Posted onMarch 10, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on Victor Davis Hanson: In California, leaders don’t sweat the big stuff
We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering each other.
The recent Academy Awards ceremony turned into a monotony of hate. Many of the stars who mounted the stage ranted on cue about the evils of President Donald Trump.
Such cheap rhetoric is easy. But first, accusers should guarantee that their own ceremony is well run. Instead, utter bedlam ruined the event, as no one on the Oscar stage even knew who had won the Best Picture award.
Stars issued lots of rants about Trump but were apparently unaware that one of the ceremony’s impromptu invited guests was a recent parolee and registered sex offender.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used to offer all sorts of cosmic advice on the evils of smoking and the dangers of fatty foods and sugary soft drinks. Bloomberg also frequently pontificated on abortion and global warming, earning him a progressive audience that transcended the boroughs of New York.
But in the near-record December 2010 blizzard, Bloomberg proved utterly incompetent in the elemental tasks for which he was elected: ensuring that New Yorkers were not trapped in their homes by snowdrifts in their streets that went unplowed for days.
Posted onFebruary 24, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on The Labyrinth of Illegal Immigration by Victor Davis Hanson
Navigating self-interest, ideals, and public opinion in the debate about illegal immigration.
Activists portray illegal immigration solely as a human story of the desperately poor from south of the border fleeing misery to start new, productive lives in the U.S. — despite exploitation and America’s nativist immigration laws.
But the truth is always more complex — and can reveal self-interested as well as idealistic parties.
Employers have long sought to undercut the wages of the American underclass by preference for cheaper imported labor. The upper-middle classes have developed aristocratic ideas of hiring inexpensive “help” to relieve them of domestic chores.
The Mexican government keeps taxes low on its elite in part by exporting, rather than helping, its own poor. It causes little worry that some $25 billion in remittances sent from Mexican citizens working in America puts hardship on those expatriates, who are often subsidized by generous U.S. social services.
Mexico City rarely welcomes a heartfelt discussion about why its citizens flee Mexican exploitation and apparently have no wish to return home. Nor does Mexico City publicize its own stern approaches to immigration enforcement along its southern border — or its ethnocentric approach to all immigration (not wanting to impair “the equilibrium of national demographics”) that is institutionalized in Mexico’s constitution.
Posted onFebruary 17, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on The Classicist with Victor Davis Hanson: Diagnosing the Democrats (Audio)
Victor Davis Hanson explores the factors that led to widespread defeats for Democrats in 2016 — and warns of trends within the party that may prevent it from commanding electoral majorities anytime soon
California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country. Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.
Over sixty percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.
Since Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over Trump’s unexpected election.
“Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.
Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law.
Californians also now talk about the value of the old Confederate idea of “states’ rights.” They whine that their state gives far too much revenue to Washington and gets too little back.
Residents boast about how their cool culture has little in common with the rest of the U.S. Some Californians claim the state could easily go it alone, divorced from the United States.
First sketches of a list, starting with tradition, populism, and American greatness.
Donald Trump is hated by liberal Democrats because, among other things, he is likely to reverse the entire Obama project. And, far worse, he probably will seek fundamental ways of obstructing its future resurgence — even perhaps by peeling off traditional Democratic constituencies.
The proverbial mainstream media despise Trump. Culturally, he has become a totem of their fears: coarseness, ostentatiousness, flamboyance, and the equation of big money with taste and success. His new approach to the media may make them irrelevant, and they fear their downfall could be well earned.
The Republican Washington–to–New York establishment is alienated by Trump. It finds his behavior reckless and his ideology unpredictable — especially given his cruel destruction of in-house Republican candidates in the primaries and his past flirtations with liberal ideas and politicians. That he has now brought them more opportunity for conservative political change than any Republican candidate in a century only adds insult to their sense of injury.
Note the common denominator to the all these hostile groups: It is Trump the man, not Trump the avatar of some political movement that they detest. After all, there are no Trump political philosophers. There is no slate of down-ballot Trump ideologues. If Trump were to start a third party, what would be its chief tenets? There is as yet neither a Trump “Contract for America” nor a Trump “First Principles” manifesto.
Posted onJanuary 3, 2017byifnm|Comments Off on It’s Still a Mad, Mad California by Victor Davis Hanson
Coastal elites set rules for others, exempt themselves, and tolerate rampant lawlessness from illegal aliens.
One reason for the emergence of outsider Donald Trump is the old outrage that elites seldom experience the consequences of their own ideologically driven agendas.
Hypocrisy, when coupled with sanctimoniousness, grates people like few other human transgressions: Barack Obama opposing charter schools for the inner city as he puts his own children in Washington’s toniest prep schools, or Bay Area greens suing to stop contracted irrigation water from Sierra reservoirs, even as they count on the Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy project to deliver crystal-clear mountain water to their San Francisco taps.
