Victor Davis Hanson Doubleheader


Trump Has A Reason To Rage


onald Trump gave one of his best and most conciliatory speeches of his political career after his recent win in the recent Iowa primaries; and, that might explain why the media would not cover it. Later, to answer an ad hoc ambush reporter’s question whether he would hold grudges, he emphatically said he did not.

Yet after his win in New Hampshire, Trump went ballistic at Nikki Haley’s earlier charges that he, rather than Joe Biden, was cognitively challenged, past his prime and a perennial loser of popular votes.

In response, Trump shed his short-lived Iowa temperance. He went whole hog after Haley’s dress and her affectations and trashed her character. He tweeted that she was a “birdbrain,” and on and on.

For six years, observers have noted the disconnect between Trump’s stellar record of governance, his occasional sense of humor and even self-criticism—and his ad hominem venom that often turns off the 3-7 percent of the electorate in the suburbs who otherwise might vote for him.

Reasonable calls to tone it down by pundits, aides, and friends do not work with Trump and perhaps for several understandable reasons.

One, Trump is reactive in his “they started it, I finish it” mode. His theory of deterrence is to be disproportionate in retort to eliminate future preemptive attacks. Almost all of Trump’s crudeness was in disproportionate response, sometimes even to minor offenses.

In such a world of Trump deterrence, if you do not relish a crude Trump, then don’t first talk about cutting off his head, blowing him up, stabbing him, shooting him or lighting him on fire. Don’t spread lies like “Russian collusion, laptop disinformation” or that the influence-selling Biden consortium was innocent of shaking down foreign interests for millions of dollars that were routed into the clan’s coffers.

To put it another way, remember how Barack Obama went ballistic over the yarns, often fueled by Trump himself, that he was born in Kenya (a mythos he himself fueled by allowing his book to be plugged as the work of a Kenyan-born, exotic-named author, e.g., “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”).

But what would a prickly Obama have done had right-wing prosecutors, mirror images of a Letitia James, Alvin Bragg, Fani Willis or Jack Smith, indicted him over his garnering and intentionally not reporting the names of major contributors in 2008 (rather than the federal election commission taking five years to fine Obama $375,000 for what was essentially campaign fraud).

What would Obama have said or done had a federal prosecutor indicted him for bribery, extortion, or tax fraud over the illegal Tony Rezko lot deal? What would have been his reaction to his “wingman” Eric Holder, being jailed for his refusal to obey a congressional subpoena (such a transgression may well earn both Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro jail sentences).

Trump was pilloried for the Russian collusion farce. But the reality was that the 2015-17 Russian collusion conspiracy farce was discussed and greenlighted in the West Wing by a lame-duck but knowledgeable Obama, who unleashed his FBI, CIA, and DOJ to do whatever, legal or not, it took to stop Donald Trump.

Currently, Donald Trump was just fined $83.3 million by a left-wing New York jury presided over by a left-wing judge in a suit filed by a left-wing writer who was funded by a left-wing Silicon Valley billionaire—all possible because a left-wing state legislator had recently lifted the statute of limitations on allegations of sexual assault to allow three-decade-old charges like E Jean Carroll’s to be refiled.

So Trump blew up and charged out of the courtroom, lost his cool in the courtroom and hurt any slight chance he had to escape such an outrageous and politicized fine.

However again, note the surreal nature of the suit. Carrol cannot remember even the year in which she and Trump, she claims, ended up in a department store dressing room. She was mistaken about the dress she wore on the day of the assault. Long after the alleged assault, she praised Trump’s Apprentice as her favorite TV show.

She created an app game called Damn Love, described as:

“You’re shown two people who are madly in love. Your object is to break them up. Shown a pair of options, you choose the ones more likely to stir up shit, given each person’s personality and proclivities, and the quicker you can make them split, the more you increase your evilness and rise through the ranks.

Carroll’s narrative about being sexually assaulted in a department store dressing room is eerily almost the identical narrative of a 2012 “Law & Order: SVU” episode that focused on an alleged sexual assault in the lingerie dressing room of the very same Bergdorf Goodman department store. Coincidence or inspiration?
And thus, to refute all the above, Trump was criminalized as a defamer and fined $83 million.

Under such rules of evidence and damages, what would Joe Biden have had to pay when his former senatorial aide, Tara Reade, accused him of a sexual assault, only to be widely defamed by legions of Biden’s left-wing flacks? So much of Trump’s rage is an understandable reaction to the sustained, unhinged venom of the media and Left.

Two, Trump’s base, unlike his other supporters, does not differentiate between Trump’s solid governance and his volatile character. They see what he does and says not as antithetical but complementary. Trump, in the base’s view, gets things done precisely because he displays open, unfiltered contempt for the Swamp, the bipartisan political class, the globalists, and the Media.

