tv Victor Davis Hanson The Dying Citizen CSPAN November 28, 2021 7:10am-8:03am EST
people in the audience so i'm not going to do anything elaborate. i'm going to take a page that instructed of those that came to him for confession to be brief, blunt and be gone. just three things. first, welcome to our friends. we wouldn't be having events like this were it not for your support, so thank you for coming and welcome. the reason for this event of course is beside the 40th anniversary and please feel free to take a magazine, is the launch of victor davis hanson's important new book the dying
citizen. the publisher which to my great sorrow but is another lesser publisher, so they lucked out with this one. this might be the most important books and you know he's written a strange. victor has written what i think is going to be one of the good books of the year if not one of the books of this new decade, so please feel free i also want to do some thank youse. there are several people in this room who support the new criterion wouldn't exist but i want to single out to help make
the evening possible i'm delighted i think we are going to be joined at any moment by megyn kelly who will do the interview. she certainly will introduce an element of candor that is foreign to the halls of any institution whose activities take place under the name but we are delighted that she could do this. the copy that isn't signed the second thing is i expect this interview to be an entirely illuminating but it's conceivable that it will be so illuminating that there will be
one or two questions that form in the mind as you are listening to things but please don't jump up and ask the question but i want you to snag my colleague or megan kelly who is also here someplace they will make themselves known and they will greet you with a corridor and a pen and you can inscribe your equestrian and megan will scrutinize them. [laughter] and do the appropriate triage. thank you very much. [applause]
of course i have my own but i have condensed it into this new form. this is as close as i'm ever going to get to harvard. i went to syracuse university and we had good times there. i read the whole book and i adore victor as i'm sure all of you do and the saddest thing i've realized about the dying citizen is that it leads to the dying country and it's one of the reasons that you are sounding the alarm so let's start with the title and what you called it. >> as i said to my friend. >> if we had this conversation let's say two years ago or whatever your political persuasion would be, the border was improving, secure and you would say the middle east was
much better than it is now. there was a new policy to china and maybe you could argue we were not grappling with this future so it had the first increase and critical race theory wasn't so emboldened as it was in 2020 or whatever we call it so whatever was going on isn't as bad as it is now. the other thing quickly is the republican party was so susceptible to the character of the left. he was easily caricatured as the golf course guarantee but how ironic in history that a guy that was a crass billionaire saul that this populist party
could be emphasizing class and we would end up with mexican-american communities on the border, community and local leaders at the fear of open borders. that's happened in my hometown as well so i think there is a chance that there is going to be a recalibration for the democratic left hand at the of e party of the silicon valley elite and very subsidized poor for the upper middle and lower middle classes and that was inconceivable so i am cautiously optimistic. >> let's start with peasantry because you talked in the book about a subservient role resident and labor of inferior rank and millions are becoming a
new version. >> that is a funny word. it doesn't exist in the classical vocabulary there's no word and the same is true in greek but there is no word for peasant. i don't think there's been a word in the american lexicon that we don't call people peasants. there is an agrarian, three holding so if that is a foreign experience because we had a viable middle-class so it starts to protect the property of the middle class. there is no citizenship between 2700 bc so then we want to pass it onto our children and they take a long time to grow and
investment and we want that property protected and out of that comes these auxiliary rights. this is what jefferson always said the same thing that this country was different. maybe we didn't earn it but we had all of this land that people could come and be autonomous and independent and it's classical in the idea that they were going to lack the envy of the rich and the poor and they would be a bulwark that would try to leverage or find influence so i'm quoting directly why they need the middle class that is essential to citizenship. one other thing that is borne out by history is unfortunately, when you have a radical
democracy of landless people and they feel that they are equal politically then they want to be equal in every other aspect of their life regardless of misfortune or good fortune and the independence they don't need to do that because they have a world of their own and i think we have been very successful having the va bill of rights, the veterans bill and homeowner fha and independent small business, that is the logical urban suburban evolution of a small farming society. 95% of the country is agrarian now 1.5% farm but we still have the middle class because that evolved into these entrepreneurial people and they are very essential.
when you lose that viability, people don't have the confidence to get married and they don't have confidence to have children and they don't have the confidence to buy a home and when you look at the statistics on people get married 50 years ago, 26, now it's about 29 and when do they have their first child, about 33 and when do they have a home in their late 30s. we are to 62% and now it's down to about 59 and of those are the things that make people reinforce conservatism when i read the book, i was struck by the numbers that are included.
