tv Victor Davis Hanson The Dying Citizen CSPAN November 7, 2021 5:10pm-6:01pm EST
bring -- to come together to write this and we took this journey around the world. >> good evening. i'm roger kimball the editor and publisher of the new criterion and i think i know most people in the audience so i'm not going to do anything elaborate. i'm going to take a page from that priest who instructed those who came to him for confession to be brief, to be blunt and be gone. just three things, three things.
first welcome to you our friends at the new criterion. we would not be having this event were it not for your support so thank you for coming. and welcome, welcome. the reason for this event of course is the new criterion's 40th anniversary and please feel free to take a magazine. if they launch of victor davis hampton "the dying citizen" in this publisher, they lucked out with this one. this might the victor davis hanson's most important books and everyone thinks of the citizen as being something that's been around forever and it's not true. victor has written what i think is going to be the one of the books of the year if not one of
the looks of this new decade. please feel free to take a copy and remember its title and remember the publishers they can stock up for real for your holiday shopping purchases. i also want to do some thank you is. there are several people in this room who support the new criterion and without them would not exist and i wanted bears you by naming them but i wanted to single out the hoover institution and the robert augustine family foundation who helped make the evening possible. i'm delighted that i think we are going to be joined by megyn kelly who will do the interview. she certainly will introduce an element of candor and clamor that is generally foreign to the
halls of any institution whose activities take place under the name of harvard but we are delighted that she could do this and to logistical things. i mentioned the book so feel free to go out and grab a copy of the book. if you get a copy that is not signed we will sign it and the second thing is i expect this interview to be entirely eliminating but it's conceivable that it will be so illuminating that there'll be one or two questions that are formed in the mind as you were listening to it but please don't jump up and ask a question. i want you to snag my colleague isaac who is here someplace or megyn kelly's assistant abby. there's isaac and they will
greet you with a card and a pen and you can inscribe your question and meghan will punch pertinence and profundity and do the appropriate triage. so where is meghan? i feel like the chap who would introduce johnny carson. >> i'm, thank you very much. thank you for that. i've condensed it into this new form. how are you? >> pretty good. >> how are you guys? this is as close as i will ever get to harvard. actually at syracuse university. i read the whole book and i'd put door victor davis hanson the
sad thing i realized about "the dying citizen" it refers to a dying country and it's one of the reasons you are sounding the alarm i think. why did you call it what you did? >> as i said to my friend when he asked a question i said it's still buying so it's rest breeding. >> if we had this conversation and whatever your political persuasion would be you would think it was secure and you would say it's much better than it is now and there was a new policy toward china and maybe you could argue why we were spending too much money and not grappling with stagflation of the future. it's the first increase in real wages and years and critical race theory is not so emboldened as it was in 2020 that jacobin
identity politics so what was going on wasn't as bad as it is now so that needs to be reversed. the other thing really quickly is the republican party was so susceptible to the character of the left. i like mitt romney and the body was at decent and but he's the character of the golf course grandee. how i ronica is a guy who is the winner and saw the populist party could be emphasizing class rather than race and would end up with mexican-american communities on the border selecting committee and local leaders in fear of open borders and the tablet in my hometown as well think there's a real chance that there is going to be a new recalibration for the democratic left and it's going to be the party of the silicon valley elite the very wealthy and then
we are going to have the middle and lower middle class. that was inconceivable. i'm cautiously optimistic. >> that's good. i'm feeling that already. let's start with peasantry because you talk about in the book of subservient rural president a labor of inferior rank but then we got to the middle class and millions of americans are becoming a new version with declining wages and so on and new urgent. >> that's a funny word that's latin for rustic which doesn't exist in a latin vocabulary. there's no word. the same thing is true in greek. there's no word for peasant and
i don't think there is a word in the american lexicon for peasant. it's a cultural term and their agrarian send farmers. they have the foreign experience because we had a viable middle class so it's to protect the middle class. there's no citizenship before it 2780 and we want to pass on to our children to grow an investment and we want that property protected. out of that comes these auxiliary rights. this is what jefferson and tocqueville always said the same thing. maybe we didn't earn it that we had all of this land and the idea that people can calm in the autonomous and independent on
10, 20 or 40 acres with the idea that they were going to be the envy of the rich and the poor and the dependency of the poor in they would be a bulwark of the urban that would try to find influence in government. i want to quote -- and why you need a middle class. it's essential to citizenship into thickets worn or not the history that unfortunately when you have a radical democracy of people and they feel they are equal politically than they want to be equal in every other aspect of their life regardless of luck or talent or misfortune or good fortune. they don't need to do that because they have the world that they are on under the middle class. we are successful in this
