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tv   In Depth Victor Davis Hanson  CSPAN  December 12, 2021 2:00am-4:01am EST

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disappearing. >> host: well, it was in 2004 that victor davis hanson was first on this program. since that time he's written an additional seven books, so we invited him back to speak about those. his most recent book is called "the dying citizen," and, dr. hanson, in this book you write that, quote, history is not static. civilizations experience descents, detours and regressions and abrupt implosion. can you give us a sense of how you view our current situation? historically? >> guest: well, yeah. a lot of barometers or maybe indices of what makes a civilization successful i'm very worried about because they're all predicated -- i guess i would clarify that by saying constitutional governments, sizable middle class. it has to be larger in aggregate
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than the wealthy and the poor combined. and we're starting to see, we've seen for 12 years until 2017 a steady erosion in the income, 1.7 trillion in student department largely accrued by the middle class, the age of home ownership falling, the age of marriage, age when people get married lengthening, first child born, the demography itself we're down to 1.7. so the middle class is being tested as never before. and also i think you have to have a sense of borders. i would always study what would cause wars, and they were always over borders, and they were not important in strategic defense, but he were symbols that their culture could inculcate common
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customs, traditions that we unite various tribes. we in the united states are the first really successful large multiracial constitutional system in history. i know that brazil and india tried to do so as well, but they were far less successful. so it's very important that people inculcate this idea that your tribal affiliation, your ethnic background, your race, your gender, all of that is the important to your identity, but it has to be the incidental rather than essential. you have to judge a multiracial, multiethnic, complex society is, you have to have a commonality the. and so tribalism is the ancient bane of all constitutional systems. a couple ore things -- >> host: no, no, please go ahead. >> guest: these were kind of organic pre-modern threats throughout history, tribalism, the absence of borders and a feudal system of just two
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classes. but i think also our elite in a postmodern, post-civilizational sense are also -- we have 2 million federal employees, 40% of all americans work for state or local government or the federal government. and especially in that new york/washington nexus, we have a lot of people -- and this is kind of difficult for traditionalists and conservatives to hear, but i think i would expand dwight eisenhower's military industrial complex warning to the military industrial intelligence invest story complex. fbi, cia, nsa, pentagon. and we've had a lot of controversy about our professional health cares. but the common dethe nominator is we have a lot of people who exercise in one office or one person legislative, executive and judicial power without necessary audit. we also have have a lot of
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evolutionary, there's nothing wrong with changing the constitution because we have an amendment that foresaw that, and many of them have been key when about slavery, women's right to vote or perhaps even the 18-year-old vote. but this idea that suddenly in the 243rd year of our republic we're going to get rid of customs and traditions that have worked pretty well, the 180-year filibuster that's been discussed, the 9-person supreme court that's been with us for a hundred years, 233 years of the electoral college. so that's also -- i'm very worried about that as far as the dangers of a constitutional government imploding or regressing. and then finally, is -- globalism is kind of a new variation on an ancient idea called cross poll tan, citizens of the world, but it's primarily confined to the elite who feel
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maybe there's certain aspects of the united states or its traditions, customs or constitution are not in sync with the world, and the world provides maybe a more superior way of governance. you can see some of it at davos where a lot of american captains of industry, intellectuals, celebrities have joined the idea that major nations of the world could get together and set uniform tax policies or corporate tax rates or climate change provisions. we saw that in the paris climate accord. but i think it's kind of a wrong idea that the globalization that started at the millenium was economic. it was a harmonization of the american capitalist system all over world. but i think people took it to the next level fooled by technology, the internet, global tv. because you could communicate instantly with people that in
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other governments and cultures would be equally responsible for world governance. and you can see a little bit of that when secretary blinken invited the u.n. maybe to look and see the aftermath of the riots in 2020 the whether we were a racist country or the international criminal court looking at whether american soldiers should or should not have done something in afghanistan or iraq or, as i said, the climate accord. the problem with all of these is that the of the 190 nations in the world, the majority are not democratic, and they're not constitutional. and in such a system that would be democratic in itself and many of these countries would be operating cosmically democratically while at home they were autocratic, and that's not sustainable. these are some of the the concerns i've had,sort of postmodern, top-down changes to the system that i don't think are wise.
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>> host: do you feel that this is a more dangerous or turbulent times than the '60s perhaps, or perhaps even the 1850s? >> guest: everybody seems to, we all have this idea that everything is either better or worse in your own time. but what i'm a little bit worried about is that anytime you have a geographical force multipier -- multiplier to social, political, cultural things in the united states, you've got a problem. the civil war was predicated on slavery but also on the mason dixon line where one side was clearly a geographical entity, and so was the other. but we're starting to -- i think barack obama saw that when he gave that democratic speech, we're not red america, we're not blue america. i don't know if he felt that necessarily in his own governance, but this idea that you can go to certain red states
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and it's a completely different paradigm than certain blue states, and that runs the gamut from vaccination policy to mandates, to crime, taxation, etc., etc. and that's worrisome because in the past we know where that led. the other thing that's really worrisome is we're getting a nullification idea that the you can nullify federal law. that's what south carolina did in the 1830s. it led to the civil war when the south said, you know, we're just simply not going to obey federal statutes. and we started to see it on the left with sanctuary cities. we have about 550 of them, state and local communities and statements have said federal -- states have said federal immigration law in its entirety simply doesn't apply within our jurisdiction. and we've seen, i think we'll probably see certain reactions to that among conservatives about the second amendment. we're starting to see where they're saying, well, unlike you
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guys, we want to honor the constitution, and we're going to nullify state law so you can have different -- we're going to sell guns maybe that obey, that follow the second amendment, but they don't follow california's gun laws or endangered species. so once you with start nullifying laws because of your supposed superior morality the, everybody will do it, and it leads to chaos. these are things that -- the difference in the '60s though is that when i was a student at the newly-inaugurated uc-santa cruz, the the protesters were on the outside that wanted to change the system. so they marched on the pentagon, they marched on the corporate headquarters, they complained about being shut out of media, and they marched on the universities. i can tell you i watched a lot of if protests where people stormed the president's office. the difference this time around, the people that want to change the system are within it.
