Virtual Virtue

It is not healthy for a society to live two lives that are antithetical, as America has been doing in recent decades.

Disillusionment with government and popular culture arises at anger over two entirely different realities. One truth is politically correct and voiced on the news and by the government. It is often abstract and theoretical. And the other truth is empirical, hushed and accepted informally by ordinary people from what they see and hear on the ground.

Public orthodoxy signals virtue, private heterodoxy ensures ostracism. So Americans increasingly make the necessary adjustments, modeling their lives in some part as those once did in totalitarian societies of the 20th century. The reality they live is the stuff of the shadows; the falsity they are told and repeat is public and amplified.

Cynicism and eventual anger at the schizophrenia are always the harvests of such bipolarity.

Chasing Symbols, Ignoring Realities
The official Narrative postulates that mute stones of the Confederate dead in public places is proof of continuing racism; their removal then will promote healing and empower the oppressed.

In contrast, the unofficial and popular consensus is that when street thugs deface or destroy public property and panicky mayors issue executive orders to remove them in the dead of night, the issue has little to do with strengthening democracy and even less to do with reconciliation with victimized groups. It has everything to do with redefining democracy as street theater.

The war against mute stones is more a show of the power of activists who hope to bully the country into accepting their various identity politics agendas, even if they have little practical therapeutic effect on the challenges of those they claim to defend.

To create a cultural atmosphere that holds it shameful and a crime against humanity for known gang members to shoot at inner city youths with near assured impunity is apparently impossible; to scream that a long dead Robert E. Lee is a living and hurtful racist is rather easy. Yet the cynical public concludes that such virtue signaling about the dead ignores felonies against the living because, for some reason, those cannot be addressed.

The LGBT community now argues that gender-neutral restrooms are the civil rights issue of our era. Soon, it will be the absolute duty of society to change by fiat public protocols allowing one to “transition” from one gender to another.

Perhaps such special facilities may relieve the anxieties of those troubled about their sexual identities, while not commensurately causing equal or greater anxieties for far more numerous people when those of a biologically different sex share their private spaces. But either way, the chief health threat in 2017 to young non-heterosexuals is a more likely a sudden and potentially deadly epidemic of syphilis, civilization’s bane of the ages, once thought almost eradicated but now reemerging with a terrible vengeance.

The liberal Los Angeles Times notes that the terrifying epidemic is almost entirely expressed among the young, male, and homosexual population. It suggests that the outbreak is a result of a resurgence of promiscuous sex—in part a result of our larger pan-sexual culture of promiscuity; in part an artifact of smartphone apps and instantaneous electronic dating hookups; and in part a false sense of security that successful remedies to HIV have now made frequent and unprotected sex with a multiplicity of partners once again part of the cultural exuberance of the gay community.

But we do not galvanize massive public attention to an epidemic that, if understood, might save lives and alleviate misery because doing so would be seen as offensively judgmental, and so the concern is too often unexpressed as we obsess more about gender neutral restrooms.

The same virtual virtue disconnect involves aspects of 21st-century feminism. According to the previous Obama administration’s directives and the new codes of most universities, there is understood to be an epidemic of rape and violence against women on campus. One of four women allegedly will be sexually assaulted (through the use of force or during incapacitation) during their undergraduate tenure.

If that number were accurate, statistically it would reveal the Stanford dorms to be far more dangerous places than the unlit avenues of nearby violent East Palo Alto (with its annual rape incidence of .67 per 1,000 residents). A stroll in a Yale quad would be far more iffy than taking a bus to and from the inner city of New Haven. Unaccountably, arriving co-eds are not moving to apartments in East Palo Alto to find sanctuary from the predation of elite males at Stanford.

But while reckless and sexually callous student males should be ostracized for insensitive consensual hookups and must be punished severely for proven coerced sex, nonetheless there is no reliable evidence that the nation’s female students are facing an epidemic of lethal dangers at our most exclusive institutions of higher learning. Certainly, women at Harvard or Brown suffer far fewer health issues or violence than similarly aged working class white male youth, who are proportionally underrepresented on university campuses but overrepresented in terms of the suicide and drug addiction rates.

If feminism’s agenda is the plight of the nation’s women, it might be more cost-effective to focus on working class women, who, like their male counterparts, are one paycheck away from financial oblivion and are sorely in need of financial counseling, job training and vocational education, and enforcement of child support statutes.

Such outreach is a necessary, but a complicated, drawn out, and unpublicized task. Where’s the glamour or political resonance in it? It is much preferable to focus on a Mattress girl’s psychodrama, or a concocted Rolling Stone hit piece on rape where one can earn greater coverage on the network news. Class in America has long been forgotten, largely because in comparison to race and gender, it has less political reverberation and fewer easily identifiable victimized constituencies. But it remains that income, education, and culture—not outward appearance—are becoming the real criteria that adjudicate whether life in America is good or nasty, brutish, solitary, and short.

Along these lines, the supposed chief political cause for the Latino community is said to be amnesty for illegal immigrants. Their interest groups advocate for a porous border that privileges immigration from Mexico and Latin America. And the Democratic Party, counting on collective rather than individual identity, is certainly on board with ignoring if not promoting illegal immigration. In this way, they seek to turn the red-states of the American southwest electorally blue through quid-pro-quo bloc voting of recent immigrants and their children.

However, almost half the Hispanic-American public opposes massive, non-diverse, and illegal immigration—whose deleterious effects (sudden infusions of non-English speakers into local schools, overburdening of social service agencies, increased gang activity, and impediments to traditional melting pot assimilation, integration, and intermarriage) fall most severely on the Mexican-American neighborhoods. Certainly, there are far more existential crises in the Latino community than immigration.

Currently, one in three of all those hospitalized in California for any cause is found to suffer from diabetes, a frightening statistic, at least in part fueled by record numbers of those vulnerable within the burgeoning Hispanic resident population—who, for a variety of reasons, are especially susceptible to the disease.

