Sorry, Tucker Carlson: We like Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) as a person–but his record, put charitably, is that of playing catch-up. Only recently and slowly has he loosened the grip the neoconservative worldview has had on his thinking. And unconvincingly so.
VDH has been avidly cheering for the Ukrainian project—and seems unable to quiet his rhetoric about American foreign-policy Manifest Destiny. His first instinct was to support the Ukrainian endeavor and he holds the most mundane neoconservative views on Russia.
How predictive is VDH’s analysis in this, our latest, foreign-policy debacle? Not at all. In March of 2022, VDH celebrated “the muscular response of a West supposedly in decline,” when the West is manifestly in decline and Russia is winning by attrition. See “Russia Admits Weaponization Of Gas, Halts NS1 Shipments ‘Until Sanctions Lifted,’ As EU Prepares Response To Energy Crisis.” “[I]n response to the west’s weaponization of currencies and capital flows—Russia has halted gas supplies through Nord Stream 1.”
…the blowback from EU and US-led sanctions and attempts at decoupling from Russian fossil fuels is wrecking lives in the West. “Now we are seeing how production and jobs in Europe are closing one after another,” Putin said, stressing that this is happening as “Western elites, who would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts.”
While against its war of aggression—those of us who see Russia as a natural ally of traditionalism (expressed in “America’s Radical, Foreign-Policy Alinskyites Destroyed South Africa!“) offered a solid distillation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Not VDH. He celebrated the puppet Zelensky, who, early in my analysis (March 24, 2022), betrayed his people for war and western aggrandizement.
When VDH, in March 2022, was getting hot for war (the mildest neocon finds war a turn-on), proclaiming a western revival—which is EXACTLY how neocons see war; a rejuvenator of sorts—aggrandizing its horrors ; I wrote this, March 3, 2022:
Good old realpolitik is what Zelensky should have been practicing with his powerful neighbors and historic brethren, the Russians.
Realpolitik is practical politics, the art of getting along, differences and all, in a real world in which reality, including the differences between people and their political systems, is accepted and dealt with.
VDH absolutely loved the war on Iraq (we railed against it from 2002 onward) and admits to NOT supporting Trump in the primaries. We were Orange from day one. (Trump book was published in June, 2016.)
Here we were for Trump from the get-go; against the Iraq war; hold a realistic position on Russia as friend of conservatives (the rest is the business of Russians, not Americans).
Still, readers have become angry with me, and not with the famous, rich, sinecured fools who led them astray and have proven wrong all the time (including in their current pursuits of the Ukraine production).
That kind of schedule of reinforcement and preference in public intellectuals and politicians explains the quality of cognoscenti Americans get. I’ve always said the government and culture don’t stand apart from us; they are us.
The more you reward those who are frequently and reliably wrong in public life—the more flourishing wrongdoers you’ll get and the more likely you are to keep going wrong.
Those who are right and principled get maligned for having foresight and principles. Those who were wrong are redeemed and forgiven, for they reflect the masses.