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they are the ceos, they are the corporate grantees, they are wall street, the mark zuckerbergs, the apple people, the google people in silicon valley, hollywood, celeb is -- celebrities, national basketball league, nfl, entertainment in general. so this is different. it's the -- the '60s said we don't have the institutional power, this is unfair, we want to change the system, this democratic, capitalist system that we feel is imperialistic and colonial. but this time around most of the revolutionary fervor is coming top down on the institutions that are now in control i think are the people with the '60s mindset. >> host: in "the dying citizen," you talk about the concept of citizenship and whether or not that's in danger and what a unique concept it is. >> guest: yeah, it is. when you go back through time and space, i can't think of any concern civilization is 7,000
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years old, starts sooner in the middle east. and by the time, you know, 4500 years later there's still not a citizen, there's a subject, there's a slave, there's a mere resident, there's a serf. but the idea that people can control their own government, they can elect officials, they can hold them to an audit they can remove them, they can set their budgets and expenditures, they can declare themselves when to go to work and when not, that's a unique idea that didn't start until about the 8th century many greece and probably a little later in the republican system in rome. and then it disappears, more or less, in the 5th century. it pops up again in the middle ages in some forms in europe and britain especially, and then the it comes to the renaissance. so other than that and in the 18th century enlightenment, but it's usually thed oddity, the rarity. as i said today, it is more rare
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than common, and you don't see a lot -- a lot of cultures simply haven't ever embraced constitutional governments whether that's china or russia or a lot of countries in africa, south america or asia. and they have arguments against it. but this idea in america is that it's the national state of things, once you establish it takes on the life, the organic growth of its own. it's the durable, it's tough, nothing can ever beat that. it's very fragile. it requires so much responsibility on the part of the resident, and there has to be clear distinctions between people who visit your country and are residents and people who are full-fledged citizens. and i think those distinctions whether it's the ability to vote or the ability to receive federal help or state the help or the ability to go back and forth across the border freely, they're almost indistinguishable now between a resident whether
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whether here legally or illegally and its citizens. >> host: are we forgetting, are you worried that we're forgetting or demolishing our commonalities here mt. state -- in the states? >> guest: i am. i thought we had in the 60 years or so since the civil rights movement that demolished the legacy of jim crow in the south, i thought that the king vision of our content of our character was what mattered, not the color of our skin, had pretty much taken root. and when you looked at economic development of so-called non-white people in america, non-white citizens, it was starting to achieve parity. and that's one of the most important rubrics. i looked the other day at groups that that identified by ethnic background, and i think so-called white people were number 16 from koreans, arab-americans, they all had a higher per cap a that -- per
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capita income than did the supposed majority. so we were making progress, and now i think we're regressing, and people are beginning to look at their tribe and suggest that if the country wasn't conceived in a perfect nature or it didn't evolve perfectly or it's not perfect now, then it's not better than alternative or it's not even good. and everybody suggests -- the problem with tribalism from a historical point of view is that it never occurs in isolation. it's sort of like nuclear proliferation. once a country goes nuclear, its neighbors want to go nuclear too for their own self-protection because it brings out the elemental instincts in human. tribalism, it's a deaf ca story word. in the past there were three gangs or -- that's where we get this -- [inaudible] and they ran things and there was no merit, and people were
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selected without consultation with constituencies. and the tribal chief was simply, he said everybody looks like me and talks like me is in our tribe. same thing was true, we destroyed the tribal system, and the result was the parthenon many classic democracy. and i believe we had that aspiration, the melting pot. but the idea that we're going to go back now is not going to end well, because every single tribe will start reasserting themself because they'll say, well or finishing this person's doing it -- it's a little bit different than the idea of rep rah story civil rights legislation like affirmative action. primary hi the idea that this unique stain in our history of slavery and jim crow -- once we created this word diversity and
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said, you know, we're going to enlarge the pool of people who feel that they've been oppressed by the american system to 30% of population, 35, and it's going to be based on idea that your not quite, suddenly people who were quite affluent from south america, you could be a punjabi immigrant here in the central the valley that owns 5,000 the acres, you could be a taiwanese op that the molings, the class no longer mattered. it was kind of the reiteration of jesse jackson's rain woe coalition, but many of them had no history of discrimination within the united states. some did, some didn't. but the point i'm making is once it started to be based on race rather than the his odor call circumstances of slavery -- historical circumstances of slavery, now we've reached an orwellian situation where we have very, very affluent people
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in the united states who are suggesting that their race is their focus of oppression. and whether that's meghan markle or oprah or lebron. what we're getting to, lebron james would have to tell a forklift driver in bakersfield if, say he's 21, he came of age 30 years after civil rights movement making minimum wage, and then there's a lot of people in san joaquin valley, he's probably dating or married to someone given democracy of california that's not white and the record number of intermarriage between different groups. so he's probably not married to someone white, never been eligible for affirmative action. he count have the connections of the elite class, but you're going to have to say on the basis of his race he falls on the oppressor side of the equation and somebody like lebron james is depressed --
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oppressed. my point is not to take anecdotal evidence like that and make generalizations, but just to say the system of basing a lot of grievance only on race rather than chat is not going to end well either. too many contradictions, paradoxes and hypocrisies. >> host: and victor the davis hanson, class warfare arguments that you make, you use a phrase in this book that i wanted you to explain a little bit. you talk about the cultural hegemony of the elite. what does that mean? >> guest: well, i think it means that there was always a hereditary and a natural elite. the hereditary elite were people when had money, and they had going back to the 1880s fabulous wealth. the vanderbilts, the rockefellers, etc. in the new meritocracy of the
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20th century, especially postwar, we put, i think the, undue social, economic and political cure city on where you went to school. where you were born or how much money you had. if it was if you got a b.a. or j.d. or ph.d. from harvard, yale, stanford, berkeley, cal ec, mit, then you were rewarded accordingly. and that was fine because we were trying to professionalize these fields. but the problem was that once you were staffed with that brand, we didn't have a continuing audit what you were being ought and how sensible you were. and so the best and the brightest of kennedy generation got us into vietnam. and the people who suggested maybe we not go into vietnam were not part of that the bipartisan establishment. and we could ditto that the with a lot of casts in american
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history -- disasters in american history. and when you look at the actual universities today and you ask yours is the level of -- ask yourself is the level of undergraduate education comparable with the reputation the, i just don't think it is. and you can see that the whether you look at people in the media or whether you look at people in business or whether you look at people in the military. i'm including in there the military academies. what they say and what they do and how they conduct themselves, i don't think, necessarily suggests that they have a moral or educational, intellectual edge on others that haven't beenly branded with these letters after their -- similarly branded with these letters after their name. there is the a geographical component because globalization enriched people on the west coast that had windows out to, you know, korea, south korea, japan, taiwan, china on. on the east coast, the e.u.
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it wasn't just their proximity to them, but if you had a skill that was transferable but not replicated abroad -- by that, i mean, if you were in the media or what we're doing right now, intellectual discourse or writing or cushion, are you a lawyer, a corporation person investor or a tech, silicon valley, then your audience or maybe you could be more blunt, your consumer market vastly expanded from 330 million to 7 billion. and if you did not have that, if you were small farming or you were a lathe operator or assemblier or you had a physicality or your job required physicality, muscular labor, or you had timber as your profession, you produced logs or mines or any natural resource that could be duplicated, then you either lost a job or your pay was cut or your community
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was sort of nuked. i'm speaking of my own. i'm looking at the interior of california, a community 2 miles away that has lost its used assembly plant, cannery, forklift plant, etc., etc., during shakeout that i'm talking about. and then i think we confused cause and effect. well, these people took opiates or they didn't learn how to cold or they didn't follow the fracking -- to code or the fracking fields. whatever service the, we never really said maybe youngstown, ohio, chid because of trade policy or international radical changes that we might in the united states have avoided. and we had even a vocabulary are of disparagement for people that took on a political immaterial the, but there was more -- the deplorables, there was more to it than just politics. the idea that these were losers
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in flyover country. so that's what i mean by culturally, i suppose. >> host: and victor davis hanson is joining us from his farm in selma, california, which is where and tell us about the area. >> guest: well, it's almost. geographical center of california. i'm about 180 miles from san francisco and 180 miles from los angeles. the closest town is fresno, which is about a million people now, greater fresno. it's about 18 miles away, and then i'm -- my town that i identify used to be about 6,000, it's the about 25,000. it was, fresno county is the richest agricultural county in the united states. it was, i wrote about that in my last talk with you guys in the '90s. but during the globalization project, farms had to be vertically integrated to
