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VIDEO: Victor Davis Hanson on Woke Ideology and the Way Forward for Conservatives

VIDEO: Victor Davis Hanson on Woke Ideology and the Way Forward for Conservatives

“they’re [Democrats] in a period of hysteria and frenzy, not unlike the Salem witch trials, and they’re not coherent. The only thing they understand is reciprocity.”

Victor Davis Hanson is one of the most important and authoritative conservative voices in America today. In a recent episode of American Thought Leaders from the Epoch Times, Hanson talked at length about a variety of topics.

This is so worth your time.

Hanson opened the discussion by analyzing the meaning behind the Democrats’ latest attempt to impeach Trump. As a scholar of history, Davis then breaks down how a ‘woke’ ideology will hamper progress in the United States, using comparative examples from around the world.

He notes how this has become embedded in everything:

I’m really worried — we’re right in the middle of it with the time and resources that we spend on wokeness, in K through 12, in universities, in corporations, or in sports. I was watching the Super Bowl commercials yesterday, and they all have an ideological intent. They’re trying to put particular classes or races or people deliberately to protect them in a way that doesn’t represent the demography necessarily in the United States.

Hanson breaks down the left’s assault on free speech using social justice as a justification and the partnership of the left and big tech to silence people. He points to the take down of Parler as a concrete example. He suggests none of this is happening by accident:

In Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” and in George Orwell there is a common theme. Orwell summed it up explicitly. “Who controls the past controls the future,” and “Who controls the present controls the past.” By maintaining that monopoly on information dissemination, they can work people, along with academia and K through 12. By that I mean, if you and I had this conversation two years ago, we wouldn’t know what “1619” was. Our children are going to be coming home from school and lecturing us that we’re racist for not acknowledging that 1619 was a more important date than 1776.

One of the best parts comes at the 24 minute mark when Hanson talks about how this applies to politics going forward. He says that although it’s unfortunate, the only thing that will make the Democrats stop is reciprocity:

What finally got their attention? When they announced that they’re going to play a series of videos where Maxine Waters or Kamala Harris or Chuck Schumer engage in the very type of insurrectionary, or what they call incendiary, speech that Donald Trump does.

What will get their attention when they go across the aisle and say, “This Republican cannot be on this minority [committee,] for the first time in the history of the house, we’re not going to allow you to pick your own committee assignments.”? The only thing that will stop that — I hate to say it, human nature being what it is — is for the Republicans to say to them, “We’re going to take power in 24 months, and the first thing we’re going to do is strip AOC and Representative Omar of their committee assignments, because they have a long history of anti-Semitism.”

They think that these people will listen to logic, but they’re in a period of hysteria and frenzy, not unlike the Salem witch trials, and they’re not coherent. The only thing they understand is reciprocity.

There’s so much more, too. This video is an hour long, and it’s a worthy investment of time. If you’re looking for something to watch today, this is an excellent choice.

Featured image via YouTube.


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The way forward is to get rid of the surrender monkey RINOs that just want to go back to ‘normal’, who never fight for a single one of their alleged principles.

    True, but there’ll be a contingent of rinos rats – open about their treason hiding it – withing the GOP. It’s just too deeply corrupt.

    That said, even if we form a new political party, the rinos will be a powerful voting bloc (even if there’s one of them). They won’t need a base, because they’ll be getting their support from the democrat party.

    We’re in a hopeless situation. We’ve got this bozo Lloyd Austin as a secretary of defense bent on doing more damage to our military than any enemy could, we’ve got Susan Rice as the de facto president, we’ve got complete voter fraud now institutionalized, we’ve got a compromised chief justice of the Supreme court, we have rioting street goons paid by the democrat party, we have psychopaths in key district attorney positions across the nation, a dim-witted slut is poised to become president, much of our Congress is made up of psychopaths, dumbasses – you name it. But most of all, our nation is now in the de facto control of Communist China. All we are is the new Hong Kong.

    Our only hope for freedom and safety: secession. Look, we can always rejoin the Union. But now, we have to get the hell out before we become subject to genocide upon us.