half of all renters have a network of under $6,000 nearly half of all female-headed families have less than $2,000 net worth so people are struggling. they have the property and the land. >> i don't want to sound like a marxist but i work on the campus with the schizophrenic relationships between, i don't like palo alto but i don't want to pick on it and then i live in the sort of ground zero, but we have a hispanic middle-class in fresno county but what is so strange is i will hear professors and people say it's good that we have gas going up to five dollars because of carbon emissions but we call this gas station in the arena because when it can undercut ten
or 20 cents, they are lining 50 cars outside and when it gets up to 105 droves of people go into walmart, not to buy things, take apart toys for the kids may begin to destroy the store, but they want to the free air conditioning and get people on the coast will say why do we want this, it's 75 degrees in palo alto and yet this is the wealthiest country in the world so we have to have a middle-class and that is why i don't think any of us want this society a van asymmetrical --
>> unlike the great state of new york. >> there is a chapter that i know must be near and dear to your heart versus citizens you write about how the founders envisioned unity and homogenate eddie we had been a melting pot and didn't feel in any way threatened by immigration, the fabric of the country, the patriotism, it was all built in and it is really ripping that apart. can you expand on that? >> i think what is happening is
two things. the parties each for different reasons, whenever the agree on something, watch out and they agreed on open borders. the right wanted to cheap labor. originally it was agriculture and only 20% of illegal aliens if i dare to use that term work and agriculture. now it's meatpacking. >> even in new york city there is an ordinance saying it is illegal to use the term. if done with malice. you can check me on that but i'm sure we had to that. >> i had a 20 year war with my syndicator because they used illegal alien ant of them i said it had to be a legal immigrant and then it had to be undocumented immigrant and that was derogatory so they didn't want to prejudice which way a person was going when they migrated. but they wanted to cheap labor. the mexican government wanted is
a 30 billion in remittances and how ironic was that people would depend on entitlements to the united states to free of 200 with $300 to send back to mexico because the government didn't care about people and now it's 60 billion and you could argue that it was a reverse of the safety valve where people said shall we march on mexico city, now let's march into the united states and then the left of course the la raza there was no la raza until about 50 years ago and then people dug up the novel and mussolini and they said you
couldn't be italian or spanish even if you were in the peninsula which was very anti-semitic so they cooked up these terms. finally they changed la raza but they wanted to change the demography. the democratic party looked at california and said we are never going to have a party a governor of reagan, pete wilson and even arnold schwarzenegger again and now we have a super majority in both legislatures, no statewide office held by a republican.
i think they felt that model flipped the electoral college or the middle class that said they are lowering wages. i talked to a fellow that i knew very well in selma and he said why do we want people to crowd in so if my mother can't get dialysis at the dialysis clinic or why would we want to go back to bilingual education that we don't know? >> a diatribe about a poor person in the middle west that
cause of the pandemic. a complete college. my 8-year-old is not the cause of the pandemic but he has to have a mask on his face all day and all three of my kids will soon have to get the vaccine whether i want them to have it or not. >> the citizen that has responsibility that he or she takes on in accordance to be granting rights you have these migratory groups coming across the roman empire. the citizen alone could go in and out of the country at will. if you are not a citizen you can go back without a passport. a citizen was eligible for entitlement, that's been thrown out by the courts.
a citizen alone could vote. if they have a right as holding office if you have just a group of people that are residents and we don't know much about them or what the customs or traditions are and we are not able to assimilate or integrate because they are so large in number, 2 million of them and they will go into enclaves, we have done this in periods where we never gave up on the melting pot. it's your own particular
culture. it raises the question why are they doing this do they want chaos, anarchy, they don't want to be around these people. i have a nice nanny and landscaper but i don't want my kids to go to school with their kids. it isn't sudden white racism, it's a huge number of impoverished aliens without high school diplomas and upon arrival are encouraged to emphasize by a mostly white progressive elite it's one of the main things.