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survive. and because so much of service the now export and imported food coming in, and so for, to be efficient in the global sense, you needed a scale, large scale economy. and that meant you had to be integrated with at least a thousand but preferably 2-3,000 acres and vertically integrated with trucking, packing, cold storage, distribution, shipping. so when i'm looking at 360 degrees around my window today, it doesn't even look anywhere near what it was like in the 1980s. by that the i mean we -- the families, all of these ethnic groups that were our neighbors, they're all gone. and by that i mean a corporation for economy of scale has bought their farm, the farmhouses are rent ared out to poor people, and we simply don't have an
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agrarian middle class anymore. and yet as i tried to write, i'm not blaming anybody because the efficiency was stag therring. and i'm looking out at my almond orchard that i rent out, and it's much better than when i did it myself. it looks like a park. everything is on a computer. ther base, perfectlyization schedule is almost automatically administered. there's a scientific the regimen to the trees. the old idea that almonds were produced 1800 pounds an acre is kind of a joke now. they produce with less water and less fertilization 3,,000 the, 3,200 pounds. the idea that the family, the kids are going to work and then they're going to come in and be a family, the mom's going to be in pta, cad's going to be a little -- dad's going to be a little league coach and you kind of free range your kids, they're
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all going to talk with the other kids, kind of a natural diversity rather than imposed one, that's all gone, i think. >> host: are you elementing that that is gone, or is that just a fact of life? >> guest: well, i understand that a couple of things happen to people. when you get older, you look back nostalgically, and you say it was so much better there. there was no crime, nobody had keys for their doors, and you kind of, if you walked across your 100 acres and got on somebody else's property, he'd probably ask you to come over and have a coke. his parents dud when you were concern did when you were young. race or ethnic background, i mean, there were stereotypes and cruelties, i'm sure, and i heard them, but it was a sort of, well, if the japanese guy farms better than you, then he's better than you. it was a meritocracy. yeah, i lament that. i lament the idea that farming
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is no longer necessarily social or cultural. in other words, the idea from the greeks on was that the combination of muscular labor and intellectual activity that farming requires, at least homesteader agrarianism requires, is gone. and many of the people who were the best farmers now i don't think have have ever driven a tractor. many of them, not all. so i lament that fact, but i also understand that food as a percentage of the budget until recently had been increasingly more plentiful, more diverse and cheaper. and that's because of the scientific, technological breakthroughs in agriculture and research, partnerships with corporations and universities. and as i talked about earlier, economies of scale is. i guess if i put all that abstraction and verbiage into a paraclimb, if i looked out here when i was young, we had trees
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lining all of alleyways not because they have the added anything, but they were shade key, and they were picturesque, and people could walk through them after dark, or you could ride a horse through them or bike, whatever. and we had hills all over. it was one of the earliest farms parceled in 1870 by my great, great grandma. but when it was sold off, and i wrote about that, i have four siblings, three brothers and two cousins that were virtually my brother and sister, all of, all of that was sold off except what i have now, 40 acres. and, obviously, nobody wanted to farm that way, so the hills were leveled, the trees were ripped out, the alleyways were demolished, and they were put on a computerized grid and synchronized with other -- that had been independent farms. so now the original 135 acres, if you looked at a picture,st
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the participant of a large -- it's part of a large, large, multi-hundred-acre almond complex. but the idea that anybody -- it's very hard, it's not the same walking through the it orst it's not visually a very nice thing. it's neat and clean, it's perfectly square. it's like a factory. i'm not trying to privilege my own experience. i think a lot of people realize the same thing happens with small businesses when they target -- when they become target or walmart. it's more efficient, highly regulated, but you lose something there. you don't know the people you're talking to. tost just an exchange merchandise and currency. there's no cultural as pent of going to the store and talking the to the walmart clerk in the way you used too to at a family-owned food market. >> host: vic to to have davis hanson -- victor davis hanson,
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you write, we are at the last frontier of cultural democratization and limitless mass production where for the first time in the history entertainment, fashion and media are economical, understandable, reachable and apparently enjoyed by everyone regardless of race, age or gender. why was that important to point out? >> i think what it meant was that all of the, all of the considerations that that made unique cultures -- small town america, statements that were different from one another, turning on the television and hearing a boston accent, a southern accent, a michigan accent, current types of dress and customs -- that was all being harmonized. and we were losing a sense of regional community.
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everybody needs some -- you conot want to be identified by tribe, and, therefore, it's very important for people to have football teams. they still do, but they have to have something that is the unique. and if you're going to harmonize the entire country so that if i leave fresno and i go to charlottesville or i go to charleston the or i go the burlington the, i still see the exact same applebee's or mcdonald's, and the culture's pretty much the same, then you have to have some transcendence. and that would mean the united states. you're going to have to say, okay, this is the 21st century, it's the 20th century, we're in the modern era, and the united states is a unique and exceptional place because we're interconnected with the world. but what we're doing is we're harmonizing, first, at the regional level, then the state the level, then the united
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states, and now we're doing it at global level. and people are just part of a, an, a conglomeration. they don'ting have any sense that there'sny anything unique about them. inside, the word exceptional is wrong if you don't have a border or a unique idea of who you are. i don't mean in a cheaf chauvinc or aggressive sense, but just a confidence that you've achieved something and created a system that works, and you have pride in that system and that people participate in that system and get along under it. i think that's in real danger. i mean, we don't have civic education anymore in our schools. and i can give you an anecdote. again, i know people don't like anecdotes, but i went to a school, i can see it out my window, that was about 99 -- 95% mexican-american. my parents were strong truman
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democrats and thought it would be very good to go to the school that represented the people who live around you. we lived a little closer tow town than most farms -- to town than most farms. and i can tell you it was a brutallal bargain, but we learned yammer, english, american history -- grammar, english, american history, and the vast majority of mexican-american students are there went on to coquite well. i mean, they run -- they're in city council, they're at government, they're in private enterprise. they're very successful, and when you talk to them, they feel a lot of their success was that they were given the tool that is the everything from diction to grammar to vocabulary to mathematics to compete with people who have far more economic and cultural advantages than they did today. my parents, we were kind of -- in to that the, we were self-schooled by my mother. my grandfather had no sons, and
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one crippled daughter who had polio, but he was worried about what would happen to the farm, so he mortgaged his farm in the late '30s and sent his two girls to stanford for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. so when she came back here and so kid my father who had a degree, and they were the first people in their families that have college degrees, but they kind of tutored us in addition to the public schools. and so i got a very good education. but she thought that it might be lacking if i didn't go to school with people that the i lived around, if i just hung out with farmers. so we were very poor people. still people from the oklahoma chi whereas pa -- diaspora. not a lot left, but it was very poor. and then the junior high and high school, it's a pretty rough high school, but i think they felt that if you're going to be an intellectual, you going to read, and you're going to have
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to best thed in the real world. it was a rough high school, but i did get ad good education given circumstance. >> host: now, you mentioned stanford university. what's your connection with sanford today? stanford today? >> guest: i, i'm a senior fellow, that's somebody who is attached to the hoover institution there. it's an incompetent research -- i shouldn't -- independent research are. i shouldn't say independent. quasi-independent. it has its own governing board and endowment. i think it's evolved into a sense that it's like the medical school or the law school, that it's a professional entity that's attached to stanford. and then you're out-audited or you're expected to do research and popular dissemination of that research. so -- and, and then you're tenured through the staff tenure process. and i've been there the, i retired from cal state-fresno
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where i was a classics professor since, in 2004. and then i teach the, i taught for 17 years at hillsdale college. i take a month off in the summer. that's been reduced a little bit to two and a half weeks. and then i teach at hillsdale right when they start, right before the hoover starts up again after summer. and i guess i was, i graduated from stanford university in 1980 with a cree in classics concern degree many classics. so i have a long history with the university. my cousin, who sort of grew up as my sister is the, she went there, her son went there. as i said, my mother went there. my ain't went there. and -- my aunt went there. and i have kind of an ambiguous relationship with stanford. i got a superb graduate education, no tout about it. it was almost brutal, but it was the pretty good. and my mother got a great legal