    Speaking of disasters:

    Interesting piece from India, on Bill Gates STEALING tech from small farmers in India (and claiming “he” invented it”. Shades of Microsoft! (Jump to 7:31:)

    So Gates’ ‘philanthropy’ is b.s. Kinda like hillary clinton’s ‘foundations’. (How hillary clinton remains unpunished for her high crimes and treason should be remembere every day of our lives – including how William Barr and Jeff Sessions worked to protect her, single-handled destroying the United States as we knew it.)

      Perhaps the senate still being controlled by Republicans could have been an influence on who gets a senate confirmed post?

      Perhaps the suburban voters who shifted from voting Trump in 2016 to voting Biden 2020 who we need to win back the senate aren’t impressed by comments calling the moderate Republicans who run for local office in the suburbs who they like rats?

      Perhaps the fact that Republicans not named Donald Trump didn’t face total destruction in suburbs implies we should work to win them over instead of continuing to double down on warlike rhetoric that frankly doesn’t belong anywhere.

      If you lose an election because the voters didn’t like your style change your style don’t double down.

        I like you, Danny, so let’s try something new. If you love love love [insert whatever], how prone are you to changing your mind because someone points out that Eddie van Halen was a better guitarist than [whomever] or that they think Coke wins every Pepsi challenge? Pretty much zero chance, right? Let’s hear you swoon for the guitar riffs of Nobody McNoTalent. Or faint on the nearest fainting couch because you think Pepsi rocks. Not happening, right?

        Same here. Many of us very much like Trump policies and his insistence on putting Americans first. We LOVE that, and many other of his policies, about him. You aren’t going to convince anyone that chocolate tastes icky or that clouds are made of marshmallow. Why even try?

        Stop poking legitimately angry, frustrated, disappointed people with sticks. Please.

          Losing an election is a legitimate reason to be angry especially to a candidate like Biden who demonized the other side. But it is Feb 22nd. The point where saying

          ” But most of all, our nation is now in the de facto control of Communist China. All we are is the new Hong Kong.

          Our only hope for freedom and safety: secession. Look, we can always rejoin the Union. But now, we have to get the hell out before we become subject to genocide upon us.”

          could be written off as just anger is long passed. At this point it is clearly either a troll account (in which case it needs to be called out) or someone who actually believes that (in which case he should be called out).

          The term “RINO” has become a catch all term for anyone who doesn’tump’s stolen election claims, or pushes back against him for his behavior post election so I think it is worth pushing pass the litmus test of agreeing with Trump that the election was stolen or pushes back against that, which I think is worth pushing back on especially if in addition to really not liking the post-election behavior you have some heresies of your own on policy positions (which I do).

          On some of the other responses I gave they include a reaction to abolishing the Republican Party, and the idea that Republicans just go RINO when in charge (and I included major examples to show that is wrong, including changes in the law made by a Republican congress).

          Ultimately your ideas are put forward to be challenged, I don’t mind if you challenge my ideas and would gladly engage you and feel that people posting extreme rhetoric should be challenged. Either they are left completely unchanged, you find they are right after all or nobody is persuaded about anything but both sides lay out their case. Maybe some of my heresies are wrong and should remain heresies.

          Danny, do you really care if some random LI commenter sees China as the big bad? Or secession as the cure all? That’s ONE guy, and he’s pretty much ignored on those points except by the occasional person (like me) who pushes back a bit. So really, it’s one guy saying the same thing over and over to people who are clearly not buying what he’s selling. So what? Does it really matter? At all? What if I start saying we all need to wear a pretty pretty bonnet on Tuesday the Eleventieth? No one will respond, and those who do bother to address such nuttiness will just point out that it’s nuttiness. Where does my pretty pretty bonnet movement go? No where, right? Shrug.

          People can say stuff, Danny. It’s really okay. It doesn’t mean that anyone else will tag along or buy into it. Who cares if I want a pretty pretty bonnet day or if someone else wants secession? Or whatever? I can shill my pretty pretty bonnet day all day long, but it’s going nowhere. So is secession. Or some crazy idea of a civil war 2.0. Or whatever. We are Americans, we do not fear ideas and thoughts and words, even dumb ones, because we know that we are Americans. And we don’t have to bang the drum that using a hair dryer in a shower is a bad idea. We know it’s a bad idea, so if someone tells us to do it, we ignore them. We don’t have to engage every lunacy, right?

