American Elephants


What Progressives Should Know About Trump Voters by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson has a particularly interesting column today at CNN, of all places.  It is titled “What progressives should know about Trump Voters.” CNN may just be the perfect place for that.

1. Voters appreciate that the economy is currently experiencing near record-low peacetime unemployment, record-low minority unemployment, and virtual 3% annualized GDP growth. Interest and inflation rates remain low. Workers’ wages increased after years of stagnation. The US is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. And gasoline prices remain affordable. The President continues to redress asymmetrical trade with China, as well as with former NAFTA partners and Europe. He jawbones companies to curb offshoring and outsourcing. The current economic recovery and low consumer prices have uplifted millions of middle-class Americans who appreciate the upswing.

2. Trump does not exist in a vacuum. Many supporters turned off by some of his antics are still far more appalled by an emerging radical neo-socialist Democratic agenda. If the alternative to Trump is a disturbing tolerance among some Democrats for anti-Semitism, the Green New Deal, reparations, a permissive approach to abortion even very late in pregnancy, a wealth tax, a 70-90% top income tax rate, the abolition of ICE, open borders, and Medicare for all, Trump’s record between 2017-20 will seem moderate and preferable. Progressives do not fully appreciate how the hysterics and media coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings, the Covington teenagers and the Jussie Smollett psychodrama turned off half the country. Such incidents and their reportage confirmed suspicions of cultural bias, media distortions, and an absence of fair play and reciprocity.

Do read the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did. Ignore CNN’s cute inserts.



California’s Coming Collapse by The Elephant's Child

From American Greatness: From Victor Davis Hanson’s post there. Dr. Hanson is committed to California where his forbears settled early, and built the house where he still lives. He commutes to Stanford each week as a member of the Hoover Institution. The contrast is notable, and gives him something of a broader view of the state and its problems.

I lived in California several different times, in different parts of the State, and, with apologies to Californians, loathed the place.



Mark Levin and Victor Davis Hanson: A Conversation Not to Be Missed by The Elephant's Child

I particularly enjoy listening to these two men separately, to have them together is a real treat. Two of our most valued intellectuals, talking about their concerns, which are my concerns as well, and perhaps yours as well.  Enjoy.



Trump Buries The Old-World Order by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson had a new column up yesterday at the Hoover Institution’s “Defining Ideas” in which he explains our history in statecraft and diplomacy, and what he calls the Old-World Order, since the end of the Second World War, He explains how we got here and where we are today, and what the Trump administration is doing about it. It’s not long and I found it fascinating to have it all put together so concisely.

The present continuance of institutions such as the EU, NATO, UN, and others suggests that the world goes on exactly as before. In fact, these alphabet organizations are becoming shadows of their former selves, more trouble to end than to allow to grow irrelevant. The conditions that created them after the end of World War II, and subsequently sustained them even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, no longer really exist.

The once grand bipartisan visions of American diplomats such as Dean Acheson, George Kennan, George Marshall and others long ago more than fulfilled their enlightened promises. The U.S. in 1945, unlike in 1918, rightly stayed engaged in Europe after another world war. America helped to rebuild what the old Axis powers had destroyed in Asia and Europe.

At great cost, and at times in both folly and wisdom, the U.S. and its allies faced down 300 Soviet and Warsaw Pact divisions. America contained communist aggression through messy surrogate wars, avoided a nuclear exchange, bankrupted an evil communist empire, and gave Eastern Europe and much of Asia the opportunity for self-determination. New postwar protocols enforced by the U.S. Navy made the idea of global free trade, commerce, travel, and communications a reality in a way never seen since the early Roman Empire.

Do read the whole thing, you’ll be glad you did.



Some Practical Solutions to Fix Everything! by The Elephant's Child

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An important new article from the Hoover Institution, “Hanson: Struggle Between Elites And Masses Defines US Policy,” is about Victor Davis Hanson rather than by him. I suggest that it is “important” because it is a good look at American policy and “history, he says, offers lessons for today’s technology-driven world, especially when it comes to elites,the masses, and the future of society.”

He says that globalization has enriched the coastal corridors of the country and have more in common with Paris or Tokyo than with Ames, Iowa. The “elite” mindset occurs in this geographic concentration, and their attitudes are favored by Academe, the media, government agencies and technology companies that dominate the airwaves and the internet. There’s a big disconnect. High living materialism on one side, which a more rural America regards as superficial indulgence and decadence, that is not only wrong-headed, but bad for the country.

In terms of public policy, Hanson has recommended “rethinking the geography of power,” starting with moving the United Nations from New York City to Haiti, Libya, or Uganda whose capital cities are underappreciated, yet appropriate cities at the frontlines of poverty and crises and thus better places from which to conduct international governance.

As for US cabinet agencies, he suggested transferring the Department of Agriculture to somewhere more agrarian-minded, such as Topeka or Fresno, where bureaucrats would then spend more time with the farmers they regulate. Likewise, he said, Salt Lake City might be an ideal home for the Interior Department; Houston or Bismarck for the Energy Department; and Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan, for the Departments of Labor, and Commerce.

“Washington, DC is often considered out of touch, both politically and geographically, with the rest of America,” he said. “Transferring seats of power to hoi polloi is not just practically smart, but morally long overdue.”

Well, yes. That would straighten out a lot of governmental excess.  He said “pragmatism” is the most important quality of rural people. They are familiar with the nature of weather and the seasons. They understand nature better, and have a sense of life as unpredictable and tragic.  The disconnect means that the checks on our excesses  are disappearing. The coastal elites can give virtue-signalling speeches on TV, but fail to understand  the actual consequences of their own abstract ideologies.

When and how did it become acceptable for large businesses to be political advocates?  To use their businesses to capture all the personal information of the ordinary American people in order to sell it to advertisers and whoever for whatever purposes, making themselves fabulously wealthy by doing so. And appointing themselves judge and jury of what information we can receive and what information we can publish.

Do read the whole thing. It’s food for thought, and worth your time.



Victor Davis Hanson Receives the Edmund Burke Award by The Elephant's Child

May 30, 2018: After introductory remarks from Roger Kimball, here is Victor Davis Hanson’s acceptance speech of the Edmund Burke Award honoring Outstanding Service to Culture and Society. Well deserved. The ancient world and how it is reflected in today’s society. Wonderful speech, worth every minute.

I post links to a lot of articles by Dr. Hanson. I think he’s probably the most important historian writing today, and captures more of reality in a presently very fractured world.



“The New Dark Age Mind” Victor Davis Hanson by The Elephant's Child

This is a podcast or telephone interview in which Dr. Hanson explains his view of the current mindset, pathology, derangement syndrome, through which we are all living. He makes more sense than most anyone else on the subject. This took place in mid January, 2018.  Sightly over 5 months ago, and if anything, it has only become worse. Strange times.




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