you are going to go to graduate school and i think we sent 55 to the ivy league and 21 years and classics and history and language but our biggest problem was either white liberals on campus were the la raza and they said you are appropriate in their culture you are doing this and this and meanwhile they were in private school. so i think the conservative movement can point that out. everyone says what can we do. you can tell if they are hypocritical and easily it and i think a lot of it is they are not comfortable with people who don't look at them so they built up this huge façade. that's more in teaching academia than it is in the real world of business. >> about you right hand of a cow beyond tribalism and the
destruction of patriotism go hand in hand and they are partners in the same war. we talk about the deep state and how administratively the left more and more is seizing control of regulations and laws and they have far more than they do like 10-1 or some ridiculous ratio. and a so that has a way of changing the way we live and the way that our kids live. we got rid of due process it can change our lives and it's one of the many areas in which the left has ceased control and seeks to avoid the constitution and the laws on the book. >> as you pointed out, peasants,
residents and tribes are sort of pre- civilizational organic forces that tend to diminish but more deliberate, top-down, not bottom-up and i had at the chapter on the evolutionary and globalization but the one that you're talking about i was just thinking the other day think of some people who had been on the news the other day. he was the highest paid federall employee but the cdc announced with infectious diseases they've even expanded the control to add adjudicate if you can collect rent or not in other words rent agreements, contractual are predicated on whether there is a health disaster or not. when we look to these grandees and we are worried about whether what the origins of the virus
are we find very belatedly in this saga that it was the lab and researchers with a military component in that research and it appears at least it's likely they've never found in animal that was infected. >> they said 80,000. >> so it looks like it is a gain of function and then we hear that anthony fauci that has been adamant that this wasn't a gain of function hasn't been challenged 600,000 which echo health was part of the ad andadjudicators whether this was true or not so this was a person that was judged during the execution of this problem and then you say may be he is an exception. i was looking at general meli with utmost regard but then suddenly we have the person that is the chair man of the joint chiefs.
1947, 53 and a 2006 statute says it is an advisory role he isn't in the chain of command and yet he overly brags that he interrupted the chain of command and altered of the chain of command as it applies to nuclear code and a says he has to go through me and suddenly he's not an advisor. he did this and nancy pelosi told him were said to him donald trump is crazy but then he says i don't believe he was crazy and then to add insult to injury he called his counterpart in the people's liberation army to warn him there might be a preemptive attack. it would be as if in august of 1940 that the chief of naval operations at fdr's hiding his health which they were and we've been very preemptive in this and borrower ago and i think this government might want to be preemptive but i can assure you that i will warn you if we are going to attack you and we as
citizens make the law to control people that are not elected and we have a uniform code of justice so each surface wouldn't be idiosyncratic and it says on article 888 the commanders of one and two or three or four stars shall not disparage the commanders in chief and what have we heard? the donald trump commander-in-chief hitler, mussolini, that he should be gonna sooner or later and he called him a muckraking journalist and tells him he believes the commander-in-chief is a mein kampf hitler figure is a violation and yet there is no consequence. so he's almost in emblem that when you combine the judicial executive and legislative branches under one bureaucratic,
reasons whether you grew them or not to so the price was below the cost of production, so about ten of us were flat broke and said we are not going to have them stemmed and sold by sun may do so we get this letter that says the committee has owned them since 1937. we've confiscated as to keep the domestic price and food for peace program so you didn't even own that and i can go into marking with oranges but what we've done is create all these people and there's no citizenry
dress he seemed to hate high-interest sand regulators, so at least it was something in the right direction. >> if you read his book one of the things i learned from it is we know the left has captured all of our cultural institutions, that is and news from news to sports media but the book puts the meat on the bones of why do you feel this with the water rising right now it's not just culture you can choose not to watch the oscars, the enemy is, you can choose what you take in but it's the feeling of the water rising is everywhere so some of the reasons you are talking about we are losing control of the administrative state on
globalism and how that is affecting, the decreased wages becoming sort of dependent on the government. it's not just about fighting but it's more widespread than that. >> if you took the life of -- you remember that commercial that they ran to pass obamacare where julia was a mythical american from cradle-to-grave we went through her lifecycle and she was given free prenatal and
she's a single mom and the commercial basically said you don't have to be independent, the state will take care of you in other words the little boy with the ftse foodies. there is a passage in democracy where they talk about creating a prolonged adolescence it's like the classical sirens so it's not something we fight all the time, you don't need to go to work right now, covid has been bad we will pay you $600 a week. a stay home.
they will be flying out there and that is how we get to where we are. >> i asked about trump and he said at the greatest thing trump was like chemotherapy. >> that's what you need to fight the cancer and you don't turn it down. it's a potentially toxic medicine that leads me to my next question. >> round of applause. [applause] should trump be active in the midterms and run again for president? >> it is a lose lose question. >> i don't know how many people
have asked me and everyone of you this question and how many in your dark minds you thought of yourself his agenda was good and we can see it by then negative example of the first. it would avoid saying that anthony fauci throws like a girl and descend because the ideal candidate. my answer, i don't know. scott walker was an ideal governor and yet he was a wonderful politician but when he got up on the stage, he didn't do too well and i don't know, there's so many known and unknown views what he hit the
ground running with a team that he wasn't able to do that before? what the left to be as emboldened if the house and senate accompanied him and so i don't know that answer but i don't think there's anybody that would appeal to that constituency and i think that they are going to have to do that if they win so i am neutral on it and i think that if i were to criticize him very quickly, we have admitted there were two mediocre candidates and socialist sand everybody knew that this charismatic socialists either trump didn't believe it or the party didn't believe it but had he gone down and not talked about the prior election but he said whatever happened to
me, forget about it. go out to vote. our future hangs on it, we wouldn't be in the situation now where they decide if we have a an electoral college or filibuster and then had he said i am going to campaign like i never have before in the midterms. he would have said i might not to be the person to perpetuate the ideas that i created that i could do more for everybody and then i think i've used this now on four articles but i'm not sure that i'm going to run.