country of having the bill of rights and the veterans bill and homeowner fha an independent small business. that's the logical urban and suburban evolution of the small farming society. 95% of the country we have the constitution and now 1.5% farm but we still have the middle class because that evolved into all of these small entrepreneurial people and it's very essential so when you start to lose them and i talk about the way we are losing them. one final thought you can see when you lose that viability if people don't have confidence to get married and they don't have the confidence to have children and they don't have confidence to buy home and if you look at the statistics on when the people get married. 50 years ago the average was 26
announced 29 and when did they have their first child? about 33 and when did they have have -- buy home and it's in their late 30s. 62% were homeowners and now it's down to 59. it reinforces conservatism when you have to be married in worried about children in the home. spent when i read the book i was struck by the numbers that are included. fewer and fewer people are owning their homes in three out of eight homes or rentals and half of all rentals have a net worth of under $6000. just over half of all seniors have a net worth of less than 7000 hackaball female-headed renting families have less than $2000 network -- net worth. people are struggling. they don't have property or land. >> i don't want to sound like a
marxist but i work on the stanford campus and there's a relationship. i don't like how all public to want to pick on it. we have a hispanic middle class in fresno county but what is so strange people say it's really good that we have gas going up to $5 because of carbon emissions and they say that but my wife and i call it the arena because when it can undercut 10 or 20 cents there is a line outside her when it gets up to 105 which is almost every day droves of people go into walmart not to bite things that get kit toys for the kids maybe but they want the free air-conditioning and yet people will say wow why
do we want this air-conditioned economy? we will at 75 degrees. i don't know if we are aware of how thin the margin is the middle class and we all loved it quickly would at a point where they can't afford food fuel and air-conditioning. and yet this is the wealthiest country in the world so we have to have a middle class. i don't think any of this one a medieval society of asymmetrical california. >> california takes a beating. unlike the great state of new york. there's a chapter in there that i know must be near and dear to your heart and that is who you call residents. you write about how the founders
envisioned unity and homogeneity and it used to be people would immigrate to the country and within a couple of generations their native customs were all but forgotten. we have been a melting pot and we didn't feel any way threatened by immigration and the patriotism we felt with all counted in. and what we call locally a late call wokeism. >> i think what happened is two things. the parties each for different reasons whatever the two parties agree on they agreed on open borders. they want cheap labor and only 20% of illegal aliens of secondary is that term work in agriculture now. >> in your city there's an
ordinance that says it's illegal to call -- to use the term. >> i had a 20 year war with my syndicator because i used illegal alien and it was illegal immigrant and then it had to be undocumented immigrant and then it had to be immigrant and now it's migrant. they didn't want to which direction a person was going. but the right wanted cheap labor and the mexican government wanted remittances. people would come to depend on the united states for two or $300 to send back to mexico. now it's 6 million then there was a frederick jackson turner's
safety belt where people would march on mexico city in march in the united states. the left of course the la raza, that was a very funny word. there was no la raza and the chicano movement at all until 50 years ago and then people dug up the novel in the movie rossa and they found out the blood and soil emulation who said you could be italian unless you look a certain way and you couldn't be spanish even if you were a spaniard and living in the eye various peninsula. then the hispanic militants took that term.
finally they changed la raza. i think it's unido's now. they wanted to change the demography. we are never going to have a reagan pete wilson or arnold schwarzenegger again and no supermajority and no statewide altar held by the republicans and the 9th circuit is still very liberal. finally i think they felt that model had flipped the electoral college. new mexico flipped colorado flipped georgia and arizona and i don't know about texas but they believe they can so there world these people who want it and the only people who didn't were the middle class where they were lowering wages and i'm not
supposed to use the word they either i was told. they are flooding emergency rooms. he said why do we want people to crowd and so my mother can't get dialysis at the dialysis clinic or why would you want to go back to an education where we have all these people coming in and the fact that they are vaccinated in dr. fauci is never mentioned that, not once. he would give the eloquent diatribe about a poor person in the middle west or -- we are bringing them and anticipated two years to come across the border without a vaccination. it's almost as if the citizen is punished in the noncitizen is rewarded. one of the weirdest experiences when you come to lax you see
somebody with a passport in the take them in set little booth and they make the call that they are trying to make a performance out of don't do that yet we see people come across with no identification at all. if you were asked by dana bash on "cnn" what about the illegal people coming across the border and his response was essentially the illegal immigrants are not the cause of the pandemic. my 8-year-old is not the cause of the pandemic either but he has to have the mask on his face all day. they have to get the vaccine whether i want them to have that are not. >> i think when you confuse the citizen that has responsibility in accordance to granting rights
versus the residents they go back to fourth or fifth century ad where you have these groups coming across the west part of the roman empire and i'm trying to think of all the things we used to say if citizens that's unique to the citizen. citizens alone go in and out of the country and if you aren't a citizen you go back to mexico or cross the border without a passport. a citizen was eligible and a residence -- a resident is just as qualified. ..