Even more foreboding, studies suggest that nearly half of all California adults suffer from either diabetes or undiagnosed prediabetes, and are in dire need of massive education programs and health awareness concerning a largely preventable illness. To advocate combatting such a potentially lethal epidemic is to address an existential challenge to the entire state of 40 million.

In contrast, to rail against “racist” border enforcement provides proof either of progressive virtue or ethnic fides, and thus is also rather easy, in the fashion Aristotle noted that being virtuous is natural and effortless in your sleep.

Yet ensuring that the most liberal immigration policy in the world is legal and diverse, while investing resources for preventing diabetes in the manner the nation found successful preventive treatments for polio and AIDS, would be the real proof of wishing to help the so-called Other.

These disconnects ensure widespread public cynicism. They suggest that the state and its private ancillaries are not interested so much in positive remedies as in their own political agendas.

The Alleviation of Guilt
There are lots of reasons for the bifurcation of loud public and less well known private realities.

A wealthy and privileged establishment class often finds gratification in blaming problems on distant and unseen illiberal whites’ “privilege,” which the latter do not have. It is as if a Princeton student finds his exemption from campus pressures by abstractly damning “white privilege,” with implicit reference to those in places like rural Pennsylvania who will never even walk on an Ivy League campus.

When a multimillionaire Hillary Clinton blasted the irredeemables and deplorables, those targeted assumed that they had far less privilege than did the Clintons, and were far more likely to put their kids in the public schools and live in integrated neighborhoods as well as intermarry, integrate, and assimilate. The more isolated one is from reality, the more he fabricates reality to square the circle.

Electoral politics is also the culprit for our two worlds of official and unofficial truths. The age of Obama convinced progressives that identity politics could fuel 51 percent national election victories—but only if voters were convinced that their appearances trumped the content of their characters. Few pushed back at the increasing polarization because they calculated that such turmoil and angst would, as it supposedly had in 2008 and 2012, continue to offer political dividends. Political correctness spread because it seemed to bring electoral dividends and demonstrate that the future “new demographics” were destiny.

Noble Lies
Noble lying helps to explain virtual virtue: repeating something publicly that is not true but is considered something that should be true, is seen as helping to make it eventually true.

If the Bay Area public has witnessed gangs of minority youth terrorizing those on its Bay Area Rapid Transit trains, and if the transit authority in response refuses to release to the public surveillance tapes of such assaults or even to issue specific warnings, then perhaps the problem will disappear. Or at least the attacks can be virtuously contextualized—by supposedly nobly wishing to deny the media sensational reporting or to protect the civil rights of as yet uncharged marauding youths. So the transit authority virtue signals a falsity, and the public lives a reality. The more hushed the crime, the more it becomes a non-crime?

In sum, the more prominent persons voice virtual virtue at no cost, the quieter ones know better and make the necessary adjustments that fit what they see and hear and conclude. The result of our two worlds is that the virtual virtue signalers grow ever louder only to reach deaf ears; while the quieter become even more cynical and detached in having to live what increasingly seems a charade.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.

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136 responses to “Virtual Virtue”

  1. The one thing reading this reminds me of is America’s “silent majority.”

    It was a phrase you used to hear quite a lot in the 80s and 90s.

    But the demographics have changed so dramatically over the last 20 years, that those who used to comprise that majority are now in the minority. And the rapidly growing population of “New Americans” is anything but silent. They are quick to join the braying mob of people who demand open borders, removal of historical monuments, special rights and privileges for their group at the expense of whites.

    So the silent majority has become a silent minority in a mere 2 or 3 decades.

    And silent minorities are always abused and taken advantage of. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but I’m afraid it’s too late to learn it, at least here in the US.

    • The “silent majority” was a term used by the Nixon campaign to describe his group of voters, as opposed to the violent, loud, and obnoxious anti-war activists.

      Based on President Nixon’s overwhelming 1972 re-election, he won 49 states, 520 Electoral Votes, and 61% of the popular vote.

      There was the “Moral Majority” during the 1980s, which was used to describe president Reagan’s evangelical voters.

      My sense is the “braying mob” are much more prone to riot, complain, and destroy property than they are to vote. President Trump’s “silent majority” showed up for him on election day, and, there’s no evidence to show they, plus other silent converts, will show up again and support an America First agenda.

      • Demographics is destiny.
        Even if much of the mob doesn’t show up to vote, the silent minority still won’t be large enough to win. You have to recognize that Trump’s win was pretty much a political miracle.
        And that’s NOW. Ten, twenty years down the road there will be no miracle. The executive branch will be, for all intents and purposes, an arm of the Democratic party. It will be their permanent seat. Part of the reason Obama expanded the powers of the executive without objection from Democrats, was that they had no fear of a Republican ever sitting in the Oval Office again. But they were merely wrong about timing. It’s not that they were wrong, it’s that it was just too soon. Honestly, had the Dems fielded an even half-way decent candidate, and Trump or his advisers had not had the genius to ignore the Republican playbook and talk about mass immigration and trade, a Dem would be in the White House right now.
        Over the next 6 months, the GOP Congress will betray their voters once again and pass an amnesty for millions of illegals. And then many of those voters, including myself, will never vote Republican again. I don’t think the Trump voters will be showing up in 2018. The media will blame Trump, of course, but it is the GOP Congress they really hate.

      • All that is true – totally convincing in itself – but I wonder if there is not a missing element in your equation: the collapse of the world economy (by collapse I mean COLLAPSE) owing to the gigantic, astronomically large, debt-overhang everywhere.

        No doubt some of the Forbes listers will ride the whirlwind and still be wealthy; but it seems equally likely that (a) Wall St and the Chamber of Commerce will lose their power. including ownership of a bought and paid for political class and mainstream media; and (b) a loud majority of all Americans (anything from 80-99%) will scream for all persons to leave the country who have no real claim on it.