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education there. so we had a lot of respect for it, especially the quality of education. but there was always a sense that stanford sort of lacked connection with the real world or people at stanford, they were of a certain, i don't know, they had a sense of what you and i were talking about earlier. they were credentialed grantees of california or maybe the country. and i don't know if that was always borne out. so i had an ambiguous relationship, and i still do, with it. i don't get along too well necessarily with stanford, although i have a lot of close friends -- tom sowell, schell steele, people like that -- at the hoover institution. >> host: in the national review last april, you wrote this:. today's universities and colleges bear little, if any, resemblance to postwar higher education. instead imagine a place where
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the certification of educational excellence, the bachelor of arts degree, is no guarantee that a graduate can speak, write or communicate coherently or think redundantly. >> guest: yeah. i wrote that after talking -- i didn't just write that, i talked to a lot of very successful ceos and business people who hire from our elite colleges. and they all said same thing to me, and i think it's borne out if you talk to faculty grade inflation, etc. they all said the same thing, our top universities are graduating people who cannot express themselves cogently or coherently. their vocabularies are diminished, they do not write as well, they don't have same computational skills. and yet rather than being aware of that deficiency, they're more confident in advocacy than ever
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before. as one person put it, arrogance and ignorance are a bad combination. and i think you can really see it when you suggest to the university they might make some changes. if you said to the university, well, you know what? you had tenure all the time since your early 20th century incarnation if as a modern university, but do you really have intellectual diversity? has it made people speak out? it's one of the most oppressive atmospheres for free speech, the first amendment honored at all at universities. in this 21st century, why are we regressing to having selection of roommates on the basis of race? why are we becoming so illiberal? maybe we should make faculty have a five-year contract and say this is the what i'm going to do over the next five years. or maybe we should say until
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recently you thought s.a.t. and a.c.t. were her accuratic data, so somebody had they had a 4.0, you said, well, we don't know how to trust that high school, so we're going to have you also take s.a.t., for example. why not have an exit exam, because maybe we don't trust the quality of your education. so everybody who got a bachelor's degree would then sort of be like a bar exam. it wouldn't be very hard, take an s.a.t. standard the eyesed test and see if you really learned anything. and, of course, the universities are very critical of that. why don't we say to young people that want to teach, you've got your bachelor's degree, but we're very worried about the academic content in classrooms. and participant of that is the prep -- part of that is the preparation of teachers. you have a choice. we don't the want to kiss mantle the educational system, but if you do not want to get a
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credential which has a lot of emphasis is on technique or administration or social issues, but you want to hone your academic skills, you could either have a one-year master's in english, history or math or a credential. but when you propose that to both universities and state education boards, there's furor. why don't we say, whether fair or not or whether wise or stupidly, universities have become political entities. if you look at the political affiliation of faculty or administrator, why don't we say, you know what? because of the nonpartisanship doesn't exist anymore, why don't we just say that after $1-2 billion your endowment's tax cycle -- and you're spending so much money and the treasury is not getting a lot of it in
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taxes. and we don't really think you're a nonprofit anymore in the sense of being politically unbiased. so if you were -- or, i don't want to take up too much time, but what if we said to the university once the federal government transferred the idea of moral hazard and your students were borrowing their money with federal-guaranteed loans and this is now $1.7 trillion in debt. and during this period on average you raised tuition higher hand rate of inflation. and given that there is also some question, a, about the quality of graduate, the quality of education that the graduates express and some worry on their part that the university has lost interest in them when they graduate and their degrees are not necessarily transferable to a profession, why don't you
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back -- in other words, you have in some cases the best schools have multibillion dollar endowments. why don't you say to your students, we will loan you the money, and if you default, we will cover the expense. i think if they did are that the hazard, they would be very careful about their budgeting and administrative bloat and things like that that have contributed to the shocking rate of growth in tuition, room and board at these colleges and is universities. >> host: and, in fact, it was in the '90s you were writing about changes in education with your book, "who killed hope." >> guest: yeah. i was worried about in classics, i felt that the what had happened were two things. one was it was generic if, it wasn't political. it's just that we had 5,000 classes in the united states, and 90% of them were people who were teaching four or five classes, and i knew a lot of
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them. they were advocates for the profession on the idea of western civilization or grammar and fin-techs, beauty and literature. they were teaching translation, they were teaching beginning latin, but they were devoting their entire lives, but they were kind of hoi that low with the people that -- many of them were part-time, con ingent faculty. and then at these elite schools we had a few that were teaching very, very few classes. and the idea was that they had to teach very, very few because they were doing seminal, breakthrough the research. and yet when you think about classical studies and who did what whether it's really the invention of archaeology or michael -- decoding linear b or mehlman perry who, i think, proved and i think could argue
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that he did prove that the homerric poems were composed ollie -- orally or the first documented history of greece and especially athens, all of them had one thing in common. they either -- two things in common. they were either not classicists or they were remember quaid classicists. so we have taken that tradition and said we're going to pick a few people, and they're going to be very specialized. this was during the heyday of -- very different than the woke trends today with the postmodern moment. and we had a lot of people, so when you looked at ph.d. theses, they were titled like the transgenderrism of, or the rhetoric of manhood, the gender ambiguity. i'm not depracating the value of these areas of exploration, but
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they were dominant, and they didn't translate well into the undergraduate curriculum, much hess ott general public. much less. so when i would go into a bookstore, i see books on the ancient world that were very popular, but none of the authors were necessarily classicists. they were e intellectuals, freelancing intellectuals or writers, tom holland, so to speak, or the adrian goldsworthy's of classics. and the other side of the coin was that we were getting very political as was the university in general. so that book was suggesting why don't we put more preponderance concentration on undergraduate teaching, why don't we have more public outreach and try to convince people of the value of languages, and why don't we acknowledge that people who do very specialized research are
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very valuable. we need that continuing research, and we need large arer research in areas of an no polling and sociology, etc. but let's not make them into deities. why don't we say that these people are important, and the undergraduate teachers are maybe a little more important because without them there's no field that subsidizes the people at the very top. and that got -- there was no constituency for that book by john and myself. i mean, the people who were part-time teachers felt that they objected or they liked the book, people would not hire them. and people who were doing specialized research fell under attack, theory fell under aact. people who were very, very left wing felt urn attack the. and if they had good reason to feel that way,ing i think.
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the general public, i think, got the message, but unfortunately in the years since that book was published, i think things that we worried about have gotten worse. i mean, princeton university just announced that you could become a classics major, graduate without take any greek. and now classics is another controversy in that it's not the postmodern controversies of the 1980s or the mary left witch not out of africa, martin bearal controversy thes, but it's a very fundamental -- should there even be classics. is the field glorifying western civilization which is pathological and toxic supposedly? if maybe we should abolish -- i'm serious, people want to abolish classics in total. the problem with that is the people who want to abolish it feel that they're compared to historians or literature people
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in their tenure, so they were gravitate to interdisciplinary programs. and all the many hundreds and even thousands of part-time latin teachers and greek teachers and assistant professor ifs of classics would be out of a job. >> host: well, we're pleased that you joined us for this month's " in depth" program. scholar, historian and author the victor davis hanson is joining us from his farm in selma, california. we're going to begin taking your calls in just a few minutes. here's how you can get through and talk with dr. hanson. 202 is the area code, 748-8200 if you live in the east and central time zones. 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. and if you want to send a text message, you can do the so here, this is for text messages only, 202-748-8903. make sure to include your first name and your city if you would. and if you can't get through on
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phone lines or still the want to make a comment, try us on social media. e-mail booktv@c-span.org,@booktv for twitter, facebook and instagram. we'll begin taking those calls and texts and tweets in just a minute. dr. hanson is the author of 22 books. this is the his second time on "in depth," one of the few guests who have appeared twice on this program. his first appearance was in 2004. we've invited him back to talk about some of his more recent books. some of those more recent books include "mexifornia" which has been update over the years. "the second world wars" came out in 2017. "the case for trump," 2019. and "the dying citizen" is his most recent book which we've discussed a little bit at length today.