we don't know what their customs are. they are so large in number. 2 million of them. there going to into enclaves with them. we the host never gave up on the melting pot. the message to all of this is, your own particular culture will no longer be incidental to who you are. it will be essential. why are they doing this. they want chaos, they want anarchy, they kind of project some guy from bakersfield on the forklift, but i have a nice nanny and landscape, but i don't want my school to go to school with their kids.
>> you right in the book, what currently threatens to change the pattern integration and assimilation, in a marriage it is not sudden white racism. high school diplomas who have recently crossed the border illegally and upon arrival are encouraged to emphasize by a mostly white progressive elites. there is no more pressure to a simile at all. tribalism is encouraged and it is one of the main things dividing us. >> it is. i think that there were nine of us that were not mexican americans. our speech therapist would be put in jail now. we are all going to be successful. to be successful in america you need to know the english language. repeat after me. i have a stick shift chevy we would all say.
[laughter] no you don't. she would, i think i have once or twice, people get appalled. the group that came out of that experience are very successful now. there was this idea, i taught 21 years mostly american and southeast asian kids. the idea was we would teach them latin and greek. we would make up prep school. we would go on-site you will go to graduate school, learn italian french and german. we sent 55 to the ivy league and 21 years. classics and history and language. our biggest problem was white liberals on campus. they said you are appropriating their culture. meanwhile, their kids were in
private school. i think the conservative movement can really point that out. you can tell the left there hypocritical and elitist. they are not comfortable with people that don't look like them they build up this huge façade of caring in the abstract. that is more prone and teaching in academia than it is a real world of business. >> but you write in the book about the destruction of patriotism. they go hand in hand. they are equally dangerous. you talk about the deep state and how administratively the left is seizing control of regulations, nevermind laws, 10- one or some ridiculous ratio. that has a real way of changing
the way we live, the way our kids live. the regulations on college campuses. we got rid of due process for men that are on college campuses the administrative rule can change our lives in a massive way. they seek to avoid in some instances the constitution the laws on the books. >> i tried in the first book, as you pointed out, peasants, residents and tribes are organic forces that tend to diminish citizenship. but more deliberate top-down not bottom-up. at the chapter on the evolutionary sent global, this administrative state.
thinking of someone in the news lately. anthony found she. the highest paid federal employee the cdc have even expanded their control to adjudicate whether you can collect rent or not. rent agreements are predicated on whether there is a national health disaster or not. that is incredible. when we look to these and we are worried about what the origins or the nature of the virus were, we find out very belatedly in this saga that it was the wuhan lab and the researchers with the military component involved in that research and it appears that at least it is likely they have never found an animal infected with covid.