        There may anyway be voluntary mass emigration of Latin Americans and others when there is nothing left to glean from the welfare teat.

      • That’s a fascinating point.

        Although I’d add that relying on the economic equivalent of a Hurricaine Harvey to save the country is a bit strange.

        Incidentally, I would add to that economic debt disaster scenario the rise of AI/automation and the effect that will have on nations of scale around the world. PriceWaterhouse, no conspiracy mongerer, has estimated that by 2030 (a mere dozen years) approximately 38% of current US jobs will be lost to AI/automation. And many have predicted that, unlike the industrial revolution, new jobs will not be created. We are looking at an unemployment rate of 20-25%. That’s what it was during the worst of the Great Depression– only this will be permanent.
        It’s why people like Zuckerberg and governments around the world are pushing the Universal Basic Income idea. They will have to pay people off, because many people will literally never have a job.
        Which makes the push for even more immigration even more baffling to me. Out of one side of his mouth Zuckerberg will state that we need more immigration and that illegals must be saved because we need workers. Out of the other he’s pushing for Universal Basic Income because there will be no work.

      • The answer to the conundrum, why Zuckerberg and the world’s governments are pushing mass immigration at the same time as they acknowledge there will be far fewer jobs, may be that they are all very-short-term thinkers.

        They are griped by greed. They consider only the big bucks they and their shareholders will get from the modern forms of 18th century indentured labor by next month, meanwhile paying lip-service to humanitarian considerations by talking up measures like Universal Basic Income – which anyway the taxpayers will fund, not Zuckerberg and his fellow monopolists (who escape paying most of their income tax) nor politicians who, as with Obamacare, exempt themselves from the consequences of what they vote for.

        President Trump seems quickly to have joined this ‘Let’s think about what I’ll feel like next Wednesday, not two years’ time’ syndrome, with his apparent handing things over to Rule-as-Usual by the Swamp.

        This is why I posit the possibility that only ‘the economic equivalent of a Hurricane Harvey’ CAN save the historic American nation’s culture. All other initiatives – wise government, the People long ago primarying all the bought-and-paid-for members of the Congress out of it – have been foregone.

      • You’re overlooking America’s inherent natural circumstances which translates into wealth – that will provide bounty for a long time to come.

      • That’s one tree in the huge forest. Way to think, Lib.

      • God willing, the USA will continue to be extremely wealthy in natural and human resources; but there will be a serious dip for a lengthy spell if the currency goes bust (and with it, all currencies since they all have the $ for their benchmark and residuary guarantor), likewise the banks.

        This outcome, short of President Trump linking the $ once more to gold, looks practically inevitable; much as a chronic cancer sufferer does not usually have a good prognosis.

        He used to argue for that initiative but he seems to have been either so overwhelmed by hostility or so readily joining the Establishment in the Swamp, that that policy seems little canvassed at present.
        Even if he did that – which would stop the dollar and all other major currencies collapsing shortly – there would be a Serious Recession; though of course a serious recession is more fun than a return for a lengthy spell to the Bronze Age if we are lucky, or the New Stone Age if we are not.

      • As you say, there can (probably will) be lots of strife to come. Our debt-ridden lifestyle will precipitate it of nothing else. But, for the strong of chracter there will be continued bounty in America – an abundance of natural resources, great agricultural conditions, two oceans, near perfect waterway systems, well-developed transportation systems.

      • I am more optimistic. Remember, President Trump won when no one thought he would.

      • Trump lost the majority vote and barely won the EC (a swing of about 70,000 votes). Moreover, he eked out victory by promising material benefits to preferred groups and sub rosa Liberalism – i.e., the wrong reasons (same as GW Bush).

      • I’m a realist. Your vision could come true, or, even much worse. Do we give-up without a fight, which guarantees your view, or even something worse, comes true.

        How do we fight back? That depends on our goal.

        What are our choices if our goal were to remain a nation with a majority European population?
        Increase both immigration from Europe and increase the birthrate of people with European descent. This policy is wrong on many levels, foremost being, it’s blatantly racist.

        Another choice is restricting both the immigration rate from non-European nations and reducing the birthrate of people of non-European heritage. The first might be possible, but, highly doubtful consider the huge numbers living south of our border.

        The only good choices, include: Assimilating those of non-European descent through intermarriage; eliminate all new illegal immigration, deport crooks, crazies, the careless, and the clueless.

        Change the national motto from “Diversity is Our Strength” back to “United We Stand,” or, “E plurbis unun – Of many, one.”

        Reduce the number of legal immigrants across the board and replace the current immigration system, which focuses on “family unification” to a merit-based system.

        Under this system, the first question the immigration officer would ask a potential legal immigrant would be: “What can you do for the United States?”

      • You believe in defending your family, you believe in defending your country, but, for some peculiar reason, you are morally outraged by defending your race.

      • I don’t care at all about “European descent,” but care very much about western civilization and its focus on the individual. Therefore, I like your solution as to how to defend our heritage, which is the best of western civilization, under the motto of E pluribus unum.

      • “Ten, twenty years down the road there will be no miracle.”

        Maybe. Only time will tell. We are at a tipping point.

        But if there is no longer a flood of unassimilating immigrants to provide a base for continued tribal politics, and if people in general (and already-established immigrants in particular) stop buying into the identity politics propaganda, the balance of electoral power might shift.

        Many immigrants, or children of immigrants – those who are already fully or partly assimilated – are, as Hanson points out, already starting to tune out the La Raza propaganda.

      • Good points.

        “But if there is no longer a flood of unassimilating immigrants to provide a base for continued tribal politics”

        I think that might help, but I don’t think anyone truly believes Republicans will do that. The best we’ll get is a 4 year pause (maybe 8, though I doubt it) and then, when Dems win again, it will resume.

        And assimilation is now pretty much illegal. You cannot say in polite society that you think immigrants should assimilate. It’s racist to say that now.