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dr. hanson, when it comes to u.s. and immigration, first of all, is "mexifornia" a book about immigration, or is it about assimilation or neither of those? >> guest: it's both. there was two themes in it. the first theme was legal are immigration is wonderful because it enriches culture, and it makes native americans, people born in the united states, aware of how lucky they are. and so-called, i'm just now voicing traditional support for it. it puts them on their toes. what i mean in the real world is that my family was here in 1870, but by 1970 none of the people that were farming were -- except one neighbor, was so-called white of the original
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homesteaders. they were either armenian or mexican-american or punjabi or in one case greek. and what it meant was they came with nothing or less resources, and they worked very hard. there was the idea that you could learn from that work ethic and that maybe people who had been here a long time -- that was a traditional reason. and also there was the idea that if somebody risked life and limb to come to the united states and start from scratch, then maybe that's a natural aristocracy of people. they're not the complacent, they're not the well-off, these are people that really are going to work, and they have talent that has not been recognized in their own system. the second half was if you let people come in illegally and the first act that they commit is a breaking of the law by crossing the border and the second is residing illegally, then often a third act will be defined
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identification that's illegal. and i'm speaking as someone i think on three occasions has had my identity stolen. and i think i can make the argument somebody was here illegally. and if the immigration pool is not sufficiently diverse or and if the people coming are all without capital experience, many of them don't the know establish establish -- english or have a high school diploma, and if they are arriving when host has lost confidence in the melting pot that sort of continued a salad bowl, that each ethnic group should maintain their cultural identity as being paramount, and if they're being spent by governments who want remittances and we have $30 billion sent back to mexico, another 30 to central america, in a very
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cynical fashion, it's the largest source of foreign exchange for latin america, countries involved in immigration. and if it's sort of a safety the valve that people say they are dissatisfied as indigenous people with their treatment by the government in mexico city and the mexican government say why don't you leave, then you don't have really internal reform to the same degree if everybody who's upset just goes to the united states. so all of these things then are contrary to the idea of diverse immigration, legal immigration and immigration where people come into a country and we say you made choice to join us, we are enriched by your culture on the periphery. and what is the periphery, music, fashion, arts, literature, etc. but we are not, we're going to
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absorb you. that's kind of a harsh term the, we're going to integrate you, we're going to assimilate you into the uniqueness of american life that you chose to join, and that would be constitutional government, a free market economy, a racially-blind ideal, an independent judiciary, equality of women, a multiracial society that requires a lot of work and tolerance. all of those values, and we're going to impose on you, the immigrant, and we're going to make a kiss the 2006 between the -- a kiss the 2006 between people who come here legally and want to be either legal residents or citizens than those who break the law. and so that's what the book was arguing and, unfortunately, it cede that we, the host, have lost confidence in our powers of assimilation and integration, and we don't ask enough of the immigrant. and we have too many vested interests. we have corporate entities that want cheap labor, and they kind
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of exploit the immigrant. we have foreign governments who exploit the immigrant. we have immigrants themselves -- we have people for political reasons who want unassimilated constituencies or constituencies in particular they feel political. they can flip a state like california or nevada or colorado or new mexico, maybe arizona from red to blue, they feel, if they have enough immigration. so all these con stitch went9 says can see concern constituencies can see in the illegal immigration system something for them, but i don't think it necessarily benefits either the illegal immigrant d i know i'm not supposed to say that word, but that's a goodlatteen-based word for somebody who violated the law when they arrived. and i don't see what, if you're going to have illegal immigration, you're going of so many paradoxes and hi pockilities -- hypocrisies that the system won't work.
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and you can see that the now on southern border. we're asking 4.5 million americans to that work for the federal government and military, many of them have had covid and have antibodies, but you're going to have to be vaccinated to keep your job, but we're not asking same of noncitizens who are crossing unlawfully. and that's not unexpected. that's what you'd expect with a system that's been institutionalized the last 25 the years. >> host: last question from me before we go to our callers and viewers. we hear here in washington about prime ministers hosting his -- presidents hosting historians to the white house to talk about the history, have you ever been invited? >> guest: the white house? >> host: yes, sir. >> guest: i was inviolated to the bush white house when i got -- invited to the bush white house when i got the 2007 the national humanities award. there was a ceremony that year, and i think there were three winners. and then i went to a christmas
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party in 2007. but i haven't been ott trump white house. >> host: never one of those the off the record discussions with -- >> guest: oh, yes. yes, i have. i had during the bush administration. it was kind of funny, we were asked not to discuss things. i don't know if i'm violating that pact or not, but there was a wide range of views, and they were, i don't know, i wouldn't want to mention all the names of the people. there were three, four, five historians, and they were not just conservatives, they were centrists i think in one or two cases progressives, and they talk about 9/11 initially, and then the wisdom the or ignorance of going into afghanistan and to iraq and what you should cowhen things got bad in -- do when things got bad in iraq. so that went on once or twice a year. and we were asked -- at least the i tried to abide by that request not to mention that
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you'd been to the white house because i think some of them said, well, i'm in the white house, and people are listening to me. i think one journalist at one point said something, why would anybody listen to a raisin farmer from selma, california -- [laughter] somebody heard about it, it didn't come from me. i don't think they were listening to it. one thing that president bush did was he asked everybody to recommend books, and everybody recommended a book, and then the two or three times you came in over those years, the next time you were there he actually read the book and discussed it with the person that recommended it many front of the others. .. modern and recommended one of
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his books i think the president read. >> host: let's hear from our viewers and callers. glenn is in michigan on with author victor davis hanson. >> caller: big fan. i'd like to ask you about that current state of so-called mainstream media, corporate media specifically as an example of wisconsin. there was pretty obviously a domestic terrorist attack on the holiday parade, and the alleged
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murder one look at the social media history and it's pretty obvious -- >> host: i apologize. we are getting a little far afield. could use distinctly ask your question? >> caller: yes. i'm wondering since the corporate media, mainstream media, so-called, is so vast majority of it is so obviously one-sided now and leftist. do you think that will have any effect on the history of the future, so to speak -- >> host: thank you, sir. i think we got your point. victor davis hanson. >> guest: i think everybody wants both views, so i try to look at this. so if you go onto the internet, i think you can find a wide diversity of opinion, with one exception.
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and that is if you post something that is controversial conservative versus controversial really liberal, you're probably going to run into trouble much more frequently with the auditors of facebook and twitter. if you're going to run a google search, i think if you do it enough -- and i do it a lot -- you're going to find there is a pattern that the results will more likely show liberal than conservative findings or matches. but more or less, you can find there is a lot of conservative slides. i'm not worried about the access to information in that sense. i'm worried about $6 trillion in market capitalization, silicon valley. and i think people in the left or right, starting to come to an agreement that it represents something like the 19th century 19thcentury trust, that they hae monopolies they buy out and absorb all of their competitors. they use enormous amounts of money to affect the way that we
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vote and massage certain procedures with mark zuckerberg's 14 million. and i think a lot of people on the left say i know they get more money to us, but the monopolies, and i think people on the right to say we bought this for so long that the free-market entrepreneurs and fe market entrepreneurs and buccaneers and this is good, but now i think there's going to be some fraction there. if i look at the larger spectrum, and by that, i mean, if i look at the network news, if i look at cable-tv, you have fox news, msnbc, i think it balances out the many hours of greater market shares. but when looking at the network news, i don't see the diversity. public tv, obviously c-span i've
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been a big supporter of. brian lamb i think was one of my favorite americans. so public tv and things like c-span do a good job of trying to get people the diversity. i'm not sure that social media does as well. but "washington post," "new york times," "chicago tribune," "los angeles times," san francisco chronicle, they are not diverse. how does that translate very quickly into the real world? that means if you have a very controversial -- and this is what is happening unfortunately, when you have these court decisions that immediately become weaponize. so i don't think that white on white violence like kenosha was necessarily on the racial pathology of the majority culture. i understand mr. blake had been shot, but that had been thoroughly investigated and hadn't been a civil rights issue in the federal government, so
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that rittenhouse trial, the way they focused on that it became a referendum on race. not more than 50 hours later, we had to see waukesha killings. as the media seemed to want to fixate on race, you could say that mr. brooks, in his 20 year career felonies had a history of not only anti-semitism, but white, antiwhite expression on his social media and they didn't call for violence against whites, and he had killed six people and there were people not mainstream folks from blm, but self appointed in this revolution of minor officials, the democratic party said this
