Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Progressive Octopus

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Politics lost, culture won.


It is the best and worst of times for progressives and liberals.


Politically, their obsessions with identity politics and various racial and gender -isms and -ologies have emasculated the Democratic party: loss of governorships, state legislatures, the House, the Senate, the presidency, and the Supreme Court.


Democrats, for the time being at least, are now reduced to largely a coastal, big-city party. It can certainly pile up lots of blue electoral votes. And, thanks to California, Democrats can capture the popular vote, without necessarily winning presidential elections.


The old liberal idea that the new demography is progressive destiny did not work out as planned. When the Blue Wall crumbled; Hillary Clinton lost a sure-thing election. Large Latino populations in red Texas and blue California are not likely to turn either one into a swing state. Inner-city voters so far have not transferred prior record levels of turn-out and bloc voting to candidates of the Hillary Clinton sort. Identity politics did not ensure that the white liberals who created it were always exempt from the natural boomerang of their own ideology. Read more →

The Strange Case of Confederate Cool

by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

Leftists love Johnnie Reb in movies and songs. But statues? Not so much.

How exactly did the Left romanticize the Lost Cause Confederacy, and by extension its secession and efforts to preserve slavery?

To use a shopworn phrase, “It’s complicated.” Read more →

The NFL House of Cards

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

The Corner

The problem with the NFL is not just Donald Trump, but the greater dilemma that the league’s reason to be has become predicated on a labyrinth of lies.

The majority of the viewing audience is not young, hip, and loyal as hyped, but, even if fading, still largely reflects the majorities in red-state America that have no patience with gratuitous insults to the National Anthem and flag. The NFL apparently never grasped the political truism that you never insult your base and core supporters; sympathetic CNN talking heads and the solidarity of progressive political activists will not turn around sagging revenues, but will only contribute to them. Read more →

Allegations of Foreign Election Tampering Have Always Rung Hollow

by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

Blaming foreign influence on an election loss has become a habitual practice for unsuccessful presidential candidates, but such allegations have never rung true.

On her current book tour, Hillary Clinton is still blaming the Russians (among others) for her unexpected defeat in last year’s presidential election. She remains sold on a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump successfully colluded with Russian president Vladimir Putin to rig the election in Trump’s favor. Read more →

From an Angry Reader:

Dear VDH,

I faithfully read and enjoy your many commentaries on current events. But surely, as a historian, you should realize that Dred Scott was rightly decided, as I thought even in my youth. Even my reliably left-leaning constitutional-law professor colleague, who was shocked by my condemnation of Wickard v. Filburn, agrees with me on this.

Christopher Boorse


Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Sort of Angry Reader Christopher Boorse,

Your “left-leaning constitutional-law professor colleague” I fear is sorely mistaken. If one accepts the narrow, amoral proposition that humans can be enslaved, and that chattel slaves are thus mere property of their masters to hunt down as they please, and as, American native-born, they still do not have rights and constitutional protections of citizenship, then I suppose Chief Roger B. Taney’s decision was consistently logical.

But I do not accept any of those legal or moral assumptions, and so cannot accept that slavery can be either legal or moral, or that humans can become the mere property of other humans, or that those born in the United States to others born in the United States are not citizens with legal protections.

The Dred Scott ruling represented the legal gymnastics of an ethically bankrupt mind—and was seen as such within a few years. Taney could easily have overturned Southern-state statutes, by ruling that slavery was an innate denial of the protections offered by the Bill of Rights for those born in the United States, or a violation of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence or that in legal proceedings and punishment slavery violated the cruel and unusual punishment prohibition clause. But he did not and so rightly suffered history’s condemnation.

Victor Hanson

What If South Korea Acted Like North Korea?

By Victor Davis Hanson
National Review

If it threatened to destroy its neighbor — China — the neighbor would act.

Think of the Korean Peninsula turned upside down.

Imagine if there were a South Korean dictatorship that had been in power, as a client of the United States since 1953. Read more →

Diversity Can Spell Trouble

By Victor Davis Hanson
Defining Ideas

United States Map graphically all people and the words "E Pluribus Unum"

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

America is experiencing a diversity and inclusion conundrum—which, in historical terms, has not necessarily been a good thing. Communities are tearing themselves apart over the statues of long-dead Confederate generals. Controversy rages over which slogan—“Black Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter”—is truly racist. Antifa street thugs clash with white supremacists in a major American city. Americans argue over whether the USC equine mascot “Traveler” is racist, given the resemblance of the horse’s name to Robert E. Lee’s mount “Traveller.” Amid all this turmoil, we forget that diversity was always considered a liability in the history of nations—not an asset. Read more →

Beware of Narratives and Misinformation

by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review


Narratives surrounding the DNC hack & Antifa reveal media bias and government bureaucracy at their worst.


U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia was responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee e-mail accounts, leading to the publication of about 20,000 stolen e-mails on WikiLeaks.


But that finding was reportedly based largely on the DNC’s strange outsourcing of the investigation to a private cybersecurity firm. Rarely does the victim of a crime first hire a private investigator whose findings later form the basis of government conclusions.


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is many things. But so far he has not been caught lying about the origin of the leaked documents that came into his hands. He has insisted for well over a year that the Russians did not provide him with the DNC e-mails.


When it was discovered that the e-mails had been compromised, then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server to probe the evidence of the theft. Why did the FBI accept that refusal? Read more →

A Little DACA Honesty

The Corner- The one and only.  // National Review

By Victor Davis Hanson

It is surreal to look at more than a dozen clips of Barack Obama in non-campaign mode prior to 2012 assuring the country (“I am not king”) that he simply could not usurp the power of the Congress and by fiat illegally issue blanket amnesties in precisely the fashion he would in 2012 — presumably on the assumption that new polls worded along the lines of “would you deport small children brought by their parents to the country as infants” showed a majority of Americans would not.


So, on the basis of both short-term gain in 2012 and long-term progressive interest in creating a new demographic reality in swing states in the southwest, Obama eagerly did exactly what he had said that he could not legally do — and not with reluctance, but with the self-righteous zeal of a convert, and in condemnation of anyone morally suspect enough to have agreed with his position prior to his reelection campaign. Such is identity politics. Read more →


From An Angry Reader:

Angry Reader Sam Davidson


I enjoy reading your articles in the National Review. I never understood why this country has statues that honor people that took up arms against the United States. I do not think there are any statues honoring Lord Cornwallis, General Santa Ana, Ludendorf, Tojo, or Hitler. The Confederates were lucky President Johnson was a Southerner and every officer over the rank of captain wasn’t shot. In my opinion this isn’t about slavery or state’s rights, it is about treason.

Best Wishes,

Sam Davidson


Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Kinda Angry Reader Sam Davidson,

To answer you, question why are Confederate statues somewhat different from those of a few monsters you list? Read more →

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