>> 80,000. a gain of function. then we hear that it has been adamant that this was channeling $600 through echo health which echo health was part of the adjudicators of whether this was true or not with lancet. a person judged of this problem. then you say maybe he is a an exception. i have utmost regard for the military, but suddenly we have a person, the chairman of the joint chiefs from 1947, 53 and 2006 statute says it is an advisory role. he is not in the chain of command. he openly brags that he interrupted the chain of command. that he altered the chain of command as it applies to nuclear codes. suddenly, he has not an advisor. nancy pelosi told him, or said
to him that donald trump was crazy. i don't believe that he was crazy. then to add insult to injury coming he calls up his counterpart to warn him that there may be a preemptive attack sometime. august of 1940 that the chief of naval operations at fdr are not hail and they were hiding his health. we have been very preemptive with this oil embargo. i can assure you that i will warn you if we are going to attack you. that would be absurd. this is something that i do not understand. we as citizens make these laws to control people that are not elected. each service. they would be on the same field. an article 88 it says the
commander, commanders of 1213 and four shall not disparage the commander-in-chief. we have heard donald trump the commander of chief was hitler, mussolini, that he should be gone sooner or later. they call up a journalist and tells him that they believe the commander-in-chief is a figure. that is a violation. and yet there is no consequence. and emblem of all of these people that when you combine their judicial executive and legislative branches, then the citizen has lost control. we saw it with an absolute, i don't know what the word, it was very chilling for me when james klapper said under oath, we do not spy on anybody. he said i gave the least
untruthful answer. none of us could do that with the irs. at a call from the irs and said you did not report it and i did, i could've set i gave you the least untruthful answer. there were no consequences when john brennan said we have never spied on the senate staff or computers. live. he admitted it was a lie. we would never have collateral damage, light, he admitted that it was a live. james comey 245 times, i can't remember. what was the foundation of the whole russian collusion hoax. a steel dossier and gps. what is your opinion of those? he said i don't even know what they are. i don't know. i thought, if you don't know, why did you spend $40 million in 22 months. it is almost an insult.
how do we readdress that. who gave them such power. we are just talking about the people that the conservative support. the base of support of the military, fbi, cia. it is not the hhs. which we could go on and on. i am kind of getting animated. in 1983, the price of raisins collapse. i mentioned it in the book. i did not know the committee owns your raisins whether you grew them are not. the price was below the cost of production. about 10 of us were flat broke and said we would not send our raisins to be cleaned and sold by son made. we get this letter saying you do not own the raisins. i called the guy up and i said, are you serious?
these people did not put their names on it. should trump the active to run again for president? >> the lose lose question. >> i don't know, how many in your dark mind you thought of yourselves. his agenda was very good. and we can see it by the negative example, but could we maybe have someone of the agenda but tweeting and saying that
anthony feels like a girl and stuff like that. he is the ideal candidate. i don't know because i thought that about scott walker, he was an ideal governor, he was a wonderful politician, but when he got up on the stage, he did not do too well. they are so many known, unknowns , has donald trump learned from his experience? if you are to be elected, woody hit the ground running? he was not able to do that before. with the left be as emboldened? would the house and senate accompany him? i don't know that answer. i don't think there's anyone on the republican side that could go and get 40,000 people on the
cold night and appeal to that constituency. i think they will have to do that if they are going to win. i am neutral on it. if i were to criticize him very quickly, we have admitted that there were two mediocre candidates in georgia and there were two charismatic socialists. everybody knew that the socialist may win in georgia. trump did not believe it or the party did not believe it. had he gone down there not talked about prior election, his election, but said whatever happened to me, forget about it, go out and vote. we would not be in the situation now. kamala harris deciding whether we will have an electoral college or filibuster. and then he said, i am going to campaign like i never have and
the 2022 midterm. i think i've over used that term so much. you know what, i may not be the person to perpetuate what i created that helped everybody, but i can do more for everybody. i think that i've used this now and for articles, i better shut up very quickly. i could be the high noon gary cooper i could be the magnificent seven. i can create a great service, but i am not sure that i am going to run. it would benefit him enormously. it would give him more choices as well. >> the book does a nice job in conclusion of talking about how in the end after trump lost emboldened the left, the januart happened in georgia and all of it emboldened the left and it reminded me of trump and now
famous or infamous question about the women at that debate come out fine, we had our sparring, trump was the only want to go on and pass the anti-sex trafficking law. he has a guy that signed it. i've had more than one victim come to me and say he changed my life. he saved my life. this is the package that came in. and you look at the georgia situation where, what is he doing? same package. that is who he has. i don't know if he is controllable. >> a collective amnesia. if we were to say, fdr, i was not alive, of course, my parents and grandparents were fdr democrats, but i do not think the new deal was the solution to the depression, but if we were to say why was fdr having an
affair with lucy mercer with his daughter anna being the go-between, donald trump never did that with his daughter, could you imagine that -- a lot of the special treatment that trump.was that we have an interconnected different culture and a technology and a very empowered left and a different attitude about the media and i could say that about some pretty gross things about residence. lbj exposing himself. >> what about clinton. hello. i did not quite get the idea that we focus on these negative attributes of him and then we fill out this agenda that helped , as you say, trafficking of the middle class. back it's back this fundamental argument. their argument was he was so toxic we have never seen anyone like him and public life.
