Stabbing Hector’s Corpse

In Homer’s epic Iliad, the Greek hero Achilles finally kills his hated archenemy, the often trash-talking Trojan warrior, Hector. 

After Hector dies, once frightened but now gloating Greek soldiers encircle and cowardly stab his limp corpse. 

Achilles even ties the ankles of the dead Hector to his chariot and in fits of mindless rage drags him around the walls of Troy. 

Homer then brilliantly shows how Achilles’ vindictive excess ensures sympathy even for the once-braggart Hector. Eventually, the adolescent Achilles relents, grows up, allows Hector to be buried, and accepts the tragic nature of a common humanity. 

If Democrats and the Left had wished to reinvigorate the Trump legacy, they could have done no better than unleashing their unhinged and often repulsive hatred of the last two weeks.   

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson recently boasted, “There are millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans, who somehow need to be deprogrammed.”   

What method does Robinson advocate for the required mind-rinsing of these millions? The Chinese, Soviet, or North-Korean model? 

CNN’s Don Lemon claims that those who voted for Trump—nearly half the electorate—are synonymous with the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis. Would Lemon include one in three Hispanics or one in five black males? 

The Lincoln Project, in good McCarthyite fashion, wants to create lists of former Trump officials to destroy their reputations. Is that the spirit of their namesake, Abe Lincoln, who urged Americans to heal the nation’s wounds “with malice toward none, with charity for all”? 

Was it not enough to rush through a slipshod, one-day second impeachment of Trump, the first in our nation’s history? 

Or after he leaves office, will Trump also become the first private citizen in history to be the target of a Senate impeachment trial—an act as unnecessary as it is likely unconstitutional.  

So far the Left has produced no consistent standard by which the public can judge Trump’s excesses. Indeed, for months, blue-state mayors and governors contextualized nonstop summer rioting, arson, and looting. 

Politicians like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Vice President Kamala Harris, and Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), have themselves either revved up angry protestors, urged mass street demonstrators to continue indefinitely, or directed followers to hound and harass government officials. 

Trump, unlike Iran’s strongman Ayatollah Khamenei who advocates the destruction of Israel, is banned for life from Twitter. So are many of his followers—unlike those of radical Antifa and BLM who used social media to coordinate their often violent protests, looting, and arson.  

The small conservative alternative to Silicon Valley’s left-wing social media monopoly, Parler, was crushed by Big Tech in one fell swoop.  

Does Joe Biden really believe he can unite the country by smearing two U.S. senators as no different from the genocidal Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels?  

Already Biden’s premature promises of mass amnesties and lax border enforcement have sparked caravans of undocumented immigrants to head for the border. Are they going again to crash through without background checks—right in the middle of a spiking COVID-19 pandemic, with already crammed ICUs and long lines for vaccinations? 

Joe Biden has promised to cancel pipeline contracts and curtail fossil fuel production.  

How popular will that be? 

Fracking made the United States a net energy exporter and crashed gas prices. America is no longer dependent on Middle East oil and gas. It has no need to intervene in endless wars out of worry for secure energy supplies.  

The transition to clean-burning natural gas allowed the United States to reduce carbon emissions more rapidly than almost any other major industrial nation. And high-paying gas and oil jobs sparked economic booms from Texas to North Dakota.  

Lots of departed Republican Trump officials are now loudly trashing their former boss. Few admit that their once-stalled careers were revived only after they successfully lobbied to work for the Trump White House.  

Efforts of Republican House members to join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s push to impeach Trump were widely praised as “bipartisan” in the media and by the Left. But impeachment won the support of less than five percent of Republican House members. 

No wonder, since some national polls put Trump’s national popularity unchanged or even above where it was on Election Day. About 85 percent of Republicans still support him. 

The irony is that all these frenzied efforts to mutilate the political corpse of Trump are reviving him.  

Banning Trump from his often self-destructive Twitter addiction, smearing his supporters as racists, and bulldozing through a far-Left agenda will only ensure Trump a ninth life. 

Americans hate one thing more than a sore loser, and that is an arrogant, vindictive—and bullying—winner.  

If Trump for now can finally exit office silently, and if his enemies continue to be loud, petty, vengeful, and extremist, then the public will very soon make the necessary adjustments. 

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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, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author of the just released New York Times best seller, The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, published by Basic Books on May 7, 2024, as well as the recent  The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump, and The Dying Citizen.

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