His 24/7 bellicosity that his MAGA diehards feel, ensures he will always be hated by the Media and establishment—and thus not compromised even if he wished to be. In other words, for MAGA, whom a president is despised by is more important than by whom he is liked. For the base, the role of a mercurial and disruptive Clinton Eastwood gunslinger is preferable to that of a jolly Roy Rodgers crooner.

Three, Trump is seen as the MAGA rabid pit bull, who from time to time, is to be unleashed and pointed in the proper direction. For those who were smeared collectively and nonstop by Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or a late John McCain variously as clingers, Deplorables, irredeemables, racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, chumps, dregs, semi-fascists, hobbits, bizarros and crazies—and as smelly and toothless by the Media—Trump is their payback.

Has a Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid or Adam Schiff ever apologized to the nation for daily lying to the American people that the Biden family was never compromised by or profited from Hunter Biden’s skullduggery, that Christopher Steele’s dossier was authentic, that Hunter’s laptop was cooked up in Moscow or that COVID sprung from a bat or pangolin?

So for the Trump voter, those nightly, serial lies had more deleterious consequences for the nation than a leaked Trump private conversation in which he supposedly said Haiti was a “shithole” country.

All of the above may explain, though not defend, what appears to the bicoastal elite and even many Trump supporters as irrational, if not self-destructive, behavior.

However, why Trump does what he does still does not address the central question of 2024—what is now in Trump’s own self-interest—and the country’s?

Before answering that question, most would object that it does not matter. Trump cannot help himself even if he tried, as if Heraclitus was right that a man’s nature is his fate (ἦθος ἀνθρώπῳ δαίμων, often loosely translated as “character is destiny”).

Yet there are reasons to suggest that Trump, in fact, could scale back the ad hominem invective.

One, in the past, he has been magnanimous and certainly did not go after enemies or subvert the levers of government in the manner of the Obama administration that weaponized the DOJ and had West Wing meetings, where the Steele dossier and Hillary Clinton’s subterfuge were openly condoned, if not abetted.

Two, the 2024 election is different from both 2016 and 2020. There is no longer a COVID ruse to change voting laws or conduct a surrogate campaign.

Instead, the left is open now about its intentions to put Biden on ice in his basement, outsource the campaign to handlers and the media, count on billions from big tech and finance to ensure 70 percent of swing state balloting is not on Election Day and blast Trump as a January 6 insurrectionist and murderer of women in need of abortions.

They will seek to keep him off the ballot in dozens of states and coordinate four prosecutions to jail him during the campaign season. The near billion dollars infused into the election to alter voting laws in 2020 will be seen as child’s play in 2024.

More importantly, the country is imploding in 2024 in a way it was not in 2020, when there was still a border, deterrence abroad, coherent energy policies, deterrent police and a semblance of the rule of law. Now there is simply no margin of error.

To be elected, Trump will have to win the popular vote by at least 4-5 percent. What’s more, the error/rejection rate on mail-in/early balloting in most states will be a fraction of what it had been pre-COVID. 2020 taught us that the more purple states are flooded with massive non-election ballots under 2020 altered ballot rules, the more the normal rejection percent of unsubstantiated or illegal ballots declines.

Trump has an enormous responsibility in 2024 to stay calm, reach out and get even rather than mad.

Why? For millions, he is now seen as the last and only obstacle to what more than half of America believes is the sustained, left-wing attempt to turn the nation into something unrecognizable—an imploding country of open borders, with two million illegal entries per year, racial separatism and tribal chauvinism, the end of deterrence abroad, soaring crime and homelessness, $35 trillion in debt with $2 trillion annual deficits, wars on natural gas and oil, and warping of the administrative state and the law to punish enemies and reward friends.

In sum, Trump should ignore Haley and his old vulture critics in the Media and on the Left as much as he can.

He must concentrate on the disaster of the Biden Administration and reiterate nonstop the agendas of 2025 that will save us from tottering on the brink. That forbearance demands that he speak and campaign in the only way that can win the election: unite the Republican Party, the conservative movement, the MAGA base, independents, disaffected Democrats, minorities and even Never Trumpers into an eleventh-hour coalition to stop the revolution in our midst before it consumes us all. ✪


Is Joe Biden Malicious, Incompetent Or Conniving?


hings are becoming so strange, so surreal & so nihilistic in contemporary America that the chaos can only be deliberate. Chance, incompetence and accident could not alone explain the series of disasters we now daily witness that are nearly destroying the country.

When the ailing and non-compos-mentis president now speaks, he rarely becomes excited about Iranian or terrorist provocations. Biden seems restrained even at outlaw Russia in Ukraine. The atrocities of Hamas now earn only measured objections from Biden. He does not seem too angered by the collapse of the border. Nor do the deaths of 100,000 Americans from imported fentanyl earn a loud trademark Biden scream.