>> you watched that george a situation and the book does a nice job talking about how after trump lost in everything that happened from that point forward and build into the left, the january 6th and what happened in georgia trump is the only to go on to pass the anti-sex trafficking law so he said he's the guy that signed it and i had more than one victim come over to me and said he changed my life and you look at trump and say this is the package that came in. that's who he is i don't know if he is controllable.
>> we have a collective amnesia fdr i didn't agree of course my parents and grandparents were fdr democrats, but i don't think the new deal solution to the depression but if we were to say why was fdr having an affair with lucy mercer, with his daughter being the go-between, donald trump never did that with his daughter. imagine so a lot of the special treatment trump got was we had a different culture and technology and a very and powered left and a different attitude about the media and i can say that about some pretty gross things about presidents whether it's jfk and a staffer and lbj exposing
himself. we focus on these negative attributes and then we throw out this agenda that helped as he yu say traffic the middle class i don't think that was a persuasive argument. >> it isn't that he lies that he tells the truth. [laughter] the word evil in referring to the deep state are there not instances of evil in their activities, for example this directive by the attorney general to call in the fbi to investigate parents who criticize critical race theory, good question. >> i think that is at the heart
of what the radical socialism is. it's a feeling that they have such exalted in any means necessary can be justified to achieve them and i was a student. i got so sick i was at uc santa cruz. they would come into the class and throw the chairs over because they were trying to show that the art was colonial. across time and space that is deeply embedded in the left-wing mindset so they don't feel they have to be symmetrical. when he can't tell us he is had evidence of a conspiracy or racketeering or a plot to commit rather than making them feel
uncomfortable, he is still going to use the fbi because equity or antiracism is a noble goal that will justify what he will not do is be empirical and say it's a federal offense to harass and intimidate and a state felony to take a picture of somebody going to the stall and putting it on the internet or a violation of a federal aviation code to try to create a confrontation and those are federal crimes just like he won't say they shouldn't be surrendered on the state of the union address or like he won't be sworn during the hearing or he might say senator schumer and
you said you're going to pay for this and that was in intimidation so they don't have to be symmetrical because they feel they are a superior moral fiber than we are and revealing is a long-suffering tragic tragic figure all along what he is now. >> he can string it together like nobody. really impressive. this is a nice one and we will leave it on an up note. what gives you the most hope for the future? >> while i'm prejudice.
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. sometimes those people well get near martha's vineyard. when you look at the homeless situation, when my daughter that wasn't a trump supporter called me and said dad, i can't take my children to this park or that park or when the doorman says did you look at the bottom of your feet we are getting to the point where it's scary and the
containers are not moving and there are people at home and that's not a sustainable so something is going to happen. and second, we do have a constitutional system that is pretty durable, and i feel that in this midterm, if everybody gets out to vote and republican party, let me stop, if the republican party can be somewhat sensible, they can have a 1938, 1994, 2010 correction and stop it very quickly. for the first time in my life i'm excited about the republican party. i've never been a member of the republican party. and i look at it and i say why is my friend that was a highway patrolman so eager to be a republican and why are these
committees along the southern border so eager for the first time in my life why are people of different races and ethnic backgrounds saying they are republican and they see themselves as an agreed middle class and they feel that they have more in common. i know that a mexican-american person that they share more in common with a wide child in bakersfield than they do with their elite representative studies professors at stanford so very slowly this class that has a lot in common but doesn't trust the open borders mentality. it doesn't trust identity politics. it wants things for the middle class it doesn't trust of these bureaucrats we talk about and certainly doesn't like these revolutionaries that want to change the filibuster and they
really want a place here. i'm very happy when i talked to so many people that i grew up with and they say things to me like if anybody goes to prison while you were again i said no and they said well do they know, no. they can tell you every restaurant in london or paris but they've never been to bakersfield and they never will and they don't want to. but these people want to go to palo alto, they want to see that world. they are more open-minded. written off as the selfish person that sees something 16 brilliant other candidates on the stage didn't that you could remake the republican party and