We are fortunate to have some truly great thinkers in the United States. Unfortunately, almost none of them enter our political class. And they certainly don’t slink through the halls of our bureaucratic agencies. Luckily, they can still appear on some platforms and share their thoughts and knowledge with us. Academic and author Victor Davis Hanson did just that last night on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Host Tucker Carlson took note of the increasing rhetoric about how to deal with President Trump and his supporters after he is no longer in office. He talked about the Trump Accountability Project and tweets from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Then he spotlighted an MSNBC appearance by Washington Post “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin. In it, she talked about the President and his supporters as people that need to be shunned and basically destroyed:
“What we should be doing is shunning these people. Shunning, shaming these people is a statement of moral indignation. These people are not fit for polite society.”
“I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that institution of higher learning, any news organization or any entertainment organization that has a news outlet would hire these people.”
“It’s not only that Trump has to lose, but that all his enablers have to lose. We have to collectively in essence burn down the Republican Party.”
Rubin seems super concerned about a political party that will hardly welcome her back to tell them how to move forward. Hanson came on following the segment to comment. He began by explaining the current moment and how we got here:
“I think what you are referring to is that sometime in the 21st century, we had these perfect storms of globalized capital pouring into our two coasts, fifty million people that were not born in the United States residing here, many of them under illegal auspices. Many of them under the idea the melting pot is through and salad bowl identity politics are arrived.”
“And in addition, this electronic octopus, with its tentacles of social media, Facebook, Twitter. You put all of that together, we created this bicoastal elite Tucker. And they have this agenda, New Green Deal, Medicare for everybody, open borders, transnationalism, trans-genderism, and nobody likes it.”
He then went on the explain how we know these ideas are unpopular. Democrats, the party of the coastal elites, don’t run on these policies. In 2018 they ran as Chamber of Commerce Democrats and veterans. Those same candidates went to Washington and voted lockstep with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s radical agenda passing the far left legislation such as HR-1, the Equality Act, and the PRO Act. He asserts backlash to this was seen in the recent election cycle where Republicans overperformed expectations in the House.
He also notes Democrats Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock are running as moderates in the Georgia runoffs, not on the radical bills they will help pass through the Senate. Or the institutional changes, like ending the Senate filibuster, and with it all pretense of compromise in the legislative process. The corporate media also never forced Joe Biden to take solid policy positions. We are only hearing about wide-ranging amnesty and taxes as gun control now in the corporate press.
Then Hanson made stark points about our cultural and geographic balkanization and why the combination is concerning. He described the cultural touchstones, such as award shows and professional sports that many Americans don’t engage in. Hanson asserted they are retreating to a “monastery of the mind”. He continued that these divisions are no longer just cultural:
“What we’re doing now is we’ve got a geographical difference. We’ve got two coasts and we’ve got a red interior. People are self-selecting and they’re not having any commonality.”
“And when you play Jennifer Rubin, she has no idea of what people think of what she just said. At that what people think of what she just said are 51, 55% of the people. We’re creating two different nations, not just ideologically and culturally, but geographically. And we know how that went in 1860. So, it’s something to watch out for.”
Hanson could be underestimating that percentage as a slight majority since the survey Hidden Tribes found that nearly 2/3 of Americans fall into a category the researchers named the Exhausted Majority. They are characterized as taking positions on issues according to the precise situation rather than due to ideology. They want to see compromise far more than those Americans in the left and right wings of the political spectrum.
Yet, they note, it is these wings that suck all the air out of the room. It is the polarization that seems to drive the political discussion, rather than how to find common ground. You heard this most notably in a recent comment by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “First we take Georgia. Then we change America.”
The authors proposed there is a way out of this quagmire:
If we’re to reverse the tide of polarization, we need to listen once more to the Exhausted Majority. They feel discouraged by the country’s divisions, but they want to be heard and find a way out of them.
However, it is legitimate to wonder how this can happen when the gatekeepers who run social media, the corporate media, and academia are aligned with the left-wing of the Democrat Party. One could assert the Exhausted Majority was the group President Trump was trying to speak to. Inarticulately much of the time, to be sure. A billionaire from the coast somehow became a vessel of moderation.
Not a particularly religious man, Trump recognized and supported religious freedom. He decentralized everything from onerous regulation to pandemic response, putting faith in Americans and their local leaders to make the best decisions for their communities. And he looked at the expansive red middle of the country and told them he cared. We did not have to accept theories on the managed decline of the United States. And as a leader, he put the success and prosperity of Americans first.
Perhaps over the next four years, the Exhausted Majority will look back on his actions rather than his rhetoric and seek that governing philosophy in a leader that can speak about it more artfully. A battering ram has turned the ship. The Exhausted majority needs to keep it on course.
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