        “Many immigrants, or children of immigrants – those who are already fully or partly assimilated”
        Many do. And many join La Raza.

      • There is a silent majority now. I am one of them, as are many of my professional colleagues. We voted quietly, we cease watching most television news (I don’t own a TV). And so on. We wait for the next election so that we can cast our secret ballots.

      • Are you the ones who elected Obama twice, gave Hillary a majority, and accepted a socialist as a legitimate candidate for America’s president?

      • In another article, Hanson has termed it the “Quiet Resistance” – opposed to the loud, shrieking, hysterical “Resistance!” on the left.

      • That group was anything but silent! Many were the same whiners and benefit-seekers who elected Obama.

  2. I have held for decades the notion that “the quieter become even more cynical and detached” is all part and parcel of 2-party establishment governance. They make street theater politics so disgusting and unseemly no one can stand to watch, which beautifully facilitates an even deeper entrenchment of the status quo.

    • Of course. A sane, productive man is not going to wade into the mob of lunatics in the vain hope of pacifying them and he doesn’t wish to “lead” (exploit) them like the filthy pols do.

  3. The situation today is a relic of the 60s. Leftists took over academia and brainwashed two generations of young Americans. Now they’re working to accomplish what their predecessors couldn’t do – and we Vietnam veterans are too damn old to do anything about it.

    • The wheel keeps on turning and turning and turning
      Nothing disturbing the way it goes around

      Back in 68 again……

      • The conflict between the emotion-guided (romantics) versus the objective reason-guided (realists) has been going on since the Spartans ruled Hellas or before.

        Today the former are arts & humanities majors, entertainers, artists, religious zealots, and other people who make their way with their mouths. The latter consist mainly of scientists, engineers, skilled workers, farmers, and warriors.

        The former live in a fantasy world and believe their wishes can be made real. The latter accept reality and strive to deal with it.

      • And isn’t that a shame? The Shakespeares, Eliots, Van Goghs immeasurably improve the human condition but their magnificent works have been vanquished to the back of the feminist, gender neutral, deconstructionist curriculum practiced on the unlettered populace.

      • Indeed. We should appreciate art, but never believe it.

      • no – every vestige of white accomplishment will be erased. It’s all racist .. don’t you know??

      • Oh, I couldn’t disagree more. Discernment is the problem, what we’ve been sold as “art” in the last century (a few exceptions) is not, simple as that. Real art is aspirational and inspirational and greatly to be believed in.

      • Of course you disagree – you’re one of the delusional.

      • “Beauty is truth, Truth, beauty, That’s all ye know on earth and all ye need to know”. Or maybe not.

      • you aren’t allowed to read shakespeare where you live?

      • Of course the great literature is still available. However it is no longer the focus of education. Go look at the text books used for high school English classes. It is mostly modern class or race based drivel and not classics.

      • If it’s not high-quality science or engineering text, it’s lies and bullshiite readable for entertainment only.

      • There is no time for Shakespeare when there are 5(!) autobiographies of Mya Angelou to be studied!

      • No one is suggesting anything remotely similar to mandatory agoge and ostracizing San Fran and East Coast pajama boys and boy lovers, just that Antifa needs to be dealt with the same as Leonidas vis-a-vis the Persians. Art and Culture need to flourish, and the anti-art and culture left totalitarians need to be Mausered.

    • The difference is that we’ve imported to many ethnocentric black and brown people – there won’t be anymore 50’s Americana. Black and Brown racism is much more prevalent than white …. which is marginalized and demonized.

      Western Civilization is ending. And there will be no lamentations by black and brown people… they want what we have, and have never created anyhthing like it anywhere at any time…. but they think if they take America… they can have it all.

      Welcome To Zimbabwe, Tripoli and Venezuela.

      • 1st of all America is becoming more multiracial and conservatives need to embrace melting pot marriages just to drive home that America is a pluralistic society. There is no such thing as a black person, Jamaican-Haitian vs SubSaharan and North Africans have little in common just as white person is a meaningless construct, Irish, Anglos, Slavs. Skin pigmentation means nothing. And there is no such thing as South African apartheid designation of half-black having any correlation to reality either. And if America’s intellectuals still do not get it, a Singapore or Indian style racial and religious harmony act with fines need to be levied.

      • @bsetrader:disqus – you need to get out of your echo-chamber ! The conservatives that *I* know and have as friends have been in “melting pot marriages” as well as visually-similar marriages for a *long* time ! Of course, my family has traditionally practised what Martin Luther King preached (and, as far as we know, practised, himself) … that the content of one’s character is much more important than the colour of one’s skin …

        The leftists that I know are the ones who require that folk look and dress and talk and think like themselves or they are racist sexist homophobic deplorables …

        And, NO, legislating morality hasn’t worked, doesn’t work, and will not work …

      • Mr. Hanson’s articulates what most of us have come to realize especially since Mr. Obama was first elected. It is like living in dual universes, the public one which exists in the media, e.g.there is an incident, there is outrage by the media, thousands of almost identical emails (albeit from unique senders) are sent to politicians or corporations and the protesters come, expressing “outrage” over the issue, making demands, sometimes rioting, sometimes burning down millions of dollars of usually minority owned businesses, the demands are often granted, but the far more serious problems, e.g. the thousands of young Black Americans who are killing each other in our inner cities every year, the terrible schools in our inner cities, the crime, the violence, none of that is addressed much less improved. Nor are any of those far more important issues likely to be addressed by the political leaders for whom “virtual virtue” is so relatively easy.

      • Obama did more to destroy America and its Constitution than any president in history. By aggravating racial unrest, by provoking class warfare, by reckless spending that increased minority dependence and eroded the family unit, by flagrant abuse of the Executive Order, by violating federal law right and left, by admitting illegal aliens by the millions, by encouraging them to vote — and all the while posing and strutting for the media and left wing cognoscenti.

