Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Optimism, Inc. Part 2: Will Wokeness Finally Cannibalize Itself?

Joseph McCarthy confers with Roy Cohn.

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

Part 2: The First Russian-Under-Every-Bed Frenzy (prior to Adam Schiff)

The Depression and the January 1, 1942 alliance with the Soviet Union had peaked American communist membership at 75,000. The treasonous Alger Hiss mentality in the State Department—the Soviets would be progressive postwar partners while the British imperialists faded and were thankfully forced to relinquish their colonialist empire—occasionally led to outright espionage (the Rosenbergs really were guilty), leading to the loss of atomic secrets, a preference for Mao over Chang Kai-shek, and excusing the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. 

In the midst of the public confusions that we had won the war over Hitler but might have lost the peace to Stalin, Democrat Harry Truman ordered loyalty oaths and tried to root out from government communists “sympathizers” and party members. 

By 1950, a less aristocratic Robespierre-like figure, Sen. Joe McCarthy began accusing hundreds of elites in government and entertainment of communist party membership and betrayal of their own country. He was occasionally not wrong, but never distinguished youthful naïveté from mature subversion of America, or whether it was or should be illegal to be a communist or express communist sympathies. 

No matter. After some of Hollywood’s best were sidelined and blacklisted (not all of them sympathetic characters), McCarthy enjoyed overwhelming public support, including that of William F. Buckley, and from time to time an embarrassed but silent Dwight Eisenhower. The sweep of communism abroad into Asia, Africa and Latin America fueled McCarthy’s conspiracy charges.

Then bloated with his lists of “traitors,” McCarthy went after George Marshall, the U.S. Army, the CIA, and the likes of Lee Grant, Orson Welles, and Edward G. Robinson. His own drinking, bombast and sidekick Roy Cohn (a closet homosexual who hounded dozens of others on sensational charges of closet homosexuality) turned off the American middle: McCarthy’s accusations grew, but his proof thinned.  

By 1954, Ike, the grandees of the Republican Party and the establishment had become fervent anti-communists and now found McCarthy a dangerous liability. Edward R. Murrow—with sometime TV audiences of 60 million—demolished McCarthy in a famous “See It Now” in-depth report: “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy.” While Murrow had his own demons, no one could deny his courage and resonance and he quickly turned public opinion against McCarthy.

Soon Joe met his own Waterloo in the 1954 Senate hearings when Army counsel Joseph Welch (who himself had no problem in making a homophobic slur/joke about Roy Cohn) destroyed McCarthy’s credibility as he finally famously uttered, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” Applause followed. 

And the Red Scare began to end.

The Joe Biden Who Never Was

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

These are the most radical first three months of a presidency since 1933, the most divisive—and certainly the most dangerous. And its catalyst is the myth of ol’ Joe from Scranton who has unleashed furies and hatreds never quite seen in modern American history.

“Woke” Joe Biden

At an age when most long ago embraced a consistent political belief, late septuagenarian Joe Biden suddenly reinvented himself as our first woke president. That is ironic in so many ways because Joe’s past is a wasteland of racialist condescension and prejudicial gaffes. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, he positioned himself as the workingman’s Democrat from Delaware (or, as Biden once beamed, “We [Delawareans] were on the South’s side in the Civil War.”). In truth, he exuded chauvinism well beyond that of his constituents.


Optimism, Inc.: Will Wokeness Finally Cannibalize Itself?

Victor Davis Hanson // Private PapersO

Part 1: French Revolutionaries under the Guillotine

This week I offer a few historical hopeful examples of why and how mass hysterias arise, consume, and die off. And I think the same pattern will follow with the ‘Great Awokening/BLM/racialization of everything.’ 

As it cannibalizes its own, Woke LTD is exposed as a money-making machine for its elite BLM Marxist architects, and reveals the hypocrisies and careerist self-interests of its corporate and bicoastal elite tag-alongs.


George Jacques Danton was guillotined April 5, 1974 during the Reign of Terror

Part 1: Wokeness Really Will End

What fueled—and what ended—the Jacobin beheadings, the Hollywood blacklistings, and #MeToo, these flights of collective madness and score-settling? 

Read more →

The Border: “Well, Joe Biden promised me this.” @VDHanson @HoverInst

Victor Davis Hanson on Who Killed Homer

Will the Great Awokening Succeed?

Optimism, Inc.: COVID News

Victor Davis Hanson // Private Papers

The more pessimistic the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and the Biden Administration sound on the pandemic, the more cautiously optimistic I become, albeit as a non-medical observer of the pandemic .

I also do not mean that as a contrarian, but, after all, we are approaching a perfect storm of events that could threaten at last to blow out the virus. 

We know from our 2020 experience that cases dip radically in the summer months, and it is now warming a bit every day, encouraging more to go outdoors, increasing natural Vitamin D levels, and reducing the lifespan of the virus in the open air. Yet we are not mired in the false hope of last April to July when the virus seemed at times to go dormant—given we have vaccinations this time around.

Read more →

How to Start a War

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Wars often arise from uncertainty. When strong powers appear weak, truly weaker ones take risks they otherwise would not. 

Sloppy braggadocio and serial promises of restraint alternatively trigger wars, too. Empty tough talk can needlessly egg on aggressors. But mouthing utopian bromides convinces bullies that their targets are too sophisticated to counter aggression.


Pigmentation Nation

VDH discusses the rationale behind the elites’ wokeness, the cannibalism of revolutions, how race trumps all, the mainstream media’s preference for the noble lie, and the value of the American iconoclast.

Victor Davis Hanson blasts Delta’s CEO on ‘wokeness’: ‘If you make $17M’ you’re ‘not committed to equity’

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