The March Madness of the President: Victor Davis Hanson

The March Madness of the President

Joe Biden’s political utility and near senility serve as exemptions for his often sexist, racist, and creepy riffs.

By: Victor Davis Hanson

American Greatness

March 12, 2023

Another couple of weeks, another bout of madness from Joe Biden and his team. Of recent Biden delusions, consider:

ü Biden went off in one of his impromptu Corn Pop or “beat-up-Trump-behind-the-bleachers” fables. These often slurred and nearly unintelligible tales characteristically virtue signal Biden’s own victimhood and “courage.”

ü They are interspersed with his bizarre propensity for eerie female contact. So we see or hear of his long record of blowing into the ears and hair or squeezing the necks of young girls. He hugs, for far too long, mature women. He can call out among a crowd an anonymous attractive teen stranger. Or, recently he relates an incoherent but quasi-sexual vignette.

ü So Joe recalled his patient days in his usual off-topic “no lie/not kidding/no joke” manner (i.e., tip-offs that he’s lying). He told us that a noble nurse once would “come in and do things that I don’t think you learn in medical school—in nursing school.” The president got a nervous laugh from the apparent quasi-pornographic reference (but then again Joe is excused because he is a “feminist”) before he detailed her technique:

“She’d whisper in my ear. I didn’t—couldn’t understand her, but she’d whisper, and she’d lean down. She’d actually breathe on me to make sure that I was—there was a connection, a human connection.”

ü A woman leaning over to blow into a prone man’s ear certainly constitutes a “human connection.” Yet all of Joe’s fables have different Homeric-style retellings. Two years ago he claimed that the same nurse in question actually blew into his nostrils. What a strange air-pressure technique that must have entailed for a person recovering from brain surgery. But perhaps it was consistent with biblical references to God blowing the spirit of life into the nose of man.

ü About a week later, referencing that hospital stay, Biden added that doctors “had to take the top of my head off a couple of times, see if I had a brain”—a reference that did not reassure the nation he is not enfeebled.

ü No one in the media had much of a reaction because Joe Biden’s political utility and near senility serve as exemptions for his often sexist, racist, and creepy riffs.

ü Instead, the media wrote off the nurse breathing into good ol’ Joe’s orifices as belonging to the same weird genre that a while back gave us inner-city kids stroking the golden hairs on Joe’s tan legs, or the shower revelations of Ashley Biden’s diary, or his “you ain’t black,” “put y’all back in chains,” and “junkie” sorts of racial condescension (e.g., “Why the hell would I take a test? C’mon, man. That’s like saying before you got on this program, you take a test on whether you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”).

ü Joe also blustered to a crowd during Black History Month, “I may be a white boy, but I’m not stupid.”

ü The crowd laughed at the idea that the jester Biden believes white people are usually stupid, but that he, Joe, the exception to his race, is not stupid, despite being white. At least Biden finally referenced himself as “boy.” Usually, he has used that racial putdown for prominent blacks like Maryland Governor Wes Moore or a senior White House advisor Cedric Richmond.

The February-March madness of Joe was not through. Sometimes, his venom renders him disgustedly comic, as when he took the occasion of mass American deaths from fentanyl on his watch, to chuckle that the carnage was at least worse under Trump (an abject lie):

‘I should digress, probably. I’ve read, she [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene], she was very specific recently, saying that a mom, a poor mother who lost two kids to fentanyl, that, that I killed her sons. Well, the interesting thing is that fentanyl they took came during the last administration.’ Followed by the Biden laugh.

Apparently, 100,000 dead at least deserve from Joe a “Trump did it” chuckle.

Joe, for the third time in two years, tripped and nearly fell ascending the ramp of Air Force One. At some point, even his supporters will concede that when octogenarians repeatedly stumble and fall, if not put under careful watch or provided a walker, it is only a matter of time until they break a hip and become bedridden.

In another replay, once again Biden finished his remarks, turned around to exit—and had no idea where he was going to go or whose invisible hand he was supposed to shake.