      • Western civilization is ending…white racism, which may once have been a reality for some, is now assumed to be the view of many. Reverse racism is rampant.

    • Disagree- you still have access to Sam Colt’s invention that actually made men equal.

    • I think Sam is right. The American middle class felt invincible after winning a world war and witnessing a uniquely-American economic boom, while the rest of the civilized world was clearing its rubble and barely getting to its feet. Youth was born in economic security, in a world where everything was possible and the only threat was the USSR, something virtually theoretical coming as it did from the other side of the world. So too many (although certainly perhaps not even a majority) grew up pampered in an atmosphere of increasing permissiveness–until the Vietnam war hit.

      A suddenly-panicked slice of our youth started to listen to their Leftist professors (who had always been there), and they instinctively sided with them in believing that “the system” (i.e., the nation of “squares” that plunged their candy-a$$es into a war) had to be fought and overturned. Hence the idealization of everything “other,” from fashion to music, from race to religion, etc. The savage was noble by definition, always, and too many of us wanted to be like them. The older generations believed that this too would sort itself out, and they kept living in quiet modesty, leaving free rein to the facinorous.

      Now those Leftists have come of age, and we realize that we’ve allowed them to take hold of most institutions. But we are starting to wake up, in turn, as we realize that they have become the new “squares.” The dissident Right (for lack of a better definition of the non-GOPe-compliant Conservatives) is nothing but that: millions of Americans who reject the catechism of the conventional orthodoxy, and dare speak Hatefacts that are under everyone’s nose but nobody dares mention. In Trump, our heresy has been validated and given a national voice. Good times ahead.

      • I appreciate your optimism! It’s almost as if this were indeed the most perfect of worlds! Let’s hope.

      • I see what you’re doing with the Candide allusion. Well played, CincyGal, well played indeed.

    • What crap!
      My college after ’65 on the G.I. Bill, was under the tutelage of some of the most conservative academics I’ve ever encountered. All in the engineering field.
      As they retired, they were replaced by rabid liberals who had been waiting in the wings for that very opportunity to pounce and take command of all that admiration and respect, as if they were the rightful heirs to it.
      You dare shame the rest of the Viet Nam vets with your own incapacity and afflictions?
      Make an appointment with the V.A. and get some professional help.

  4. Very good article. I would argue that LGBT invading private spaces of women and children should NOT be accommodated for their proteciton and safety. Nor is it fair for transgenders to rob women of sports scholarships and trophies. Telling kindergartners to use the pronoun “xe” and that their sex is “fluid” is a form of child abuse. The ultimate goal of of the left is to destroy the family; telling children that their parents are “bigots” for referring to them as “boy” or “girl” based on genetics/science will ultimately destroy the family. Children that age should be left alone; to even force “sexual education” on a 4 or 5 year old is a form of child abuse. Do you remember being five? I do. Let childhood be innocent, imaginative and full of play.

    The guilt of the techno-executive zillionaires is assauged by lobbying for middle-class tax dollars to be transferred to the less well-off. But these same zillionaires (through political influence purchased with campaign contributions) make sure it’s our (middle-class) money being transferred and not theirs; we can’t afford it–they can, but are unwilling to be taxed at, say, 60% levels (for the benefit of the poor). For instance, an argument is now being put forth to guarantee income. If output is not increased commensurate with the increase in the money supply (money printing to “pay” for the guarantee “transfer”), the price of everything just doubles. The poor will then be no better off in terms of purchasing power than they were before the “freebie money.”

    Finally, I would say the “deplorable” “irredeemable” minority that pay the taxes and play by the rules are not becoming cynical–they recognize that we’re cracking up and are praying harder (at least, in my circles). Trump was elected by a miracle from God. And He can keep him in office as long as He wants. God can use anyone for His purpose (even a pagan like Nebuchadnezzar.)

    We’re end-stage Rome. We’re in the 3rd secret of Fatima-zone (it’s the 100th year anniversary.) We’re 470 AD Rome. All the same issues–transgenderism, homosexuality, gay marriage, hedonism, far-flung and numerous military campaigns (and not enough able-bodied soldiers to man them), middle class annihilation by high taxes, overspending, neglect of infrastructure, selfish, dishonest, narcissistic, corrupt leaders (in rapid succession), the persecution of the faithful (Christians). We have all the markers of the collapse of Western civ as we know it. God will not protect a wayward, stubborn, hell-bent nation of idolators and hedonist. So, more trouble ahead. Then the spiritual renewal.

      • As St. Michael the Archangel said (throwing Satan from heaven): “may God rebuke you,” Hominid.

      • I cannot figure you out. You made an insightful comment above, and then resort to such a rude retort here that I can’t decide if you’re very old or very young. You clearly suffer from a huge ego, and you lack manners & respect for others. She put a great deal of thought into her comment, and if that’s the best you can come up with, you shut up.

      • It is a disingenuous troll. It isn’t attempting honest debate, only derision of those it sees as opponents. The block feature was invented with creatures like “Hominid” in mind.

    • So, so true. Recently, the American College of Pediatrics deemed transgenderism of children as child abuse, but did the media make that the story of the day? (link:
      The luciferian elites who would rule the world have infested every university and “think” tank with their marxist garbage. Europe appears lost, and the USA is teetering. HOWEVER, do not lose hope. Millions of Christians are employing their power through repentance and prayer in this country. Remember that God agreed to spare Sodom if ONE righteous man could be found…surely He will regard our petition. It is continuous effort, prayer without ceasing. We have a momentary stay with Hillary’s defeat and Trump’s election, but we cannot “drop the ball” for one second…the battle is on, and the adversary knows he has but a short time.

      • Amen. All the Christians I know (there are a lot of us out here in the heartland) are praying hard. That’s why Trump won. It was a miracle. But George Soros is a very determined man, and some former President or “almost Presidents” and aides seem part of “Deep State.” The thugs Soros hires (with their shame-faced faces covered) are out in force with their bats and chains to beat us all up if we open our mouths to differ in opinion. I’m near-term pessimistic, long-term optimistic.

