Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Putin’s False Equivalency

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

We are in dangerous times. Amid the hysteria over the Russian summit, the Mueller collusion probe, nonstop unsupported allegations and rumors, the Strzok and Page testimonies, the ongoing congressional investigations into improper CIA and FBI behavior, and a completely unhinged media, there is a growing crisis of rising tensions between two superpowers that together possess a combined arsenal of 3,000 instantly deployable nuclear weapons and another 10,000 in storage. That latter existential fact apparently has been forgotten in all the recriminations. So it is time for all parties to deescalate and step back a bit.

Trump understandably wants to avoid progressive charges that he is obstructing Robert Mueller’s ostensible investigation of Russian collusion, and he also wants some sort of détente with Russia. Mueller has likely indicted Russians, timed on the eve of the summit, in part on the assumption that they would more or less not personally defend themselves and never appear on U.S. soil.

Read the full article here.

NATO’s Challenge Is Germany, Not America

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

As the most populous and most affluent of European nations, Germany insidiously dominates Europe

During the recent NATO summit meeting, a rumbustious Donald Trump tore off a thin scab of niceties to reveal a deep and old NATO wound — one that has predated Trump by nearly 30 years and goes back to the end of the Cold War.

In an era when the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact are now ancient history, everyone praises NATO as “indispensable” and “essential” to Western solidarity and European security. But few feel any need to explain how and why that could still be so.

Read the full article here.

Peter Beinart’s Amnesia

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

NATO’s problems, Putin’s aggression, and American passivity predate Trump, who had my vote in 2016 — a vote I don’t regret.

Peter Beinart has posted a trademark incoherent rant, this time against Rich Lowry and meover our supposed laxity in criticizing Trumpian over-the-top rhetoric on NATO.

At various times, I have faulted Germany for much of NATO’s problems; I was delighted that we got out of the Iran deal and happier still that we pulled out of the empty Paris climate-change accord; and I agree that NAFTA needs changes. All that apparently for Beinart constitutes support for Trump’s sin of saying that the U.S. has “no obligation to meet America’s past commitments to other countries.”

Read the full article here.

Ten Commandments of the Supreme Court

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

What is sacrosanct? Whatever advances progressive causes.

1) Right to Left. The majority of post-war Republican Supreme Court nominees, who were initially perceived as conservative, turned liberal on the bench (Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Earl Warren), or went from right-wing to center-right or centrist (Warren Burger, Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts). Perhaps the pressures of approval from the liberal social and political culture of Washington, D.C., becomes finally overwhelming. Or justices sense that the liberal media and historians will praise and memorialize a “maverick” who “grows,” “matures,” or “evolves,” while dismissing a “recalcitrant,” “hard-core,” or “reactionary” justice who remains a strict constructionist. A conservative president perhaps realizes that he will get more praise from the Left than blame from the Right when his malleable nominee bolts and become progressive. The ongoing liberal political reassessments of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in part came from their nominations of Justices Kennedy, O’Connor, and Souter. Or perhaps as we age we all tire a bit and cave to popular pressures and prefer “to just get along” in our sunset years. Controlling the culture — and the threat of ostracism from it — is a powerful tool in massaging political ideology.

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Deport the Deplorables?

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Deport the Deplorables is a slogan of popular culture, found on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and internet postings. But now the mini-industry of deplorable/deportable sloganeering has made its way into more elite circles.

With just three words, the phrase “deport the deplorables” sends two popular messages: one, get rid of undesirable American citizens who voted for Donald Trump and who were properly written off in 2016 as deplorables by Hillary Clinton. And, two, by implication, don’t deport the illegal aliens who broke U.S. immigration law. Or put more succinctly, foreign nationals who crash our borders are innately superior people to citizens of the working- and middle-classes who voted for Trump.

Read the full article here.

Why Europe Gets No Respect

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

After the recent G-7 meeting, some European nations such as France and Germany expressed anger that their views were given short shrift by Donald Trump—displaying fits of pique memorialized in a now infamous photo of standing G-7 leaders who were leaning into a surrounded and sitting Trump. “International cooperation,” huffed an unidentified senior French official, “cannot depend on being angry and on sound bites. Let’s be serious.” The former British ambassador to the U.S., Peter Westmacott, sniffed, “Trump is readier to give a pass to countries that pose a real threat to Western values and security than to America’s traditional allies. If there is a ‘method to the madness,’ to use the words of British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, it is currently well hidden.”

Read the full article here.

Reciprocity Is the Method to Trump’s Madness

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

The president sends a signal: Treat us the way we treat you, and keep your commitments.

Critics of Donald Trump claim that there’s no rhyme or reason to his foreign policy. But if there is a consistency, it might be called reciprocity.

Trump tries to force other countries to treat the U.S. as the U.S. treats them. In “don’t tread on me” style, he also warns enemies that any aggressive act will be replied to in kind.

The underlying principle of Trump commercial reciprocity is that the United States is no longer powerful or wealthy enough to alone underwrite the security of the West. It can no longer assume sole enforcement of the rules and protocols of the post-war global order.

Read the full article here.

The Strange Career of White Privilege

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Rich whites invent minority pedigrees to gain advantage while they condemn poor and working-class rural whites as racist.

You hear the phrase “white privilege” nonstop in America these days, as the slogan has transcended the campus and entered popular culture.

Historically, the term apparently refers to the original European settlers who came to the United States and later equated the protections of the U.S. Constitution solely with their own majority ethnicity and race — a tribal and chauvinistic mindset that still governs politics and immigration the world over, from China and Japan to most African and South American countries.

Read the full article here.

History’s Bad Ideas Are an Inspiration for Progressives

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

What we now consider stupid and dangerous ideas of the past, progressives see as useful in the present.

Even liberal historians usually label as disastrous two decisions by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration: the adoption of the Earl Warren-McClatchy newspaper inspired plan to intern Japanese-American citizens and the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937—better known as FDR “court-packing scheme.”

The latter was a crazy scheme to remake the Supreme Court, given that Roosevelt wanted no more judicial interference in the implementation of the New Deal. And yet he had no recourse until slow-coach judicial retirements opened up new appointments of compliant progressive justices. In the interim, the convoluted proposal would have allowed Roosevelt to select a new—and additional justice—to the Supreme Court for every sitting judge who had reached 70 years, 6 months, and had not retired. And in theory, he could pack on 6 more judges, creating a 15-member court with a progressive majority.

Read the full article here.

The Left Can’t Come to Grips with Loss of Power

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

There’s no better explanation for the current progressive meltdown.

Key Trump administration officials have been confronted at restaurants. Representative Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) urged protesters to hound Trump officials at restaurants, gas stations, or department stores.

Progressive pundits and the liberal media almost daily think up new ways of characterizing President Trump as a Nazi, fascist, tyrant, or buffoon. Celebrities openly fantasize about doing harm to Trump.

What is behind the unprecedented furor?

Read the full article here.

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