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is karma. there were people who felt that that was perhaps racially motivated. but there was much more credence to that argument then there had been in kenosha. the story wasn't just smothered, but smothered to the degree that when you look at the "washington post," to take an example, his name wasn't even mentioned after the violence. it was almost as if the car was responsible. they said a car crash in waukesha, a collision, suv hits people as if it was on autopilot. so that's the sort of thing that happens when you don't have a diversity of opinion in the major news and it's causing if not in the media's interest because you have such hostility towards half the country and when you start looking at things like this trial, i don't want to weigh in because it is a trial, but i'm talking about the
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initial reaction to it, where the media was almost unanimous that this was a racial crime, when there was clearly evidence that it was ambiguous to be kind, and i could go into the duke lacrosse matter for the covington kids, but there's a pattern that when a certain story emerges, the mainstream media tries to weaponize it for political advantage and even sometimes the facts don't bear it out. to be more specific i think a station like fox has had some problems and so has msnbc. the cnn is in a special category as we saw with the chris cuomo departure, firing and it soundes on whether we talk about kathy griffith were some of the comments made by some of the editors by some of the departures and resignations they
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had. i think it's not healthy for a constitutional state to have the mainstream deliverance. if you are a conservative thinking i can't find out what's happening, you can find out on the internet and if there's other avenues from radio, but it's much more difficult. i'm not just saying this. this orenstein center that does media research at harvard, i think six months into the trump administration found that 93% of the news coverage trump was negative in a way that hadn't been true of either republican or democrat in the prior administration. >> host: sandy is calling in from idaho. you are gone with victor david hanson. >> caller: great. what a pleasure. thank you, c-span and professor
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hanson for what you do. thank you for not upending the redundant defendant article. my question is concerning one of the signs of civilizational collapse that she points out is loss of faith in the elites by the many, and you know, i may be extrapolating on this point, but i tend to see the reaction on the left and right as two sides of the same coin. it looks at the golden age as it never was and the left looks to words and idea like future,
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which can never be. >> host: tell you what, let's go with what you've laid out on the table, lost faith in the elites and views of the left and right. victor davis hanson. >> guest: there's a compromised position, and i think when you look at the founding let's say of the united states, it is true that the majority where the vast majority were white males, which were representative of the time in the united states. that is the people had a privilege and money and education and that wasn't going to be inclusive but what was awed, we judge the past not necessarily by the values of the present because we have the benefit of hindsight and technology and moral development, but when you look at other places in the world there was simply no document
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like the declaration of independence or the constitution because they had built in with them and implicit idea in the case of the constitution you could amend and change things if you went through the constitutional process and the declaration said all men are created equally and you know what that set off in the trajectory to the quality where we were and are now with the quality of opportunity so i think it's good to acknowledge that people are people. the sins of america or the sins of humankind. what makes america different is that there was an effort to institutionalize and redress and improve, and i don't see it very much else in the world. there are things in the past i grew up in a household where my
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mother had gone to stanford university, got another ba at stanford university and a law degree at stanford university in 1946, and she was offered a job as a legal secretary and came home and she got in her little car and drove all over. not one person would hire her although i think you could argue she was one of the first superior court judges in fresno county. i think the second and one of the first appellate court judges that was female and did a good job, so there was institutionalized bias that had to be overcome so i'm not looking at the past, but the same token that we talked about earlier, there was a stability to the society. i can tell you if i lost my wallet in california, i had about four people call me within seven or eight times and say
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where are you? a couple people hand delivered it. if i were to do that today, believe me i have to run to the phone before i get charged. collectively as a society we are progressive, but individually i don't know whether it is a lack of religion or moral instruction. i'm worried that we are digressing politically. the technological process is the greek poet said mortal regress. when you look at the ancient world, and i'm talking about in a way they are convinced that affluence and leisure tend to bring luxury and i think the problem that we were having now is that this modern
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sophisticated society doesn't have a lot of appreciation for how hard it is to do certain things, and there is an expectation or sense of entitlement. i know when my grandfather came home and said they took a cataract out of my eye, i can see and now that's a routine operation but we don't have any appreciation of how difficult that operation is so i think we all have to take a deep breath and say we want to have the individualism as we progress if the system needs to be changed to ensure more equality of opportunity it can. >> host: everybody along with myself is wondering how do you lose your wallet so often. >> guest: how did i lose it?
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>> host: it sounds like you lose it quite often. >> guest: well, i'm 68. if you talk to people that know me, they say that i'm terribly absent-minded. right now i'm looking for my keys that i dropped or threw away by accident in my trash and had a lot so unfortunately, i got one of these tiles that i put into my wallet and had electric beep on it. i thought i lost it but i found it. the two or three times i've had it almost immediately. i don't know how people charge
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$500 of gas. >> host: let's hear from jane and joshua tree, california. >> caller: thank you so much. i have to just say i will give you some background. went to a junior college so i could learn to write a term paper. my dissertation didn't serve me very well. we are about the same age and then i went to uc berkeley. there was no direction. they gave me the choice of american history as a basic class i had to take or i could choose california history which i did choose and was fascinated by. but i kind of want to go back to say that i've been getting my college education from booktv and american history teeny and have books transcribing conversations because i'm just so fascinated by things i
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believe and think i will do. herbert hoover last night in the middle of the night talking about his education and upbringing with the idea of simplicity and public service without personal gain, but going back to washington's farewell address, worried about the factions and really, really concerned about our upcoming elections because the idea of nullifying the federal law and in florida we don't have to answer to washington. isn't that what the civil war was based on. >> host: a lot on the table for doctor hanson to respond to. >> guest: i will try to respond to the last. as i said earlier, the problem with nullification is that when either side wants to nullify, they seem to assume the other
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side doesn't want to. if you are a state and decided that you are going to nullify a federal law that revolves around elections or endangered species act, you're going to say you're doing it because california or new york or illinois nullified nullify thefederal immigration n they are going to say either all follow the federal system or none of them do, but there's no confession in the system that says we are morally superior to this person so then we get an exception because we've answered it to be higher god or something like that, so that's important. as far as voting, the constitution is very clear on that and it says in national elections, the state shall have primary responsibility although from time to time, the federal government can come in and by by that if they meant things like
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suffrage which happened. people don't read the constitution so people on the right to say the federal government cannot determine how the state runs the election at all. it can if it involves from time to time but it cannot go in and say to a particular state you -- your state has to have first and last names, that's up to the state so you have to have an id. it's kind of a balance that's worked pretty well. the great crisis whatever the political persuasion in 2016 we went to 40 million mail-in
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ballots and that was about 42%, even less than that. but the large percentage almost immediately hillary clinton alleged that there had been collusion. we are forgetting we had a lot of celebrities that came in and said you've got to contact and they shouldn't vote according to their state mandates. we had jill stein try to overturn and this soon we have stacey abrams question so people question but it's partly because we didn't have confidence and of the auditing. then we have the 2020 election and i do think donald trump lost the popular vote. but when you have 102 million people that we've never experienced this ostensibly because of covid but 63% did not
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vote on election day and a some of them voted so early that the tradition in american politics the presidential debates when we got the second debate, 60 million people had already voted it was irrelevant, so that is a new challenge. when you have some states that have the rejection rates of three to 5% but when you swarmed the ballot and the rejection rates because of inadequacies it goes from three to 5% to .3 to .4 by a magnitude of ten, then you have a loss. we have to decide whether we have election day as a primary way of expressing support and if we do, fine. but we have to be very careful that we don't have so many mail in and absentee ballots that it's almost impossible to adjudicate all of them as
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legitimate and that is what the argument is right now. >> host: referencing the 2018 case for trump is there a case in 2024? >> guest: everybody's asking that question left and right. conservative and traditional so i know a little bit better. i think on the left, people are torn and people are thinking. he's the only person that will unite the left again and we can get so angry and he's probably the only one we think we can beat and we beat him twice in the popular vote, so i think the left is torn between warning him and not. the right is torn.