The American progressive elite relies on its influence, education, money, and cultural privilege to exempt itself from the bad schools, unassimilated immigrant communities, dangerous neighborhoods, crime waves, and general impoverishment that are so often the logical consequences of its own policies — consequences for others, that is. Abstract idealism on behalf of the distant is a powerful psychological narcotic that allows caring progressives to dull the guilt they feel about their own privilege and riches.
Nowhere is this paradox truer than in California, a dysfunctional natural paradise in which a group of coastal and governing magnificoes virtue-signal from the world’s most exclusive and beautiful enclaves. The state is currently experiencing another perfect storm of increased crime, decreased incarceration, still ongoing illegal immigration, and record poverty. All that is energized by a strapped middle class that is still fleeing the overregulated and overtaxed state, while the arriving poor take their places in hopes of generous entitlements, jobs servicing the elite, and government employment.
Out of work miners do not enjoy “white privilege”; those on Ivy League campuses who mouth such platitudes usually do-and then exercise it by living and schooling their children apart from the romanticized “other.” In emulation of medieval penance, the more one expresses pique at the perceived sins of someone deemed inferior, the more he is seen as virtuous-and exempt from social censure.
The United States and Europe are seeing a surge in populist anger toward the so-called elites. The German public, for example, is furious at Chancellor Angela Merkel for her position on immigration from the Middle East. British voters have forsaken the postmodern European Union. And working class Americans have rallied around political outsider Donald Trump as their presidential favorite, something that neither the Clinton machine nor the establishment of the Republican Party anticipated.
But who exactly are these unpopular elites-and what exactly have they done that has enraged middle-class voters in Western democracies?
Since ancient times, elites have been defined various ways, sometimes by birth (the Greeks’ hoi aristoi), by capital (hoi plousioi), by perceived class (hoi oligoi), by acknowledged influence (hoi gnorimoi), by high culture (hoi beltistoi)-and sometimes by a combination of all of the above.
Posted onDecember 23, 2016byifnm|Comments Off on The Trump Nail in the Media Coffin by Victor Davis Hanson
Mainstream news sources exposed their own long-held biases through their extended meltdown over Trump.
President-elect Donald Trump probably will not often communicate with the nation via traditional press conferences. Nor will Trump likely field many questions from New York/Washington journalists.
What we know as “the media” never imagined a Trump victory. It has become unhinged at the reality of a Trump presidency.
No wonder the fading establishment media is now distrusted by a majority of the public, according to Gallup — and becoming irrelevant even among progressives.
Once upon a time in the 1960s, all the iconic news anchors, from Walter Cronkite to David Brinkley, were liberal. But they at least hid their inherent biases behind a professional veneer that allowed them to filter stories through left-wing lenses without much pushback.
When Cronkite returned from Vietnam after the 1968 Tet Offensive and declared the war stalemated and unwinnable, no one dared to offer the dissenting viewpoint that Tet was actually a decisive American victory.
New commandments replace the old ones on the barn wall.
The socialist essayist and novelist George Orwell by 1944 grew depressed that as a cost for the defeat of the Axis Powers the Allies had empowered an equally nightmarish monster in the Soviet Union.
Since his days fighting for the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War, the left-wing Orwell had become an increasingly outspoken enemy of Communism. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, when Stalin renounced all his wartime assurances and steamrolled Eastern Europe, Orwell came to see state socialism under authoritarian auspices as the greatest threat to human freedom. It was not as if right-wing dictators were not equally lethal, but the inclusion of the words “socialist” and “republic” in a left-wing tyrant’s official lexicon tended to fool millions.
Indeed, it was precisely the leftist totalitarians’ habit of embroidering their murderous pursuit of power with professions of “equality,” “fairness,” and “egalitarianism” that so often allowed them to employ any means necessary to achieve their supposedly exalted ends. In sum, in Orwell’s eyes, the radical Left’s erasure of historical memory and its distortion of reality through the manipulation of language were the chief threat of the 20th century.
Watch the full 77-minute session, in which Donald Trump says he wants to update the people on the ‘incredible progress’ made in the past four weeks. The president turns fire on the media, calling the industry dishonest and ‘out of control’. He dismisses reports of chaos and conspiracy in his administration and claims his team is running like a ‘fine-tuned machine’.
I watch Hollywood awards ceremonies where a supposed artist screams out for punching people in the face for political disagreements, and the entire horde of Botoxed brain zombies leaps to their feet in an ungodly and unholy howl of rampant bloodlust approval.
“We can call it Cultural Marxism, but at the end of the day, we experience it on a day to day basis, by that I mean a minute by minute, second by second basis. It’s political correctness and it’s multiculturalism.” – Andrew Breitbart