we can nullify this. i do not think that that was a persuasive argument. >> trump's problem is not that he lies, his problem is that he tells the truth. [laughter] i did not hear you use the word evil when referring to the deep state. are there not instances of evil in their activities. this week's directive to call and the fbi to investigate parents to criticize critical race theory. good question. >> i think that that is at the heart of what it is. it is a feeling that they have such exalted any of the means necessary to achieve them. i was a student, i got so sick. i was at uc santa cruz. any means necessary.
malcolm x said that. what that would mean is they would come into a class in throw the chairs over, assault the historian because they were trying to show you that his art was colonialist or sexist or racist. deeply embedded with the left-wing mindset. they don't feel they have to be symmetrical. mary garland cannot tell us he has evidence of a conspiracy or racketeering or committing violence against school board members rather than just making them feel uncomfortable. you still use the fbi because equity or antiracism is such a noble goal it will justify. what he will not do is be empirical. he will not say it is a federal offense to harass and intimidate a u.s. senator. it is a state felony in arizona
to take a picture of someone going to the stall and then put it in the internet or it is a violation of the federal aviation code to get on an airliner and go try to create a confrontation. those are federal crimes, just like he will not say that rand paul and his wife should not be surrounded and bullied after the state of the union, just like he will not say that jeff cannot be in an elevator and swarmed during the covid kavanaugh hearing or just as he may say, i am marilyn garland and senator schumer, you had a mob outside the supreme court and you said kavanaugh, you will pay for this. that was an intimidation of the supreme court justice. they do not believe they have to be symmetrical because they feel their moral fibers. how revealing that he could pass himself off as his long-suffering tragic liberal
figure all along what he is now. >> do you want to stand up and cheer? he could just string it together like nobody can string it together. it is really impressive. can i squeeze into more? do we have time? one more? okay. we will leave it on an up note. what gives you the most hope for the future? >> well. [inaudible] >> i am prejudice. you know, that old saying what can't go on won't go on. and that is when you look at the situation we are having right now, you cannot have a nation without open borders. it just won't work. when barack obama says this is not sustainable, that is pretty
indicative. you feel sometimes those people will get near martha's vineyard. when you look at the homeless situation, you know, when my daughter who was not a trump supporter calls me and says, dad , i cannot take my three children to this park or that park or when i go to the dorm and it says, sir, did you look at the bottom of your feet when you came in? we are getting to the point where the very stuff of things, when you look out the ports of los angeles and you see all of those tankers, it is scary. containers are not moving in their people home not working. that is not sustainable so something is going to happen. the second is, we do have a constitutional system that is pretty durable. i feel in this midterm if everybody gets out to vote and the republican party -- let me start, if the republican party
can be somewhat sensible, 19,942,010 correction and stop it very quickly, what makes me excited, for the first time in my life excited about the republican party, i look at it and i think, wow. why is my friend to is a mexican-american highway patrolman so eager to be a republican and wire these communities among the southern border so easy to be republicans and wife are the first time in my life people of different races and ethnic background say they are republican? i think they see themselves as an aggrieved middle-class. i know a mexican-american person that is the sheriff has more in
common with a white child of the oklahoma bakersfield than they do their elite represented professor. i think we are building very slowly a new middle populace nationalism class that has a lot in common. it does not trust the open borders mentality. it wants things for the middle class. it does not trust these bureaucrats that we talked about. it certainly does not like these that want to change the constitutional filibuster. they really want to place here. so, i am very happy, i have talked to so many people that i grew up with and they say things to me like does anybody ever go to fresno where you work? i go, no. they say do they know about -- i say, no.
they don't know anything about us. they can tell you every restaurant in london or paris but they have never been here and they never will and they don't want to. these new middle class people want to go there. they want to see that world. they are very much more open minded. i am very optimistic about that. it is kind of tragic. it is not melodramatic. we get this orange billionaire written off and he sees something that 16 other brilliant candidates did not. you could remake the republican party and address the concerns of people in the middle east. that is the way history works sometimes. that is a long-winded answer. we have a lot to be hopeful for. >> amen. let's leave it at that. >> thank you. [applause]
>> please help yourself to another drink. thank you to victor and megan kelly. >> thank you, megan. >> i love it. any time. it was an honor. [inaudible conversations] ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2. every saturday american history tv documents america story. on sunday, book tv brings you the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more. >> the greatest town on earth is a place to call home. at spark life, it is our home, to. right now we are all facing our greatest challenge. it is a little easier to do yours. >>