Amid all this, Biden more or less stuck to his now tired rhetorical themes.

One is the serial denunciation of the MAGA Republicans. Usually, he trashes them as semi-fascists or un-American, often in the context of his “unity speeches.” After calling for reconciliation, bipartisanship, and unity, Joe then usually tightens his face, grimaces, and starts yelling about the MAGA dregs and chumps.

If Biden is really angry, he adds the intensive adjective “Ultra” for the MAGAites. He gets particularly incensed when referencing the one percent who “don’t pay their fair share” (the one percent pays over 40 percent of all income tax revenues). Biden is oblivious that the entire Biden clan is under popular suspicion of not reporting all of the millions of dollars in quid pro quos leveraging they raked in from foreign governments without registering as their agents.

Note that his entire team, when stung by charges of incompetency or illegality, usually follows Joe’s tactic of “Trump did it.” So when Pete Buttigieg was criticized for ignoring the East Palestine rail wreck and reminded of his past serial transportation failures, junkets, and incoherent systemic racism charges, he retreated to blaming Trump for the derailment.

Buttigieg falsely claimed that Trump’s past lifting of particular electric railcar brake regulations caused the wheel bearing failure in East Palestine, a lie that even members of his department could not stomach.

Too, Joe creates elaborate fables. In the past two weeks, he returned to his civil rights lie that he was a campus activist agitating for racial justice. At least he did not add his usual fillips of being arrested or standing up to apartheid police in South Africa.

In Biden’s world, he brags he has reduced inflation. Yet when he entered office in January 2021, the annualized inflation rate was 1.7 percent. Two years later in January 2023, inflation went up to 6.4 percent, after hitting a high in June 2022 of 9.1 percent—3 ¾ times higher than when he took office. In mid-March, we will learn of the February 2023 annualized rate, but it is expected to climb back to more than 8 percent.

If anyone compares the current price of eggs, rent, diesel fuel, a natural gas heating bill, or building materials to their respective costs when Biden entered office, then he would know Biden’s inflation is cumulative, and has nearly destroyed the affordability of shelter, food, and fuel—the stuff of life.

He mentioned lowering the heating and cooling costs of American homes through his climate change advocacy. In truth, on average electric rates shot up over 10 percent last year. Natural gas and fuel went even higher to over 25 percent in a single year.

Biden talks about his low unemployment rate of 3.4 percent. But it is almost identical to what the Trump Administration achieved—without Biden’s high interest rates and acute inflation—in the months before the massive COVID lockdowns.

Moreover, current low employment is largely a reflection of reduced labor participation—due to early retirements, exits during the pandemic, fear of COVID, long COVID, the zoom culture, and most importantly the Biden continuance of massive COVID-era subsidies that discourage employment. The labor participation rate has hit near historic lows under Biden, lower than the pre-COVID rate under Trump.

It was not until last month that the Biden economy finally achieved the level of total employed Americans who had been working in January 2020 on the eve of the Covid lockdowns.

As far as interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages, they were 2.9 percent when Biden took office. Now they are currently over 7 percent -2.4 times higher than when Biden took office.

In sum, Biden repeats the same patterns of deception: crash the economy as evidenced by many of its major indicators, then when a data point reveals a slight and likely temporary monthly recovery, he brags he “reduced” inflation, interest, or unemployment.

We also heard during the same week from Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland who was shredded during his testimony to the Senate. He argued that the vastly disproportionate FBI response to violence against abortion centers versus attacks on pro-life groups was only due to the differences between light and dark—literally: abortion centers are attacked during daytime; in contrast, pro-life shelters are attacked during the night.

Apparently, his Justice Department and the FBI shut down at sunset and reawaken at dawn—as if either most violent crime does not occur at night or there is nothing to be done about it when it does.

Garland further embarrassed himself when he could not explain the disproportionate use of force in arresting or detaining conservative suspects versus the virtual exemptions given prominent left-wing suspects.

