens, thereby they should have had the absolute power in 1776 to implement such visions. But they did not. They were, after all, men, not gods. At the founding, the Framers did not have the ability to create all-encompassing unified ethical values within individual states under the auspices of the Constitution. Northern colonies certainly were not going to be able to war instantaneously with the pre-Confederacy states, in a forced effort to end slavery, and thus match constitutional aspirations with a successful eighteenth-century civil war of abolition at the very founding of the nation. As Alexander Hamilton pointed out in Federalist Papers Nos. 15 and 16, the fatal weakness of the failed Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the impotency of a central government, and the unwillingness of squabbling states for some eight years to surrender elements of their own authority to a unified federal power.

In April 2020, when the coronavirus was at an epidemiological apex and the public was terrified of the plague, 73 percent of Americans nonetheless expressed worry that the mass quarantine response to the plague was endangering their freedoms. The idea that the government could trace all of the citizen’s movements and hourly contacts by electronically monitoring his cell phone signals—and so help to curb the spread of the infection—was nonetheless especially scary. What we were witnessing was nothing less than the death of citizenship itself….

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14 thoughts on “<span class="ultra-flag"><i class="fas fa-lock"></i>VDH Ultra</span>What Made Us Go Crazy? Part One:”

  1. Your essays are excellent, well informed, rational, and, for me, convincing. Although I hope you continue them, I point out that the English journalist, Peter Hitchens, suggested that all of his own writings, books and articles, should be published under the title “An Obituary of Britain”. I believe the same theme applies to your articles and could be published under the title “An Obituary of the United States of America”. Despite that, please carry on.

  2. Clifford L Norman

    Excellent! Can’t wait for the next part. So many in our country do not appreciate “Equality before the Law,” as you noted in this excellent column. Equality before the law is often confused with Equity in all things, which to achieve would be an invasion upon individual liberty and the Bill of Rights. Major corporations and otherwise responsible people have simply gone mad and are driven by simplistic slogans rather than critical thinking. Universities and the Teacher’s Unions have thrown in with the mob. Thanks Mr. Hanson for attempting to bring some sense to a sea of ignorance.

  3. When you give up freedom in the pursuit of safety, you will soon discover you have neither. Sanders should never have been allowed to run on the Democrat ticket. He was not a registered democrat. When the Democrat insiders realized he could win, they did everything they could to cut his legs out from under him. Thank goodness. While Bloomberg was a terrible campaigner, his record in New York showed that he knew how to govern, but they chose a cognitively challenged, old politician with nothing in the record to recommend him for the hardest job in the world. But with MSM and social media in his corner plus some questionable voting irregularities, we know the result. Now we all are paying dearly for this tradegy.

  4. Thank-you, VDH, for the current and historical culture view of what we’re seeing in our country today. I only wish more would consider today’s events by seeing them through the same lense.

  5. I hope we have not reached the point of no return ! But when 61% of Americans don’t pay taxes (per IRS records) or take from others welfare in some sort,
    I fear we might have broken the camel’s back in too many places to repair. God have mercy on us !!

  6. Racism, elitism, male privilege were foundational in creating the constitution. It is still a great document filled with ideas that if followed and applied equally will make this a better country. But, it cannot do that if we insist on pretending that it was unbiased did really envision equality.

  7. Godlessness causes craziness. Without the Judeo-Christian God, and the principles from therefrom, principles come from within people, and are therefore subjective. By subjective, which leaves one principle: might makes right. Hitler, Stalin, Mao had dreams of IMPROVING the world – they just had to break some eggs to make their omelete.

    “The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.” That “anything” is that might makes right. Democrats, who have power in media, bureaucracy, entertainment, big tech, and finance, are now using their power (corruption, frame jobs, investigations, hit pieces, mask mandates, incarceration of innocents) to obtain more power and wealth.

  8. The idea of America is lost to the millennial generation. It’s a downward spiral from here.

    In 1966 and 1970 California voted overwhelmingly for Ronald Reagan. In 1980 and 1984 California chose Reagan for President. Even in 1988, California went “red” for GHW Bush. It’s hard to imagine California voting conservative now, isn’t it? They say as goes CA. . . so goes the USA. It’s now a land of nuts and flakes, seasoned by a cranky (soon-to-be) septuagenarian raisin rancher oracle, who, like Cassandra, is endowed with the gift of prophecy, but whose warnings of misfortune and disaster are never to be heeded.

  9. ref: “the death of African-American George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police…”

    Well that’s an improvement over “murdered by the police”; the righteous, lying narrative that George Floyd was somehow victimized, rather than dying from a self-administered fentanyl overdose. The initial post-mortem indicated bloodstream fentanyl levels more than twice the LD50; perhaps semi-accidentally resultant from Floyd’s “hooping” (i.e., anal insertion) his stash —admitted freely to the arresting officers, and probably intended to avoid further complicating his criminal justice situation, beyond just passing the fake $20 bill.

    Significant blood levels showed up as well, of fentanyl metabolites, methamphetamine, cocaine, and cannabinoids.

    The formal autopsy report, published online by the Hennepin County Coroner’s office just days after Floyd’s death, also revealed that his lungs weighed three times the expected amount, due to their being almost completely fluid/exudate filled: a classic sympton of Fentanyl toxicology; and his heart was greatly enlarged as a resulted of decades of untreated arteriosclerosis. And as icing on the cake, Floyd tested positive for COVID19!

    (Also ignored in the rabid media Chauvin lynching was that MN first responders had just several weeks or months previously revived Floyd from a near-fatal fentanyl OD using a Naloxone injection.)

  10. Very thoughtful article as always indicating the cyclical nature of history.
    America, a young nation by world standards, has recently realized its history of human flaws and decisions and by radical approach much like the Jacobins the Marxist Democrats are looking too drastically change our society.
    Using the lid bait and switch program, the Marxist Democrats are trying to rapidly alter the landscape of our Constitutional Republic. Fortunately more and more Americans are realizing that socialism hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work now no matter how much money is applied or how much you try to hide the ensuing outcomes.
    Thank you for stating what should be obvious to America in such eloquent and historical terms.

  11. Thank you, so much. It (w/ part II) makes me feel like I am a student of this country. I love it!

    (& so I had to write this somewhere: All the Afghanistan refugees were helping “their country” — everywhere you hear how they “helped the Americans.” But it was for “THEIR” country. And that’s where their loyalty, rightfully so, lies. My loyalty is to my country. (me and about 150 million other Americans). The country you write about, the history, the dream.

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