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there are about half the people that say i like -- 90% say they like energy and independence, they like sort of the jacksonian foreign policy. you go after isis, eliminate them if i could use that, but you don't go into syria and try to and adjudicate turks versus kurds, et cetera. you don't go back in et cetera, et cetera. and they like the idea of the flyover country to be re- industrialized in the trade policies. they like the tax policy and they like the results of the low-inflation gdp, very low unemployment. people like myself about the
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spiraling debt. then they lose credence because of the party supposedly the fiscal sobriety although i'm not sure that's true anymore. everybody says they like it but it's broken down and half the people say you can have trump's trump iswithout trump and by thy mean they don't have the facebook detours were the gratuitous insult and the other says no, no, you don't understand. romney and mccain will come back. people do not, the left controls so many institutions. you need an attack saying i don't care about myself. i am going to go after and it's everybody against everybody so that is where they are. i think realistically, so i don't sound wishy-washy if trump
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wants the nomination i think probably more likely than not, he's going to win the nomination. if he wins the nomination, i think people will say if he gets even rather than just mad in other words he has a detailed agenda and doesn't make some of the appointments or steve bannon type appointments but he's more professional, is that going to happen and the other side to says no it can't happen. i haven't taken a position on that. i thought he was the first republican candidate that was able to appeal to the constituency and in a way the republicans hadn't. or he didn't say they are coming
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out to vote. i thought that was wise. for the republicans, he got a high level of support, not a lot but more than in 2016. by 2012 i think that he was starting to crowded the idea that whatever your particular ethnic or racial background as you you have a commonality about the prize of energy and the job prospects, wages, fuel costs, job futures, nationalism, populism and that was a very good thing for republicans into people on the left were worried about that so there were certain things that explained why he won the electoral college. >> host: let's hear from randy in louisiana.
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>> caller: doctor hanson, i've appreciated listening to you. and you are doing it in such a calm manner pointing out these things and i'm looking forward to getting your book. in fact i'd like to get all the books to tell you the truth. thank you. >> host: thank you. we appreciate the comments. alexandria, louisiana, your next. >> caller: i am an african-american and big trump supporter. i look forward to reading your case but i have a question i was telling the call screener we have a baptist college here louisiana christian university and we are sister cities alexandria pineville. will you be doing a book tour on your newest book or do you do book tours to the different colleges and universities? i will take my answers off the air. god bless you.
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>> guest: thank you. you know, i did one. the book came out october 5th so i came to new york for the weekend then i did a lot and now i stopped. one of my concerns for the book to be honest we've put so much emphasis on amazon and i think they are run by computer logarithms. the book came out october 5th as number two and number three during the day on amazon but then 40 hours later it was out of stock and it stayed that way for over ten days. if you wanted to buy the book even though they had according to the publisher, 30,000 copies on hand, i don't know if it is a supply problem, but there was the sense that when you look at books that are coming out this week by scott or peter navarro there's the sense that it is out of stock and i think today it is out of stock even though there are thousands of copies that
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have been printed so we need more diversity and to support independent bookstores and barnes and noble as an alternative. i'll buy a lot of things on amazon but i think however they had adjudicate out of stock or ratings or whatever they are not necessarily, they've lost the trust of a lot of authors especially on the conservative side. i wish we had a more diversity in the merchandising of books. >> host: published by basic books, he's been with that publisher for a long time and it's part of the group. philip in los angeles, good morning to you. >> caller: thank you very much. i am a fan of yours, doctor hanson. as a conservative trump supporter in california, one, how do you view the heights of
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the left has in terms of so many aspects of the culture including education, media, sports as it looks like they try to get a hold of the military and second point is a citizen in california, is it hopeless to be a conservative republican? thank you and i will take my answer off line. >> guest: thank you for that question. that's a lot to answer. when we look at california ostensibly, let's be honest there is a super majority. there is no attorney general control or governor lieutenant governor who is republican. of the 53 congressional districts, representatives, i think 11 or republican answer yes it is a monolithic state and there are pockets of
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conservatism specially up north. as a geographically about two thirds of the state are conservative but two thirds population wise from berkeley to san diego is liberal. we know that from the south one-party system it isn't a healthy system, so it's good to have a two-party system. we know people are not adjudicated in the challenge bad things happen and so i am worried about that, but i think the way i am confident though because i think what's happening is the left said diversity is the future and demography is the future and they welcome illegal immigration and demonize a lot of the middle class and they were happy and i'm quoting in one of my books a very prominent
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silicon valley entrepreneur said we want people to leave california. they are the wrong people here. bill kristol said why don't we replace the wrong people and bring in new people so there was the sense that immigration was welcome for political purposes but what happens especially with latinos, if i could use that as a proper term, but especially mexican-american people and a lot of african-american people is they are looking not at the border where the rhetoric of the politics, they are saying themselves why am i paid the second-highest bill in the country, why do i have the highest into the services most reliable. why are they dismantling when it's sufficient and has a good record and the glazes will only go up. why haven't we built in 40
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years. why are schools rated 45 on test scores when they are well-funded, why is the infrastructure if you go down to 101 or 109 and when we have the highest income tax. you pay so much because you get so little and of these so i'm very confident most of the people i know in my hometown are not a so-called white but they are very conservative and i don't know if that is the right word but they say i don't really care just because people who
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look like me are coming across the border illegally in texas. they've been vaccinated and i think the class is starting to reinsert assault in california and starting to look at the powers that be in california. we are talking mostly about the $6 trillion of the market capitalization in silicon valley and caltech, usc, berkeley, la, stanford and the spinoff industries finance. it's all on the coast and a lot of those people are very wealthy and kind of insulated on the ramifications of their own ideologies they tend to put their kids in prep school or parochial school and they are very prounion and against charter schools or they don't believe in water transfers, the lifeblood of the valley, but
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they are dependent on hedging or they don't mind 27 cents a kilowatt because the climate 65 to 75 is not like it is here so a lot of people are waking up to that a real diversity of political opinion that we don't have now. >> host: victor davis hanson in your book, "the case of trump," you refer to them as a monolithic rainbow coalition. what does that mean? >> guest: what, i mean, by that is if i were to go to most universities and i would say in class, if i were asked i wouldn't go off topic but if people knew my opinion and i
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were to say that i don't like racially segregated safe spaces really don't think that young people should preselect their roommate on a basis of race i don't believe in separate graduations i would be in big trouble and that is monolithically if they were classically liberal democrats that agreed with me, i don't think they would voice their opinion. i'm not being theoretical. the stanford faculty senate focused on neil ferguson and to the president and myself in a way that they didn't bring similar scrutiny to other people who the crime was to be in the
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national news or something that suggests that liberal orthodoxy was flawed because i couldn't quite see what the complaint was that they chose, there was the motion to investigate the hoover institution. so it's monolithic and i think you saw that with "the new york times," she was dismissed and you can see belmar is under enormous attack because -- and so is dave chapelle. larry summers was severely criticized and yet everybody says the republican party is monolithic and it's got all different groups. they are being controlled by
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this ideological movement of small ideological base and the bill clinton democratic leadership council people are terrified of so there's not a diversity of thought, it's monolithic. if nancy pelosi or bill clinton were hillary clinton or chuck schumer said it should be legal, diverse and should lead to assimilation as they did either in 92 or 96 with the democratic convention, they would be ostracized and politically ruined today. >> host: you write often for a group called the independent institute, but you also left the national review after 20 years, saying i think they were happy to see me go.