Most embarrassingly, when asked why he did not charge mobs that swarmed the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices to influence their decisions—a federal felony—he lamely claimed there were federals protecting the residences.

In Garland’s world, some criminals committing felonies are completely exempt if law enforcement prevents further violent manifestations of their criminal behavior. So illegally swarm a Supreme Court justice’s residence to influence a court decision, but then stop short of escalating further by the sight of law enforcement—and, presto, you never committed a crime in the first place.

Garland finished off his recent nonsense by repeating the lie that five police officers were killed due to the January 6 protests. In fact, none were. Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes after the protests were over. The other four committed suicide weeks or even months later and no one has connected their self-induced deaths with any act of the protestors.

About the same time, a beleaguered Pete Buttigieg went off on riffs about Tucker Carlson, who, he implied, lacked the grassroots, working-man fides of Buttigieg.

He claimed that for all the criticism he has endured, he believes that he will be remembered for posterity for his fight against “climate change”—although he did not point to any concrete result in reducing carbon emissions due to his singular policies.

Buttigieg will be known but for other characteristics: He repeatedly emphasizes his identity politics gay stature both to note his supposedly pathbreaking courage and to claim victimhood when attacked. He sees transportation through the lens of race and so chases the unicorn of white privilege, whether concerning past freeway routes or the makeup of current construction crews (falsely charging that white men are overrepresented on them). Under his tenure as Transportation Secretary, the country experienced dangerous supply interruptions, ossified ports, and harbor-bound trains robbed in Wild West fashion.

Buttigieg’s diversity mandates either did nothing to ameliorate or actually led to:

ü a series of near-miss airline crashes,

ü the complete shutdown of the airline industry due to computer glitches and weather,

ü the implosion for a week of Southwest Airlines,

ü the East Palestine derailment disaster, and

ü labor interruptions.

In all these cases he either was on leave or a junket, wrote them off as Trump’s fault, or contextualized them as no big deal.

Delusional Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas has declared the border closed and the nation secure, even as 100,000 Americans per year have died from overdoses of fentanyl shipped with impunity across the open border by Mexican cartels. When upwards of 7 million aliens flow across the border illegally since Biden took office, it is written off as Trump’s fault.

Finally, last week there were several interviews with FBI Director Christopher Wray. He could not explain why his agency goes full military mode to arrest a father and husband for protesting at an abortion clinic while having no clue who has been attacking pro-life shelters.

In Wray’s mind, the performance art sweep into Mar-a-Lago, which he claims was not a “raid,” was no different from having Biden’s lawyers quietly conduct their own “investigations” of Biden’s improper removal of classified documents (improper with an asterisk, since no vice president has the president’s legal authority to declassify whatever he wishes).

Wray could not explain why the FBI sat on the Biden trove until the midterm election was over, and then only acted to further search Biden’s residences when its own asymmetrical protocols came under fire.

Add up the last few weeks, and we learned that Christopher Wray’s FBI is doing splendidly in its even enforcement of the law. Merrick Garland’s Justice Department is absolutely disinterested and treats all sides equally. Alejandro Mayorkas has closed the border and we are now “secure.” Pete Buttigieg is building a legacy for the ages as a climate change crusader.

And an eloquent and dynamic Joe Biden has compiled an impressive legislative record on his way to a great presidency—with the energy, we are told by Dr. Jill Biden, that is more impressive than any 30-year-old’s.

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: Marvin Covault, Lt Gen US Army retired


By: Marvin L. Covault,
Lt Gen US Army retired,
March 11. 2023

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” Ayn Rand.
Strikes a nerve, doesn’t it?

The Obama/Biden administration set the stage for a regulation nation, Trump made progress in reducing bureaucratic controls but Biden, the good Obama student, is back at it. During the first three years of the Obama/Biden rule, 1106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans. That was four times the number and more than five times the cost of the major regulations issued by President Bush,43, in his first three years.

But 2009-2012 was just the warm-up for the Obama/Biden regulation nation. January 2014, “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.” President Obama

In their sprint to the finish in 2016 nearly 4000 regulations made their way through the federal bureaucracy, costing billions of dollars per year and wreaking havoc on American businesses in particular.