    • Technically, Christianity was the state religion by 470 AD.

      As for “That only works if men were angels, which they are not”, well the reason they’re not angels is because they are oppressed by people like you. Once the have what you have, they will be angels. Materialism is the sole drive of live, comrade. Man does live on bread alone.

      • So it isn’t that man has evil in him, just like he has good? It is all good, except for those who are oppressed? Oh, you are attempting to rationalize evil, probably your own.

        Who were the very wealthy brothers convicted of murdering their parents in California several years back? Menendez? They had lives of excess and still chose violence. Clearly not the “sole drive of life”.

      • You missed the sarcasm. Leftists believe materialism is the sole driver of life and thus their entire worldview revolves around it.

      • My apologies. I will re-calibrate my sarcasm meter immediately.

  5. The only good shitlib is a dead shitlib.
    Shoot’em, bomb’em, gas’em … whatever it takes to quickly kill tens of millions of ’em.
    Let’s hope Kim Jong-un gets lots in LA and/or San F@g.

    • Libs are psychotics. We don’t need to murder them en masse – we need to acknowledge that they are psychotics and not allow them to run the asylum.

      • The only way to stop them running the asylum is to eliminate them.
        Note, they’ve been in charge for most of the last 80 years.

    • Yeah, that’s what this country really needs to resolve its deep divisions – a full-on, shooting civil war. That’s the ticket. It only took a hundred years to begin getting over our historical Civil War.


      • We need a Final Solution.
        It’s us, or them.
        I choose me.

  6. Another aspect of this is the Romanization of America. By that I mean, with a Congress anxious to relieve itself of it Constitutional duties, we have a parallel with the Roman Senate. Rather than take the necessary steps to govern the Country and deal with the immigration issue, Congress would much rather have it taken care of by Executive fiat. That way the President takes the heat and the Congress can boastfully support or condemn the action with impunity. Eventually, Congress will declare the President the new Ceasar and the American Experiment will come to an end and with it, the freedoms & liberties we enjoy.

    • Look at all the Congressmen who declare they believe in the rule of law then assert that we must enact DACA out of empathy!!!

  7. This is a great essay by Dr. Hanson. I do have one small quibble. The discussion of diabetes does not distinguish between the two major types. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes. It can be managed but there is no cure or preventative such as a vaccine. Type 2, sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as adult onset, accounts for about 95% of diabetes incidents and MAY be delayed by lifestyle choices. The Hispanic population does seem to have a higher incidence of both types than Caucasians of European ancestry. I am a little confused why this public health problem was added to the essay. I have had Type 1 or insulin dependent diabetes for 51 of my 78 years. I don’t expect to see a cure in my lifetime.

  8. I remember when AM radio stations used to play popular songs in ranked order. The top songs presumably had more value and meaning than lower ranked ones. New songs would appear suddenly in the collective consciousness, rise to a certain rank, then fade tragically to oblivion. There was something deeply satisfying about this kind of competition and cheap pathos; it served as evidence that we were not locked in a cell staring at the same blank wall everyday. Political ideas have now become like those popular ‘hits’ of yesterday. We all thought that public bathrooms designated by gender were ok until they weren’t. But behind the scenes the political equivalent of music artists and disk jockeys are still vying, mostly for their own benefit, to create a nauseating reality for us least we grow too fixated on the general good fortune of our modern life. Fat and happy farm animals are of little use to radicals who burn to stampede the herd in the direction they favor.

  9. Every time I read a column written by VDH I thank God !

  10. “Student males should be ostracized for insensitive consensual hookups”… Why? What is “insensitive”? Guys just want to get laid at that age.. And if the tender trap doesn’t work on the prey, women have no one to blame but themselves.. Save it for when you really need it instead of passing it around to get a boyfriend..

  11. Good for you, Professor Hansen! A great column. Speaking as someone who is somewhat afraid to speak out, I am more than grateful that you are speaking out for me.

    I sign as a Deplorable Admirer

  12. The last paragraph is really really good.
    “…in having to live what increasingly seems like a charade.”
    Or as I like to say:
    “I feel like Im taking crazy pills!”

    • It would take too long to explain and is too cognitively challenging and emotionally repellant for most people to accept, but the reason is that people are delusional rather than rational but, they all believe they see reality, think logically, and are “right.”

  13. Professor Hansen:

    “Disillusionment with government and popular culture arises at anger over two entirely different realities. One truth is politically correct and voiced on the news and by the government. It is often abstract and theoretical. And the other truth is empirical, hushed and accepted informally by ordinary people from what they see and hear on the ground.”

    “Electoral politics is also the culprit for our two worlds of official and unofficial truths. The age of Obama convinced progressives that identity politics could fuel 51 percent national election victories—but only if voters were convinced that their appearances trumped the content of their characters.”

    And that particular conceit of the progressives has sealed their fate. Obama did not win because he was a minority or because of his progressive politics. He won because he was the change we’ve been waiting for. Except he wasn’t.

    Every three generations or so the American people “throw the bums out”. The Republican party dominated our national government from 1860 to 1932 – 72 years. The Democrats in concert with uni-party Republicans prevailed from 1932 to 2008 – 76 years.

    In 2008 we were offered a choice: Hillary or the new guy and then the new guy or the fossil. In 2012 it was the new guy against another fossil. In 2016 Bernie Sanders (who?) gave Hillary a scare. Donald Trump (you’ve got to be kidding) steamrolled the Republican establishment. New guys on a roll.

    America is changing course, again. Just as in 1860 and 1932 when we being driven apart, we are throwing the bums out. That’s why “Make America Great Again” has such resonance.