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why do you say that? >> guest: i'm not affiliated with the independent institute. that's one of i guess 40 or so people who pick up my column and one of my columns i write for american greatness is syndicated and the other one isn't and they can either be a syndicated buyer, not many but if you and i have a regular call for american greatness. i see that they are buying it a lot because i have that question a lot. for "the chicago tribune" it is the home for it and i write one exclusively for american
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greatness. it's funny in 2001, they had dismissed the column that we should i don't know what it is i don't want to say something that's not entirely accurate but she's written a controversial article about retaliation about saudi arabia because they were the home of the majority and they decided not to run it. i got a call from the editor that i didn't know in 2001 on 9/11 that said can you write for us a column we need something quick. we've had to dismiss someone. and i ended up being there for 20 years and i wrote two columns a week, excuse me, 11 years and for nine years that meant i had a ruptured appendix and libya but to get my column to the
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national review and then sometimes to calls. there were changes in the national review and i didn't think the big break came i think they would say during the trump years. of the majority of the republican party was going to nominate them as the flagship conservative magazine. they should have a case for trump and against and i voiced my opinions on that and i was in a distinct minority and then i think i was a little critical on the covington kids for some
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people they said something about that that they were somehow culpable or they were wrong or mr. phillips was a distinguished combat veteran. we had disagreements and as trump became more controversial if i were to be careful he represented in the modern times the john burke society william buckley had ostracized in the republican movement and they felt in the spirit of that is the continuation of buckley policies that it was their job to excise but my problem was 91% of the republican party had voted for them and he brought eight to 10 million people back into the political process. they had not 151% since 1988 the
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presidential vote and they lost seven out of the last eight popular elections and that was at a time that they won very well for the state and local level under the obama administration but they were not appealing on the class terms to a lot of working people of the democratic party had seemed to have given up on. there was one article somebody asked me and said i didn't think that it was my job to be the internal auditor. i've never been a registered republican. i was a democrat and independent of though i vote for more republicans than not but i felt that i was a problem for them and i think if people were to look at what i wrote versus what was being written, this was
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before 2000, january, 2021. i think they did voiced my warnings after 2021, january 20th that the assumption that it was joe biden from scranton would reject a bill clinton type that they could get behind. it was going to be a hard left agenda and if you look at the national view today it is at the forefront of criticizing the biden administration that i think raises the question were they surprised were not. i have no animus towards them. i still go to it and read a lot of articles i just think that on this issue unfortunately, it became kind of the issue and i
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didn't feel like, there were people that were not happy and i didn't -- i wanted them to be happy. >> host: thanks for hanging on. you are on with victor davis hanson. >> caller: thank you very much. i'm a conservative by nature, social moderate, survivor of childhood trauma and a product of overcrowded and underserved education. fifty-eight and still working on educating myself. if you have an understanding of mortgage-backed assets being traded on wall street and the effect on home prices across america. thank you very much, god bless you. i don't know you but i love you. >> host: anything to comment? >> guest: whether we talk about the mortgage-backed assets
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or unsustainable scenario where we have an annual inflation rate of 6% and may be people are suggesting that at the end of the year could be seven or even eight and get the interest rates for mortgage loans are one or 2% what we are doing is encouraging people to buy houses that are overpriced and the supply versus the demand out of the synchronization. it is for the prices that are not affordable but because of the interest rate, they are buying into it, which is okay because some of them are 30 year loans with 2.8% but what happens if they lose their job, they have almost no equity whatsoever. then they think they can flip them and what i'm getting at there's a lot of the conditions that we saw in 2008.
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it's almost like we've learned nothing and have forgotten. i'm very worried about the financial situation in general and of the mortgage industry in particular that is starting to resemble 2008. you may get 5% or 6% but you are not appointed with flipping houses and you don't know the intricacies. you may or may not have a 4o1k but you don't know how to invest in stock so right now you are getting about 1% but it's losing five to 6% annually due to inflation so we are witnessing a massive transfer of wealth away from the middle class to people
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that are investors and some of them are just really getting income disparity. i would like to see the middle-class be able to say i worked hard, follow the rules, i saved, i've got $35,000 of my life savings on getting five or 6% and that is 3% over inflation rather than being punished, i'm supposed to go out and invest or flip houses in a way that i had no idea how to do that. i'm speaking for myself as well. i don't know how to do that. >> host: let's make sure in the last ten minutes of the program we get in victor davis hanson's favorite books into some of what he's currently reading. favorite books include winston churchill's "the history of the
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second world war," joseph conrad "victory history of the peloponnesian war," john keegan "the fees of battle," edward gibbon, "the history of the decline and fall of the roman empire," this is what doctor hanson is currently reading. andrew roberts, "the last king of america," david mammoth on the "recessional's," and barry strauss, "the war that made the roman empire." salvador texts into you from new york city, given the now almost complete closing of the american mind that alan bloom spoke of 30 years ago, what do you see as the glimmers of hope? >> guest: i think there's a popular distrust of what i would call technocrats and people that are not elected and we can see
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that about the administrators. the idea that we have this professional education lobby and they are dictating to policies and suggested the parents have no input on a variety of controversial topics, we saw that backlash and uprising in virginia and it's kind of sweeping the country and i think there was outrage when general millie said he called up the chinese counterpart. we never had a chair the joint chiefs even suggests that and i think people had enormous confidence and wanted to support doctor fauci but when he said masks are not viable but you should wear a mask or to masks and we want to reach a herd immunity to 60, 70, 80 or 90% or
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i'm against mandates but i know we have to have a mandate so he downplayed natural immunity which we know in many cases could be comparable to acquire vaccination or he denied even the possibility of the research grant. people say you know what, ultimately you get back to the idea that the forms especially the middle class they are independent of these people and any time they concede political power whether it is the nsa, the doj, the cdc then you will have bad things happen and you have to hold of them to account and make sure that you are
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consistent and tell the truth. when they say something that isn't true under oath and they have to be subject to the same consequences. any of the people listening would be if they said something to an irs investigator. >> host: next call from claudia in california. please go ahead. >> caller: hello, doctor hanson. i'm a big fan. my question is pretty straightforward. i am an independent and terribly underrepresented by both parties and yet to become a candidate or grow a citizens congress seemed impossible because both parties seemed to be in lockstep against the average citizen running for office, and because they are the ones making all the rules it
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feels as though the deck is stacked against the average middle class and definitely the poor income citizens. what solutions do you think would allow us to get rid of all of the entrenched professionals in congress and allow us to have a congress represented by people like me -- >> guest: i didn't believe in term limits but i'm starting to believe that it is a wise idea. the problem is that a person that goes into the state legislatures as an assembly person and then turned out they go to a state senate that is the problem. i think term limits are not a good solution but they are a helpful solution. i think that's important. we saw people in new jersey and virginia and i think it's good to vote for people that have a different background.
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they don't come out of the political legal nexus. i like the idea of voting for people in business and all sorts of business, farming, ranching, small business person. i don't think a corporate ceo or professional politicians or lawyers necessarily invest background for politicians so a lot of people start to agree with that or i should say i'm agreeing with a lot of people and especially people coming out from the lower ranks of the military. i'm a skeptical of people with one, two, three, four stars, generals, admirals because so often they evolved from a corporate board into government. after retiring from the corporate board and back to the corporate defendants. a lot of that enlisted.
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>> host: mike, detroit. good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon. i wonder if doctor hanson could address who and what the democratic party has become, because it is the polar opposite of the world war ii generation and it seems like they curse everybody that won't go along with the radical destructive agenda and won't put the party above the welfare of the nation. >> guest: i grew up in a democratic household. my grandparents were sort of agrarian populists. my grandmother resided at the cross of gold by william james bryant, not that i would to say he was a model for what i believe in, but the point is they were strong democrats. my father flew 40 missions on a b-29. he is first cousin who i'm named
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after was kind of adopted when his mother died on okinawa and we always got the flag out. veterans day, you name it, it was on our house. very proud of the united states. my mom was the same way, and if they were democrats. what i'm getting at is there was no sense of conservative or rural democrats and they were very strong civil rights advocates. i can remember when i was 12-years-old we got in the car to go all the way up to the cathedral to hear martin luther king's speech. my mother detoured because she found a list of african-american people who might not have access and would have to take the bus. we picked up three women who we fitted a very small car. the eight of us and drove in. we didn't know where to park at that time. we walked all the way up. it was over packed.
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when the doors started to close, my mom literally pushed me in and i was the only one of the party that got to hurt him speak. they were classical liberal, and this idea that today you cancel somebody else because you don't agree with them or you tear down statues without a consensual vote of the city council, or you rename things without any consistency, it's kind of trotskyite we are washing away people and names are ideas that we don't like command we are not doing it in the light of day with necessarily always on a majority vote or a constitutional means or we are berating people, we are suspending free speech or due process on the campuses. so this is in the democratic party that a lot of us knew. >> host: victor davis hanson's most recent book is called "the dying citizen of progressive deletes tribalism and globalization are destroying the ideas of america."
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doctor hanson, thank you for re- joining us on "in depth" on the
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programs anytime a booktv.org. >> it's an honor to welcome everybody to the 72nd national book award. i'm coming in life from the random house building.

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