President Reagan aptly described that concept of leading the nation; “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

In 2017, a week after his inauguration, President Trump sent a message to Congress, the government bureaucracy, and the American people with his Executive Order, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”, that required agencies to revoke two regulations for every new rule they want to issue.

On 20 January 2021 a few hours after being sworn in, President Biden canceled the Trump 2 for 1 Executive Order.

In 2020, the Trump administration’s regulatory costs were about $20 billion. In 2021, Biden’s first year, the cost exploded to approximately $200 billion.

In 24 months, Biden has demonstrated he is hell-bent on an unprecedented expansion of the regulation nation. According to the American Action Forum, Biden has imposed 517 regulatory actions costing some $318 billion. By comparison, in four years, Trump imposed rules at $64.7 billion in net regulatory costs.

The Constitution specifically gives the power to pass laws to Congress, not agencies. Yet in 2021 federal agencies issued 3,257 rules based on 143 laws. In 2022 another 3,168 rules were added to the Federal Register based on 247 laws. But as the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Agencies are hard at work writing the regulations and rules that will be necessary to cover the 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion government funding bill passed in December 2022.

Under Trump, the calendar year 2019 concluded with 21,964 final rules in the Federal Register which was the lowest count since records began being kept in the 1970s.

In Trump’s first year, 2017, the Federal Register finished at 61,308 pages the lowest count since 1993 and a drop of 36% from Obama’s 95,894 pages in 2016 which was the highest in history.

Regulations are a tax on every American. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that overall regulatory costs to the economy are at least $2 trillion; about 8% of the gross domestic product. If you think of regulation costs as a tax, they would be larger than federal income tax. Or, if it was a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s eighth-largest economy.

As President Calvin Coolidge reminded us 100 years ago, “The business of America is business.” But:
· Mounting regulations reduce business start-ups; it’s just too hard to counter the massive government red tape.
· Meeting regulatory requirements costs businesses time and money.
· Regulations can kill the American entrepreneurial spirit that made this the greatest nation on earth.
· Mounting regulations slow overall Gross Domestic Product growth and negatively impact everything consumers. During an inflationary period, the last thing we need is more regulation trauma that further raises prices.
· Forbes reported that a 10% increase in total regulation leads to about a 1% increase in prices and most often impacts low-income households.

While large corporations across America get the spotlight, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 99.9% of American businesses are “small” and there are 33.2 million of them. They employ 61.7 million workers, 46.4% of all U.S. employees.

Here’s one of the thousands of federal and state regulations creating a hostile business environment for small businesses.
To combat wage discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC requires employers with 100 or more workers to report how much they pay workers, broken down by sex and ethnicity. The form for doing so includes 12 rows for different pay levels in 10 broad job categories, ranging from executives to service workers. For each of these rows, there are 15 columns identifying employees by gender and ethnicity; white, black, Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian, Native American, Alaska Native, or “Two or More Races.” Employers also would have to tally the total number of hours worked by employees in each pay band over the past 12 months.
It’s easy to see possibly three problems associated with this report. First, it’s just a mass of raw numbers. But raw numbers could be misleading because pay disparity could be legitimately due to factors such as seniority, training, or decisions workers make on whether to work overtime.

The second problem has to do with perceptions. The EEOC bureaucrats’ most senior boss, aka President Biden, has told the Executive Branch and the American people in prepared remarks, in June 2021, that, “White supremacy is the most lethal terrorist threat to America.” Armed with that guidance from the president, the bureaucrats logically begin to execute their mission by looking at, you guessed it, business owners who are white.

The third problem is that the regulation exists because of the assumption that wage disparity is so rampant in America that the federal government has to take it on. With that assumption underpinning the whole operation, one weaponized bureaucrat’s conclusions from the raw data can bring the force of the federal government down on large numbers of business owners, strangling them with red tape and legal fees

“The most terrifying words in the English language are; I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Ronald Reagan.