  14. I’d find VDH’s essays a lot more enjoyable were I able to 1. forget his fanatical drum-beating for the neocon wars starting post-9/11 and 2. his disgusting worship of Abraham Lincoln, that man of blood, and his rabble of drunken, psychotic war criminals (Grant, Sherman, Sheridan) who you once described as “savior generals.” Then again, this web site seems to have smoked several bales of Henry Jaffa-ite bullshit, so not sure why I’m surprised. The VDHs of the world — not to mention Jaffaites and American Exceptionalists — are as nasty in their own way as any BLMer.

    • I’m not sure his essays are intended to be enjoyable in the conventional sense. I read them because I find them thoughtful and thought provoking even though I share your qualms with respect to the neocon movement (I guess I actually do “enjoy” thinking, regardless of the source of the provocation). As for Lincoln, I don’t know what outcome you’d have preferred during that horrific period — I’d go with the outcome obtained, given the alternatives.

      • Here is an alternative. NO WAR. Lincoln willed and waged the war for the purpose of bleeding the South for more “revenues.” Until “Americans” can realize that bloodstained monster for what he is, there is no hope. It’s a lie as foul as anything promoted by Lenin.

      • Yer deluded. No slavery, and then there would have been no war. The South went to war to protect the ownership of their human chattels- no more, no less. You could read the statements from states declaring their secession, if you had any interest in reading the truth.

      • Congratulations for putting your state-run education to its intended use (that is, the bellowing of propaganda that has as much relation to fact as Stalin-era histories of the Russian revolution). Slavery was A reason, but it was not the SOLE reason nor likely the most IMPORTANT reason (though it certainly was mentioned in the succession documents of the Deep South states).

        And are you seriously arguing that the Yankees went to war for the sole purpose of liberating the slaves?

  15. The last paragraph was perfect. That is what causes the disconnect I feel today.

  16. If you live inside your head, reality always comes as a shock.

  17. I suppose it pisses the wicked off that God Blesses the Least Evil greater than he Blesses the wicked. I have one answer for the wicked. Ha, Ha!

  18. Oh and I am Proud to be a White Person and I hope to become brighter in white then all the suns in the heavens one day.

  19. Interestingly, the “quieter ones” prevailed in the election of 2016, and if Trump continues to undo the toxic legacy of the Boy Prince, the quieter ones may well prevail again in 2018 and 2020.

  20. “One truth is politically correct and voiced on the news and by the
    government. It is often abstract and theoretical. And the other truth is
    empirical, hushed and accepted informally by ordinary people from what
    they see and hear on the ground.”
    it’s the right wing that insists on the eternal verities, a procrustean bed to which they cut reality to fit.

    • procrustean? … bed?
      oooh, did you learn that in 1st year social studies at jr college?

      shut up….. just shut up

    • “eternal verities”?

      No, but conservatives do believe that there are some principles, and some facts of reality (particularly human nature), that don’t change with the decades, or the years, or (as seems to be the case for the left recently) with the seasons.

      Observably, it’s the left that cuts reality to fit the Procrustean bed of its shifting, faddish ideological certainties.

  21. We lost the branding war. Dreamers vs White Supremicists.
    Why not —
    Brown Power vs 50’s Americana? – if I want to be unmolested in a park at night, do I go to Provo Utah or Mexico City?

    If I want to leave my purse and purchases in the basket of my unlocked bike – do I go to San Salvador or Taiwan?

    I want to live next to neighbors who will pay after they pump. Who won’t steal from my open garage or unlocked mailbox.

    We all know that the more Latinos we import the more our neighborhoods resemble Latin America. They had their chance…. and they didn’t assimilate and become Americas… they brought the worst of their own fouled nest.

    I’m told not to punish kids for the sins of their parents… yet I am called to account for the acts of Some White great great grandparents. Blacks want reparations from ME?

    So stop already with the selective outrages and condemnations. White America is over.
    We proffered too many cheeks. We believed our Christian doctrine while the left chuckled and high fived.

    Obama showed us what Africans bring to government. Look at the cabinet, the rule of law and the new heights of graft and corruption. We voted O and got Uganda.

    White Supremicist? YOU BETCA … with my dying breath

    • Can you hurry up with that breath? America wants to move forward…

      • I rest my case. The left hates white people and want what we created and earned…. and they can’t wait for us to die… so this too, can be Uganda and Panama.

      • And you are an unabashed racist. Guess what? I detest racists. Glad my forefathers fought to defeat the white racist scum of the South. Too bad we didn’t hang every Confederate officer. Sherman was too kind.

      • When you see what they have in store for you… you’ll wish Robert E LEe was here to save your ass

      • Like I said… Sherman did not go far enough…

      • Can you pull your head outta your Sigmoid Colon, please?

  22. “The age of Obama convinced progressives that identity politics could fuel 51 percent national election victories—but only if voters were convinced that their appearances trumped the content of their characters. ”
    I love the way he points out how the Dems behavior belies a contempt for the dreams of MLK.

    • I’m sure they think they love MLK. They’re just enacting revenge (on his behalf) on the evil country that murdered him.

      • The majority of Blacks disliked King when he was alive, preferring instead the likes of Bobby Seale and Malcolm X. The last thing most Blacks want is to be judged by the “content of their character.” They want to be given special considerations like food stamps, section 8 housing, disproportionate government employment, and Affirmative Action.

  23. It is not hard to agree that identity politics and the postmodern Marxist ideology that drives it are cancers on the nation. Please keep speaking up, Professor Hanson.

  24. Your a rasist bigget llamaphobe! In 2020 Trump will LOOSE and Clinton will win by a lanslide! PERSIST & RESIST!

    • “a racist bigoted llamaphobe”

      Do not fear the llama, for the llama is your friend.
      (You and the yama must have had the same spelling teacher.}

  25. It’s about momentum. If the progressives can get the American public moving in the correct direction , no matter how slowly, they can maintain pressure and increase the rate of “progress” to the “new” America of their desire.

    • With a modicum of luck, progressives will be consigned to the ash heap of history.