          If some crazy idea takes root and others latch on, then maybe it’s time to offer an alternative point of view. But if some commenter says we should all gather on some hilltop and pee into the wind, do you really need to point out that “hey, peeing into the wind is dumb”? There’s nothing heroic about that, it doesn’t demonstrate any principles. It kind of just shows you are a bit silly and unintelligent to even engage such a nutter idea (that no one else is engaging at all). Why would you want to look silly and stupid?

    henrybowman in reply to Olinser. | February 22, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Right. There will never be reciprocity, because when Democrats are in power, everything they do is in your face and down your throat; and when Republicans are in power, the Democrats demand bipartisanship and the stupid, lazy Republicans give it to them.

      There was bipartisanship in the Trump era on what dimension? Democrats rejected everything Republicans had to say. Republicans however appointed judges in record numbers (something that Biden will be doing because Trump decided we didn’t need to hold the senate and made sure Dems won in Georgia), pushed through every Trump cabinet nominee, passed every piece of legislation Trump asked for, and gave him the budget of his choice (you sign it, and have no alternative to try to negotiate with and your president it’s yours), gave him the bloated runaway military budget he wanted, importantly enough we won on every issue of Obamacare that we objected to (Obamacare no longer requires abortion or contraception coverage, no longer imposes taxes either and is warped into a subsidy that mostly covers our constituency).

      Democrats don’t call that bipartisan because it wasn’t. It was us getting some of the policies we wanted but not all of them because the only legislation Trump requested was criminal justice reform (granted to him) and the tax cuts (also granted to him).

    The way forward is to DELETE the Republican Party period. There is no reforming it. End all standing relationships and establish a brand new hierarchy of power. Force EVERYONE to make the big decision: retire, die with the GOP or switch to Trump’s new party.

    Everyone who dreams of the glory of being the last one to die at the Alamo please raise your hands. Take your time. No one will ever know the name of the next to last one to die.

    It’s called WINNING@

      Delete the Republican Party and each part of the Republican coalition thinking it is the only part creates it’s own small party and Democrats run all 50 states and the federal government for decades.

        Apparently, you missed the last five years of history and are not paying attention to current events. Trump is now in command and will be THE major factor for the 2022 elections and not just in wiping out the Dems in the House. The Senate RINO Republicans (virtually every Republican) will get clobbered get clobbered if they fail to win Trump’s support.

        That’s the new reality and if you plan on holding your nose to vote for the latest “lesser of two evils” offering by the zombie GOPe, that ship sailed a long time ago. The days of the GOPe circling their wagons to protect the Democrats from conservatives are over.

        So are you going to become a Trump supporter or will you be part of the GOPe/Democrat party merger? Maybe then you will get it?

          If he is the major factor for 2022 god help us because that would mean the Democrats keep control of the house and senate.

          Could you come up with the ways he is different from other Republicans?

          Is there a policy litmus test you want to impose or just you have to believe Trump won the 2020 elections?

          A challenge to someone on policy could be useful it makes that person defend why they chose their policies which is good for the general election where the Democrat will challenge those same policies.

          A challenge based on “you accepted the results of the 2020 election” well so did I, so did most people. You need a majority of the population to be elected. Right now to get a majority of the population you need to persuade people who voted Biden that they would be better off voting Republican 2022.

        henrybowman in reply to Danny. | February 22, 2021 at 7:16 pm

        And that differs from the current results exactly how? Even in the Bizarro circumstance when a Republican victory occurs despite the Democrat election-fraud machine, we’ll get a McCain, or a Romney, or a Bush, or a Cheney, or someone else indistinguishable from having a blue ass in the exact same chair.

        HImmanuelson in reply to Danny. | February 23, 2021 at 3:33 am


        Trump is about to declare himself as a candidate for 2024 and when he does that, he will guarantee Harris will be the president. Trump running again — in all scenarios — guarantees a Harris win.

        Any scenario in which Trump runs means it’ll be President Harris. If he splits from the Republican party, Harris wins in an epic landslide. If he is somehow nominated by the Republicans, many Republicans will either leave the party or refuse to vote for him. Again, epic landslide by Harris.