Then there are the senior bureaucrats who can, on their own initiative bend the rules and regulations just enough to produce an outcome that is favorable to their personal viewpoint but not in the best interest of We-The-People or U.S. business. A case in point is an ongoing issue called the Willow Project. It is part of a decades-long oil drilling venture on Alaska’s North Slope in the National Petroleum Reserve which is owned by the federal government.

First, let’s be clear about the importance of drilling our own oil. Given the strategically challenging world we live in, achieved in 2019 for the first time in 62 years, energy independence is a critical national security issue right up there with illegal immigration.

What we should know about the Willow Project:
· ConocoPhillips acquired its first Willow leases in 1999. Willow is an $8 billion business investment.
· The National Petroleum Reserve is an area the size of Indiana that Congress specifically set aside for oil development.
· The project would occupy 0.002% of the National Petroleum Reserve.
· It would use the existing Alaska pipeline and require no new roads.
· Willow is capable of providing 180,000 barrels a day from its estimated 600-million-barrel reserve.
· It would employ 2500 workers, mostly union labor construction jobs.
· The project has passed every environmental analysis.
· It has been signed off by every concerned agency including Fish & Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers.
· Willow is a low-carbon project approved by the Bureau of Land Management.
· It would generate about $17 billion in new revenue for the feds, the state of Alaska, and the North Slope Native communities.
· The project has overwhelming bipartisan support in Alaska.
· The Bureau of Land Management issued a statement, “In the absence of production from Willow, energy production from this project’s oil would be replaced by other sources around the globe.” Which, of course, would include the likes of Venezuela.
· The final regulatory review was completed in early February

What’s not to like about this project? Notwithstanding the national security issues associated with Willow, the single-focused anti-fossil-fuel crowd is naturally against it. They have organized online activism to include more than one million letters to the White House and a petition with more than 2.9 million signatures.

Within minutes of her own BLM scientists issuing their favorable report, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued a statement citing “substantial concerns.” Haaland has refused to meet with a delegation of pro-Willow Alaskan Natives who are advocating for the project. Where are her “substantial concerns” over our national security in light of the world’s growing energy security issues and Biden’s depleted strategic oil reserves?

While campaigning for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2018, Haaland stated, “As a Native American woman whose ancestral homeland is under attack from the Fossil Fuel Industry, I 100% support a Green New deal and a Congressional Climate Commission.”

As a new member of Congress in 2019 Haaland stated, “I am wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands.”

To be most efficient and effective with their $8 billion investment, ConocoPhillips is proposing construction of five drilling pads. During its review, the Bureau of Land Management suggested that three drilling pads may be sufficient. What Secretary Haaland can, and may do, despite all the approvals by her internal professionals’ advice, is to approve the project but limit the scope to less than three drilling pads. This would effectively kill the project in that ConocoPhillips has already declared less than three drilling pads is economically infeasible.

Additionally, it was reported this week that the production from existing industry-wide drilling was down significantly during 2022; there is a need for new drilling projects. This nation is a long way from the point where we can forget about having a steady, reliable supply of gas and oil. Biden proved that on day one of his administration when he gutted the energy industry with a stroke of his pen and thereby negatively impacted the financial security of every American with $5 a gallon gas and $5.81 for diesel which drove the inflation equation.

Secretary Haaland’s “substantial concerns” serve to demonstrate the rules and regulations power in the hands of top-tier bureaucrats.

Let’s begin with some sage advice from Winston Churchill: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” Don’t you love it?

Biden, last week, “I’m going to raise your taxes,” Wow, is he ever; he is proposing $5 trillion in new tax revenue over the next 10 years. Among his business tax proposals is raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, which would affect all the big corporations and about one million small businesses organized as corporations.

Biden, for the last three years, “I will not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000” Well, I’m sorry Mr. President that is not true. You know it. Your economic advisors know it, but it is a great sound bite, and you use it because you and all of your Democrats believe We-The-People are too dumb to know any better.