No, what earns his unchecked ire, often expressed in shouts and hysterical tones, are Donald Trump and his supporters. Most recently, out of nowhere, Biden resurrected the old and proven falsehood that Trump had libeled the Normandy dead as losers and suckers. He then compounded that libel by claiming Trump’s supposed dismissal of the heroic dead was a grievous family insult to his own late son, who did not die either in combat or while in uniform but in 2015, tragically, from brain cancer.

During these anti-Trump fits, Biden wakes up and his face tightens up. He begins screaming, in uncharacteristic, animated fashion, anytime he can smear half the nation’s voters as “semi-fascists” and “ultra-MAGA” extremists. In private, he swears that Trump is a “f—ing asshole” and “sick f—k.” If only Biden substituted “cartel” or “Iran” or “Hamas” for “Trump” or “MAGA.” we might see an animate president.

A Nation Without Borders

Meanwhile, a mob of illegal aliens recently tried to kick and stomp sprawled New York peace officers into senselessness—felonies that would earn any such violent citizen a decade or more on Rikers Island.

Yet somehow, only a few were arrested. Stranger still, all of them were immediately let go without bail—as if freeing wolves to prey further upon sheep.

Upon release, a few smirked and flipped their middle fingers to bystanders. Apparently, they wished to show Americans that they are violent, crude, unrepentant and exempt. And thus they tell us that their newfound hosts are fools for letting the likes of themselves in.

And why not, given the attackers bussed with impunity to California—the land of free everything if only one qualifies as illegally residing in the U.S.

These grotesque bullies are part of the eight-million illegal aliens who pranced across the southern border without background checks—all taking Biden up on his 2019 encouragement to “surge” the border with impunity.

Many brandish their cartel affiliations. Some pay for their transit by smuggling cartel fentanyl, which contributes to 100,000 American overdose deaths per year. Others sport lengthy criminal records. All seemed to have been welcomed out of their countries by conniving Latin American governments and mysteriously invited into our country by our derelict president.

The Death Of The Rule Of Law

There is a continuing pattern here. Sometime around late 2020, Americans woke up in a country they no longer recognized. That summer, tens of thousands of rioters had looted, burned, killed, maimed and assaulted for four months with veritable impunity. Leftwing mayors and governors dubbed the violence as “largely peaceful” demonstrations or a “summer of love.”

The 2020 legacy of defunding the police and exempting criminals on the basis of their race or ideology is that each week now videos circulate of massive looting, smash-and-grab epidemics, and deadly car-jackings in our major cities. No one cares much about the small business owners who are ruined.

Who laments for the poor who lose their last shopping outlet? Does the Biden Administration worry over the terrified employees who are ordered to stand back or the occasional security officer totem instructed to stand down?

Instead, we are to empathize with the thief, the assaulter, the rapist and the carjacker—at least in the sense that he does not deserve punishment for the mayhem he caused, given we, not he, are supposedly the true guilty parties. A lot of innocent and defenseless people have been assaulted and killed since 2020 as the wage of that toxic theory.

So the subtext of all these violent acts is exemption based on perceived correct race, ideology, or membership in the supposed victim/oppressed binary. The perpetrators are either not arrested, let out the same day as arrested, never charged, or never convicted. And the result is a growing distrust of the law and a cynicism that there is little law anymore, just statutes used against political undesirables.

If, for just one month, the Biden justice department used the same resources and budget it has spent the last three years rounding up bystanders at the January 6 riot and instead prosecuted, convicted, and jailed these big-city violent assailants, then the crime epidemic could be solved.

The Implosion Of The University & Higher Education

As a general rule, in 2024, the more “prestigious” our universities, and the more they prided themselves as elite or Ivy-League, the more likely there were racially segregated dorms and graduations, a virtual anti-Semitic hounding of Jewish students, grade inflation, watered-down courses and pro-Hamas terrorist demonstrations.

For nearly a hundred years, universities told us that the SAT or ACT admittance exam was critical in determining their admissions. It was sold as a way to confirm the potential and preparation necessary to perform at a level demanded by these elite schools. The tests were praised as a meritocratic tool to determine talent by honing grade point averages and allowing opportunity to those without money and contacts. Then suddenly, in 2021, these tests were mostly junked.

That dismissal of standardized tests is a de facto admission that:

1) Universities had been admittedly wrong for a century that standardized admissions tests had any value in determining the degree of student preparation needed to complete a rigorous Ivy League class load, or…

2) in the interest of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university would now be free to admit students who could not meet their prior unrealistic or unnecessary standards and instead would accommodate new students by suddenly inflating grades, introducing easier classes, or diminishing required course work.