        Everyone here can admire Trump all they want, he’s done as President.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Olinser. | February 22, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Rinos with principles?? Any beyond self interest?

    Danny in reply to Olinser. | February 22, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    We need to add more voters to the Republican Party not subtract them we just lost by 7 million votes while also losing in the electoral college.

It took the left from the late 1880s ( founding of the Fabian Society) to now to get the power they have, they took baby steps. I suggest we start thinking strategically not emotionally. Start by taking back your local governments like the school board and city councils.

Thanks, it was an hour well spent. I enjoy listening to Victor Davis Hanson because of his ability to express his observations in easy to digest terms. And as a historian he does a great job at presenting examples from the past. He has a skill at saying “we’re doomed” without saying it, and, at the same time, without obfuscating it either. Not that he said that.

re the last point of threatening what will happen when the wheel turns, I think the dems dont believe they will ever loose control again – that this was the last election. That Biden, not the fall of the Berlin Wall is the end of history. Control the 3 arms, stack the courts, import voters, award statehoods. Game over.

Hanson implies that this is just a phase like the 1968 to 1975 period. He is naïve. The socio-economics are very different.

Today the Progressive left is very well organized – in a way they they were not in the 1960s-70s. In those days, almost everyone over 25 opposed the anti-war /counter-culture movement. Furthermore, you did not have a unholy alliance of politics + media + social disruption. In those days there was more social cohesion. Today, society has been disrupted with diversity drives that have Balkanized the country. “Divide and conquer” is the true Progressive agenda. And its working. And it will succeed unless people unite to push back against it. (separately – there is no ability to prevent witch hunts and cancellations.)

Hanson should have laid out steps that can be taken to combat the Progressive’s destructive agenda.

Brave Sir Robbin | February 22, 2021 at 12:19 am

“Hanson implies that this is just a phase like the 1968 to 1975 period. He is naïve. The socio-economics are very different.”

I, too was alive during this period, and agree with you that now is very different, and Hanson does not understand this, or at least failed to express it well in that video.

But one thing is for sure – WE are now the counter culture. It is still an open questions about how far the dominate culture will go to suppress us. He suggests there are no limits to their vision, but solely limited by what they will be allowed to do to us.

Haven’t had a chance to watch the video but I wasn’t impressed by his ‘case for Trump’ book. It was pretty lazy from an analytical perspective. Shame really I had thought someone with a historians background would be more able to create a balanced argument.


He implies that woke Progressivism is something like a natural cycle of liberal movements like the 1960’s-70s.

This is the view that this will all blow over when people come to their senses. This view lulls people into think “it will all be okay – eventually.”

It won’t. This is different. This has been building for over a decade and came to a head in the last few years.

These people want power and they want to undermine society to maintain it. They use identity politics to divide people. Open borders is not because they love poor immigrants. It’s b/c those immigrants disrupt our culture, undermine the middle class and are fodder for their marxist ideology.

They are close to succeeding in irreversible changes to our society. We must unite to fight it. It has to be an active fight – not a passive one like the Hanson’s of the world are preaching. Must push back every day. This is a war on the American people and we are losing.

    freespeechfanatic in reply to Ben Kent. | February 22, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Exactly right, Ben Kent. Hanson is a fine intellectual but has never really understand the inner totalitarian savagery and determination of the Left. We’re not in a war of ideas with a cyclic nature. This is the end game.

freespeechfanatic | February 22, 2021 at 8:42 am

“The only thing that will stop that — I hate to say it, human nature being what it is… ”

Why do you “hate to say it”? This is the problem inherent in conservatism and the Republican Party — the intrinsic loathing of fighting back, this fear of conflict, this debilitating and sham highmindedness. We’re being herded into the shutes to the slaughterhouse, folks. It’s fight or die. If it’s not already too late.

    henrybowman in reply to freespeechfanatic. | February 22, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    It is maddening to deal daily with a contingent of people (not so much here but elsewhere) who have been sacrificing themselves in the fight to preserve the Second Amendment, but recoil in horror an earnestness to assure others that they see no circumstance where their side would resort to it. What made Mutual Assured Destruction work was 80% the threat, backed up by 20% the resources. If the Second Amendment doesn’t look threatening enough, paradoxically it may have to come into play sooner.