Let me explain it to you one more time Mr. and Mrs. Democrat. Almost 100% of all large corporations and all 33.2 million small businesses have one thing in common; their balance sheets’ bottom line consists of two main issues, income, and expenses.

If you read on, I’m sure what I have written will insult your intelligence because it’s third-grade math. But I want to get this on record as the nonsense the White House handlers are putting on the president’s teleprompter.

If you subtract the expenses from the income, you have profit; the end game for every business. When expenses go up (tax is an expense, just like the light bill) and the income remains the same, guess what; profit goes down. When the profit margin becomes untenable something has to change; the most probable way to remedy that is to raise prices and thereby increase income.

Headline Mr. President, when prices go up everyone is negatively impacted. Tax is just another expense in the business world; businesses may write checks to the IRS but it is the consumer who actually pays the tax. By the way, Mr. President 99% of Americans make less than $400,000 per year. So please stop with the, “I will not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000.” Businesses don’t pay taxes, people do.

Over the decades we have grown a federal bureaucracy that is now at the point of independent power and control that is not in the best interest of our nation.

We should not be driven by single-issue activists who can make enough noise to turn bureaucrat leaders against the best interests of all Americans.

Energy dependence is a critical national security issue that should not be left in the hands of uninformed activists.

As of 11 March, Secretary Haaland had not issued a decision on the Willow project.

Obama/Biden figured out how to weaponize the bureaucracy and use it against businesses, national security, and the American people. Biden has taken weaponization to an art form.

American society is facing three existential crises- Victor Davis Hanson

Life Among the Ruins
The few sowed the wind, and the many reaped their whirlwind.

By Victor Davis Hanson

March 6, 2023
American society is facing three existential crises not unlike those that overcame the late Roman, and a millennium later, terminal Byzantine, empires.

Premodern Barbarism
We are suffering an epidemic of premodern barbarism. The signs unfortunately appear everywhere. Over half a million homeless people crowd our big-city downtowns.

Most know the result of such Medieval street living is unhealthy, violent, and lethal for all concerned. Yet no one knows—or even seems to worry about—how to stop it.

So public defecation, urination, fornication, and injection continue unabated. Progressive urban pedestrians pass by holding their noses, averting their gazes, and accelerating the pace of their walking. The greenest generation in history allows its sidewalks to become pre-civilizational sewers. In a very brief time, we all but have destroyed the downtowns of our major cities—which will increasingly become vacant in a manner like the 6th-century A.D. Roman forum.

All accept that defunding the police, no-cash bail, Soros-funded district attorneys, and radical changes in jurisprudence have destroyed deterrence. The only dividend is the unleashing of a criminal class to smash-and-grab, carjack, steal, burglarize, execute, and assault—with de facto immunity. Instead we are sometimes lectured that looting is not a crime, but lengthy incarceration is criminally immoral.

We have redefined felonies as misdemeanors warranting no punishment. Misdemeanors are now infractions that are not criminal. Infractions we treat as lifestyle choices. Normality, not criminality, is deemed criminal. We all know this will not work, but still wonder why it continues.

Many among the middle classes of our cities who can flee or move, do so—like 5th-century equestrians who left Rome for rural fortified farms before the onslaught of the Ostrogoths and Visigoths. For most of our lives we were lectured that the old southern states—Florida, Tennessee, Texas—were backward and uninviting. Now even liberals often flee to them, leaving behind supposedly cosmopolitan Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, and New York. The more people leave the blue states, the more those states praise themselves as utopian.

The less well-off, without the means to leave, hope that their environs have hit bottom so things can only improve. The elite who caused this premodern catastrophe assumes they will always have the money and wherewithal to ensure that themselves and their own can navigate around or even profit from the barbarism they unleashed. For them the critic, not the target of criticism, is the greater threat.

The hard urban work of the 1990s and early 2000s—cleaner, safer subways, secure nightlife downtown, clean sidewalks, low vacancy rates, little vagrancy, and litter-free streets—so often has been undone, deliberately so. We are descending to the late 1960s and 1970s wild streets—if we are lucky the mayhem does not devolve even further.