Of course, the university admits to neither of these realities. It compounds the deception and fraud by claiming new generations of students are more competitive and gifted than ever and will leave with degrees that guarantee employers rigorously trained graduates. Time will soon tell.

The End Of Deterrence

The same nihilism characterizes our foreign policy. Our worst enemies could not have planned a more disastrous and humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan than the Biden Administration’s August 2021 scamper. We simply, without an afterthought, abandoned billions of dollars of sophisticated weapons to Taliban terrorists.

We left behind a $1 billion new embassy and a remodeled Air Force base. We bragged about taking out terrorists with a “righteous strike” that wiped out an entire friendly Afghan family, while 13 American service personnel were blown up trying to secure a non-securable escape route.

Then followed the mysterious laxity as a Chinese spy balloon lazily traversed the U.S. with impunity. Next was the radical drop-off in military recruitment. If one wished to ensure that the one group that serves—and dies—in combat units at twice its demographics would exit the military en masse, prompting an enlistment crisis, the Pentagon could not have done a better job.

The top brass all but accused its white male recruits of being prone to toxic white supremacy, only to form a task force to root it out—and then discover such rage and hatred never existed in the first place.

It nonetheless drummed out 8,400 veterans for not receiving the mRNA vaccinations, many of whom had naturally acquired immunity and real doubts about the efficacy or safety of the inoculations. And, finally, the Pentagon made it known that prior standards of recruitment, promotion and evaluation had apparently weakened the military. Therefore, new race- and gender-based criteria would ensure fewer and now unneeded white males in positions of rank and influence.

Abroad, China serially threatens to annex Taiwan. A hungry and perennially restless Vladimir Putin once upon a time thought he was restrained from invading his neighbors by fear of more costs incurred than the likelihood of benefits to be gained. But like an earlier reaction to a weakened U.S. in 2008 and 2014, Putin assumed that the 2022 Biden Administration would likely do little if he annexed greater swaths of Ukraine. And so he invaded.

National security advisor Jack Sullivan, on the eve of the October 7 Hamas massacres of Jewish citizens, claimed the Middle East was at last calm. Now it is on the verge of a theater-wide war, once Iran sensed that the Biden team would appease and beg it to behave.

So the Biden Administration was eager to end oil sanctions, plead with Iran to reenter the Iran Deal, remove the Houthis from terrorist designations, route billions of dollars to Tehran for hostages, junk the Abraham Accords and restore millions of dollars in please-be-nice bribe money to the Palestinians.

Biden’s abject misreading of human nature has ensured that a thuggish theocracy that slaughters abroad and tortures at home would interpret that reproachment as either naiveté or stupidity. And thus it would respond with contempt and escalating aggression. And so it has.

Somehow, over just three years, the Biden Administration did to the Middle East what it did to the southern border: blew it up in the same exact manner of mindlessly undoing any policy that had previously worked with Trump’s finger prints on them.

What Is Going On?

What is the common denominator, what is the rationale behind the anarchy, and what is the reason why a president would so willingly rend the fabric of America?

Why would the government privilege the illegal alien over the law-abiding citizen? The violent pro-Hamas anti-Semitic foreign-born protestor over the peaceful pro-Israel, U.S. citizen? The smash-and-grabber over the dutiful security guard?

We are nearing a French Revolution, reign-of-terror moment. The law seems to be whatever a cabal of hardcore leftists who control the Oval Office say it is.

Joe Biden’s Administration offers no better confirmation of warnings from Thucydides to Thomas Hobbes that the veneer of civilization is precious, hard-won, quite thin, and beneath it churns innate human savagery and chaos roaring to be released.

So why did Biden unleash the hounds of anti-civilization? Did he despise the supposedly boring middle-class citizen who follows the law, pays all his taxes and never gets arrested? Does he hate the idea of meritocracy? In Biden’s puppeteers’ dangerous calculus, is all this savagery and chaos a deliberate mechanism to ensure parity? Equity? Inclusion?

So is the deliberate nihilism—economic, social, cultural, social, and political—a way of leveling the field? Making life difficult for the more successful? Making those who cherish the traditions and protocols of America pay?

Is that the plan to take the country to near collapse, and then only at the abyss itself to force revolutionary change—or else?

How else can anyone explain the descent of our downtown cities into dank medieval cesspits, our notion of male and female transformed into the sexual circus right out of Petronius’s Satyricon, our race relations into a mixture of Rwanda and Yugoslavia and our universities into Soviet-like “People’s Universities of Correct Thought?”

None of this was by accident. It is the dividend of a philosophy that says, “We have to blow up your America before we can reboot it for us.”