  26. The yeast of chaos will eventually leaven the entire loaf and the “virtual virtuous” will be consumed too. The storm troopers of extreme leftism have been unleashed and emboldened. Containment is only possible now. The funny thing about truth – human denial, rejection, silence, and obfuscation cannot change what is true.

  27. I remember a honest America. One where you didn’t need to lock your doors and you knew your neighbors. Everyone worked and welfare was shunned. A country of limited Government.

  28. the quieter ones know better and make the necessary adjustments that fit what they see and hear and conclude.

    Wow. I’m not the only “quieter one” in this Country after all.

    Excellent article Mr. Hanson

  29. I believe VDH has the same problem writing for NR so his insights on social schizophrenia here are likely a badly needed relief valve. I wonder how much longer he and Conrad Black will be tolerated by the NeoCons at NR?

  30. The Song of the Modern Serf
    They tell that they all condemn
    Our Bibles and our guns.
    The regs that they impose upon us
    Weigh some one and twenty tons.

    They tell us what we cannot say,
    They tell us what to think,
    They tell us what we must not eat,
    They tell us what to drink.

    They tell us where we must go straight,
    And where we have to turn,
    They tell us what we have to read
    And tell us what to burn.

    They tell us who we have to love
    And tell us who to hate,
    They say who is deplorable
    And who is truly great.

    They what has been truthful
    Is now a bourgeois lie,
    And if we don’t believe their words
    We all will have to die.

    They tell that in taxes,
    Enough we do not pay
    And tell the lazy indolent
    That on the hammock stay.

    They tell us which laws that we must break
    And those we may observe,
    And who we must crush underfoot
    And those whom we must serve.

    They tell us who we must permit
    Beside us in the shower.
    They say we must put up with it
    Because we have no power.

    So now we do just what we’re told,
    And see what we must see,
    So we’ve become mere Maoist drones
    In ex-“land of the free”.

  31. Hanson is a man I would love to share a few beers with–and I don’t even drink.

    Reading and pondering his words is a great way to spend a day, or two.

  32. It is important to recognize the who of the Democrat coalition in order to understand what it is that they stand for. The “who” consists of funded people: public employees, private contractors or sellers of goods to the public sector, funded not-for-profits (including universities), people who service all of the above or represent others subject to government power or provide compliance services mandated by the foregoing. All told, about 1/3 of the electorate, the Democrat’s electoral floor. The “what” of what they stand for is the funding of their way of life. The working people, the ultimate funders, are told by the funded ones to mouth virtue signaling platitudes while being screwed.

  33. Meet the new Dems — same as the old Dems. Racial obsession and violence. It’s a shame Dems have chosen to continue the same Jim Crow strategy simply by picking new targets. They’ve learned nothing from the past. Identity politics always leads to the same result … division. It can end no other way.

  34. I have a somewhat different take on how we got to this make-believe point. I don’t disagree at all that we are living in a fantasy bubble, well outside the parameters of reality. I see the basic cause, though, as society having chosen security over risk. The greatest generation scrabbled through the depression, grit their teeth and won the war, and then, eureka, moved out to the suburbs in the 50s, where they dreamt everything would be perfect. Polio was a big deal but it was wiped out in the 50s, as was smallpox and I’m sure other diseases. Danger and pestilence was being held at bay, and people focused, I think, on keeping their children safe and making sure they never had to go through what the greatest generation did. There were a lot of psychic scars from the 30s and the 40s, not to mention actual physical ones. I think each generation took up that mantra of safety & security, and therefore taught the next generation to avoid risk. I knew people who made it through awful poverty and yet went on to make lives for themselves and their families, all without a societal safety net. So how did they do that? By doing what they had to — leave school at 14 to go work, perhaps, or exhaust one’s self working one’s way through college, in another case. Basically, they depended on community support. That frequently expressed itself by making jobs, which were scarce, available to those who needed them most. I suspect the governmental safety net has weakened us. I do not see the pride and self-reliance that I saw in my parents’ generation. And I certainly don’t see today the risks that generation took (not always willingly). So now we make up silly fears and ignore real dangers — I presume until they touch us personally. In my mind, this is a little like living in Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery. It’s okay until it’s us.

  35. So much insightful analysis from Prof. Davis.

  36. Dr Hanson has done it again.

    He seeks the truth rather than claiming it, he is the pathfinder to resolving this awful conflict in our USA that is covered by the smoke blown by “the elites”

    We in turn blow them away with our votes: See: last 3 national and State Elections where over 1,000 Democrats have been ousted since Obama took office, ie, the Presidency, Senate, House, Gov Mansions, State Houses and rewarded our fight with a SCOTUS that is heading in the Right direction, toward Democracy and away from the chaos of Political Correctness.

    Perhaps the origins of Political Correctness and associated insanity interests the reader.
    I recommend “The Closing of the American Mind” by Allan Bloom.

    That author predicted the rise and chaos of the current era and its causes, beginning with Political Correctness, an Alinsky/Socialist strategy to undermine and defeat Democracy.

  37. According to ‘America Uncensored’ *, there is a deal basically between the President and the Democrats and it is going to be concessions on DACA in return for THE WALL. I don’t know whether this report is true; and in any case I shall believe it if and when the wall is completed.

    If it BE true, however, that will be a major step forward, the first real improvement in immigration policy in decades.


  38. I don’t think you would say the same thing about “mute stones” if those stones conveyed the likeness of Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin. But why not? All they are is “stones,” right? Not at all. Those stones convey an image, and that image stands for something. The image of Robert E. Lee is not just a “mute image.” It represents someone who was a traitor to America. I’m very disappointed that Dr. Hanson would make this lame argument. The acknowledged power of visual images is exactly why the Germans outlawed all visual representations of the Nazis after WW2. Too bad post-Civil-War America was not as smart.

  39. As Judge Bork stated in his book the colleges have cranked out America hating teachers, they indoctrinated their students in hate America love communism, and people did nothing about it.