A mere 10 years ago, if an American learned that a man was arrested for clubbing, robbing, or shooting innocents, and yet would be released from custody that day of his crime, he would have thought it an obscenity. Now he fears that often the criminal will not even be arrested.

A once secure border no longer exists. Joe Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas simply demolished it and allowed 6-7 million foreign nationals to cross illegally into the United States without audits—to the delight of their apparent constituent, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

What would shame a Biden or Mayorkas? What would change their minds? Billions of dollars spent on social services for the lawbreaking at the expense of the American poor?

Would 100,000 annual lethal overdoses—12 times more than those who died over 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan combined—from drugs that flow across the open border sway them? Or would it take 200,000, or 300,000 deaths before Joe Biden relented and ceased his chuckling?

What does a people do when its highest officials simply renounce their oaths of office and refuse to enforce laws they don’t like? Everyone knows the border will eventually have to become secure, but none have any idea whether it will take another 20, 30, or 50 million illegal entrants and 1 million more fentanyl deaths to close it.

Polls show race relations have hit historic lows. Much of the ecumenicalism of the post-Civil Rights movement seems squandered—almost deliberately so.

The Left now rarely mentions Martin Luther King, Jr. or even the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. Perhaps it knows it has violated the spirit and legacy of both.

Today, our identity politics leaders believe that the color of our skin, not the content of our character, certainly matters more. The practitioners of the new tribalism in some sense fear outlawing segregation and discrimination by race. They know to do so would end racially restricted houses and safe spaces, racially exclusive graduations, and race-based admissions, hiring, and promotion on campus.

Read Professor Ibram X. Kendi and his message is implicit. For him, the problem with a Jim Crow-like system was not segregation or racial chauvinism per se, but merely who was doing the victimizing and who were the victims: so the original racism was bad; but racism in reverse is good.

We abhor violence, racism, and misogyny—in the abstract. Yet the entire hip-hop industry would find no audience—or so we are told by its appeasers—if rappers refrained from “ho” misogyny, brags of violence against law enforcement, and self-described proprietary use of the N-word.

Most know that young black males under 30 commit violent crimes at well over 10 times their 3-4 percent demographic of the population—so often victimizing the nonwhite. All know that reality must remain unmentionable even as its causes need to be debated and discussed if lives are to be saved. Yet the greater crime seems not the crime itself, but even mentioning crime.

Postmodern Abyss
Postmodernism in our age is deadlier even than premodernism. Sexually explicit drag shows that allow the attendance of children 20 years ago would have been outlawed—by liberals worried over the trauma of the young watching performance-art simulated sex.

Now the children come last and the performers first—as ratified by the same liberals. But to fathom the new transitioning, simply learn from ancient transitioning and gender dysphoria, an unhappy classical theme from Catullus’ Attis poem (stimulatus ibi furenti rabie, vagus/ devolsit ili acuto sibi pondera silice/ itaque ut relicta sensit sibi membra sine viro) to Giton in Petronius’ Satyricon.

Current “science” is now synonymous with ideology, religion, or superstition. Lockdowns, mRNA vaccinations, masking, transgenderism, “climate change,” and green power brook no dissent. They are declared scientifically correct in the manner that the sun used to revolve around the earth, and any dissenting Galileo or Copernicus is cancel-cultured, doxxed, and deplatformed.

It is now verboten to cite the causes of the current upswing. We must remain silent about the classical exegeses that cults, pornography, and constructed sexual identities, when not biological, were the manifestations of a bored culture’s affluence (luxus), leisure (otium), and decadence (licentia/dissolutio).

The classical analyses of an elite collapse focus on a falling birth rate, a scarce labor force, ubiquitous abortion, an undermanned military, and a shrinking population. We suffer all that and perhaps more still.

