Scapegoats, Boogeymen, and Hobgoblins

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

The world may be increasingly baffled by 2021 America, and its sudden scapegoating of “white supremacist” hobgoblins for problems it cannot or will not solve. 

Roughly 400 Americans were shot over the past July 4 holiday weekend. About 150 of them were killed. The majority, both of the shooters and the victims, were inner-city, African-American males. The level of violence approaches the bad casualty days of the recent Afghan and Iraq wars. 

Meanwhile, during the carnage, progressive black leaders, from Representatives Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to Cori Bush (D-Mo.), blasted America’s foundational holiday and the country at large for its white supremacy and the current supposed lack of freedom for African Americans. 

During 120 days of rioting, arson, and looting during the summer of 2020, the country suffered about $2 billion in property damage, roughly 25 deaths, and some 14,000 arrests. 

Rioters burned down a Minneapolis police precinct. They set afire a federal courthouse in Portland. And they tried to incinerate the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church next to the White House. Downtown areas of Portland and Seattle were taken over by rioters, who occupied entire city blocks with impunity. 

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Exclusive: Victor Davis Hanson on the Assault on Meritocracy, Politicization of the Virus, and the ‘Platonic Noble Lie’

VDH Talks on Post-Truth World

There will be “no safe space, no sanctuary from wokeism until the system starts to erode the safety and the security of the elite that created it,” says classicist and historian Victor Davis Hanson.

In this episode, Hanson breaks down the problems he sees plaguing American society today, from the assault on meritocracy to the “Frankenstein monster” of moral relativism.

Throughout society today, elites justify their control of or manipulation of information as for the good of the people, Hanson says. It’s the “noble lie”: “I’m smarter than you. I’m your platonic guardian. I can lie for your own good…Just don’t dare suggest I’m lying,” Hanson says.

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Victor Davis Hanson speaks at Hanford Rotary

Donald A. Promnitz // The Sentinel

Author and historian Victor Davis Hanson visited Hanford to discuss the social and political lessons learned from 2020.

Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairs the Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict. He is also a professor emeritus at Fresno State and a visiting professor at Hillsdale College.

Speaking at Glad Tidings Church on Tuesday night for the Rotary Club of Hanford, Hanson discussed the response to the pandemic, the death of George Floyd and the Jan. 6 riot and what he identified as their exploitation to push for more control and to silence dissent. He also spoke on the topic of “cancel culture” and its potential consequences, saying that anyone could be “one word away” from destroying their careers. 

If you’re a teacher, administrator, you own a small business, somebody can walk in your business and say, ‘I heard him say a word,’ and put it on the internet … and you’re done for,” Hanson said. “Or somebody can go through your high school yearbook, speaking to somebody from Selma High School and find things in there if they want to.”

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