Millions of young men are detached and ensconced in solitude, their indebted 20s too often consumed with video-gaming, internet surfing, or consumption of porn. Many suffer from prolonged adolescence. Many assume that they are immune from criticism, given that the alternative of getting married, having children, finding a full-time job, and buying a house is society’s new abnormal.

Rarely has an elite society become so Victorian and yet so raunchy. A slip with an anachronistic “Gal” or “Honey” can get one fired. Meanwhile, grabbing one’s genitals while pregnant on stage before 120 million viewers is considered a successful Super Bowl extravaganza.

Our army is short of its annual recruitment by 25 percent. We all suspect but do not say out loud the cause. The stereotyping of poor and middle-class white males as both raging and biased, and yet expected yet to fight and die in misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, has finally convinced the parents of these 18-year-olds to say, “no more.”

Need we say anything about the lack of efficacy or morality of the Department of Justice, FBI, or CIA?

Or rather is there anything the FBI will not do?

Doctor court evidence? Hire Twitter to suppress the news? Monitor parents at school board meetings? Allow directors to lie under oath or “misremember” before Congress?

Swiping clean subpoenaed phones? Hiring fakers to compile dirt on a presidential candidate—and then using that known smear to hoodwink a judge to allow spying on Americans?

Suppressing evidence on a laptop to warp an election? Raiding an ex-president’s home with a SWAT-like team? Spying on Catholics in mass? Storming a home full of children of a man accused of a politically incorrect misdemeanor?

The more the military has been stalemated in Iraq, humiliated in Afghanistan, and dreading what China will soon do or what Iran will even sooner let off, the more it insists our priorities should be diversity, equity, and inclusion. Will that escapism ensure more lethal pilots, tank commanders, and Marine company commanders?

The mindsets of too many of our new generations of command are twofold: first to be promoted by virtue signaling woke policies that they must know eventually will hamper combat readiness, and then in the future to rotate at retirement into multimillionaire status by leveraging past expertise for defense contractors. Keep that in mind and almost every publicly uttered nonsense from our highest in the Pentagon makes perfect sense.

There is a third challenge. Our enemies—illiberal, deadly, and vengeful—have concluded we are more effective critics of ourselves than are they. They enjoy our divided nation, torn apart by racial incivility, dysfunctional cities, and woke madness. (Notice how even the communists long ago dropped deadly Maoist wokeism, or how the Russians viewed the Soviet commissariat as antithetical to their military and economic agendas.)

Iran believes that this present generation of Americans would likely allow it to nuke Israel rather than stop its proliferation. China assumes that Taiwan is theirs and the only rub is how to destroy or absorb it without losing too many global markets and income. Russia conjectures that the more we trumpet its impending defeat, the more it will destroy Eastern Ukraine and call such a desert peace.

Our “friends” can be as dangerous as our enemies.

A visitor from another world might conclude Mexico has done more damage to America than North Korea, Iran, and Russia combined. It has, by intent, flooded our border with 20 million illegal aliens. It has allowed cartels with Chinese help to conduct multibillion-dollar profiteering by killing 100,000 Americans per year (did the Kremlin ever match that tally in a half century of the Cold War?).

Mexico drains $60 billion from its expatriates on the expectation that American subsidies will free up their cash to be sent home. The more the cartels run wild, the more money trickles down—while their top drug enforcement official Genaro García Luna was found guilty in a New York courtroom for collusion with the cartels.

How did all of this so quickly erode our great country? Our crisis was not the next generation of foreign Hitlers and Stalins. It was not earthquakes, floods, or even pandemics. It was not endemic poverty and want. It was not a meager inheritance from past generations of incompetents. Nor was it a dearth of natural resources or bounty.

Instead our catastrophe arose from our most highly educated, the wealthiest and most privileged in American history with the greatest sense of self-esteem and sanctimoniousness. Sometime around the millennium, they felt their genius could change human nature and bring an end to history—if only they had enough power to force hoi polloi to follow their abstract and bankrupt theories that they had no intention of abiding by themselves.

And then the few sowed the wind, and so the many now reap their whirlwind.

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.