The Left is waging a full-fledged cultural revolution against traditional America. And the Maoist results are often as absurd as they are terrifying.
Special-counsel John Durham just issued his final report on wrongdoing within the FBI, CIA, and the Department of Justice.
The summary confirms that our premier investigatory and intelligence agencies interfered in the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
Directors and high-ranking FBI officials lied under oath. They misled Congress. They altered court documents and deceived federal judges.
The FBI hired a foreign national to gather dirt on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign—while he was being paid by the rival Hillary Clinton campaign.
The FBI contracted Twitter to suppress news stories. It kept the Hunter Biden laptop under wraps, even as former intelligence officials flat out lied it was likely “Russian disinformation.” That was a blatant effort to aid the 2020 Biden campaign.
The IRS just conceded whistleblowers were correct and the agency fired its entire multiyear audit team responsible for investigating Hunter Biden’s purported tax irregularities.
The agency claimed it was ordered to do so by the Department of Justice, headed by Biden’s appointee Merrick Garland.
California is facing a crushing $32 billion deficit. Yet it flirts with an $800 billion-dollar “reparations” payout to the state’s black residents.
No one has any idea where the money for that would come from. No one can define who would qualify. No one can explain why a state that never allowed slavery eight generations ago now owes selected Californians billions of dollars it does not have.
One of the reparations board leaders asserts blacks might be willing to accept an “installment” plan of payments.
The NAACP just issued a “travel alert” advising blacks not to visit Florida. The announcement was timed to draw negative attention to conservative Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement of a presidential bid.
Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and Indianapolis—all outside Florida—have the highest black murder rates in the nation.
Florida in contrast, with a black population of 3.3 million, has the second largest number of black businesses in the nation. The chairman of the NAACP’s board of directors is himself a Florida resident!
Black Lives Matter has just announced it lost millions of dollars in investments and ran up huge deficits.
The culprit was its former corrupt leadership.
Its extravagant spending, plush homes, and family hangers-on have nearly bankrupted the advocacy group. It cannot account for the millions of dollars in corporate guilt and protection money it leveraged following the George Floyd riots in 2020.
In New York, a threatening subway career criminal with 42 prior arrests was subdued by a bystander and died during the confrontation. The criminal is now deified. The would-be Samaritan is charged with felony manslaughter.
The deceased’s uncle is vocal about his late nephew’s confrontation. But he himself was just arrested with stolen property and armed with a knife. He was mysteriously still roaming the streets despite 70 prior arrests and current active arrest warrants.
In almost every American city and town, biological males, with enormous advantages in size and musculoskeletal mass, routinely win women’s sporting competitions.
They are systematically destroying decades of progress that sought to ensure parity between men and women’s sports. Corporate America has joined this cultural revolution hysteria. Companies are apparently now hellbent on destroying their brands, profits, and net worth.
Under pressure from the LGBTQ activists, the Los Angeles Dodgers reinvited the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” to celebrate Pride night at Dodger Stadium.
Catholics and Christians had objected to the invitation because the group’s notoriety hinges on its sexualized and often pornographic mockery of Catholic ritual, the Holy Trinity, and Christian faith.
The supposedly courageous group would never dare extend its street-theater blasphemy to other religious groups such as Muslims or Hindus.
The Dodgers apparently do not care that Greater Los Angeles may be home to 6 million Mexican American citizens and resident Hispanic immigrants. Most are Catholic and many were avid Dodger fans.
Anheuser-Busch has nearly destroyed its best-selling Bud Light brand by hiring transgender performance-art activist Dylan Mulvaney to hawk the brand—and his own transitioning—to America’s working classes.
The Disney corporation, for decades, has enjoyed multibillion-dollar concessions and a veritable 40-square mile private fiefdom gifted from the taxpayers of Florida.
No matter. Disney has rebranded its films, amusement parks, and television offerings to reflect radical transgendered, gay, and race advocacies.
The results so far are billion-dollar losses in Disney stock, subscribers, and viewers.
A woke CNN has all but destroyed its once-global audience. It now has fewer viewers than certain popular podcasts.
All these implosions are not just shocking but surreal. Why are our government, corporations, and popular culture colluding in mass suicide—to the delight of our enemies like Communist China?
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Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the recently released The Dying Citizen.
A sign of a civilization in headlong decline is its embrace of absurdities. Unfortunately for the United States, we are witnessing an epidemic of nihilist nonsense. Here are a few examples:
How could a dysfunctional state like California even contemplate $800 billion in reparations?
The state currently faces a $31 billion annual deficit—and it’s climbing. The state’s $100 billion high-speed rail project is inert, a veritable Stonehenge of concrete monoliths without a foot of track laid down.
California’s income tax rates are already the highest in the nation. Its sales taxes, electricity rates, and gas taxes and prices are among the steepest in the country. And for what?
Crime, homelessness, and medieval decay characterize the once great downtowns of San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is now not safe to walk alone in any major California city after dark.
Shoplifting and smash-and-grab theft are no longer treated as real crimes. The result is the mass flight of brand stores from our downtowns and inner cities, with all the accustomed cries of “racism,” even as racist public prosecutors pick and choose whether to indict the arrested on the basis of race.
California infrastructure, once the best in the county, is now among the worst. Decaying and crowded freeways, inadequate water storage, and pot-holed streets are the new norm. Once robust gas, oil, mining, and timber industries are nearly inert.
The state’s public schools are dysfunctional. Once premier public universities are spiraling headlong into decline—junking scholastic tests for admissions, using illegal racial quotas to warp admissions, and institutionalizing racialized dorms and graduation ceremonies.
Even if California enjoyed a huge surplus, even if 300,000 residents were not fleeing the state each year, even if California had a history of being a Confederate slave state, even if whites were the majority of the population, even if the black population was greater than its present 5-6 percent, it would be insane for the state to even contemplate racial reparations.
Twenty-seven percent of the state’s residents were born outside of the United States, and have no American ancestors. The state is the most racially diverse in America, and one in which every group could, in theory, lodge complaints against the dead of the past. Mexican-Americans, Armenians, Asians, and the descendants of the impoverished “Okie” diaspora could all cite legacies of bias—but from whom exactly? The long dead?
For those of increasingly mixed heritage—about a quarter of the state—did their own ancestors oppress their own ancestors? Are all blacks sure that eight generations ago their individual ancestors were slaves outside of California, and therefore they have monetary grievances against those in the state whose ancestors eight generations ago might have owned slaves outside of California? And can such writs be documented?
Do we really wish to go down this path of destroying individuality and insisting that superficial appearance damns us to a collective rooted in the past?
If so, are we to tally up the half-century role of racial quotas to calibrate all the impoverished whites of the last 50 years who were discriminated against in admissions and hiring? Have there not been existing reparations from the decades-long implementations of racial preferences and exemptions—or perhaps in some $20 trillion dollars in reparatory transferences during a half-century of Great Society entitlements?
If we are collectives and not individuals anymore, are all of us to be judged by adding up our group’s historical and current pluses and minuses?
If so, do we add or subtract reparatory charges based on group data? If one race is vastly overrepresented in hate crimes or interracial crime statistics, and other groups vastly underrepresented as perpetrators, is it the role of the state now to intervene and provide reparatory and collective “equity” from one collective for the relatives of the victims of another collective?
Are we really convinced that past institutional racial bias is all-determinative of present opportunity? If so, why do Asians nationally as a collective on average earn $20,000 a year more than non-Hispanic whites—despite past exclusionary immigration laws, forced government relocations, and zoning prohibitions? Was there some unknown university study that postulated that the Japanese-internment or early 20th century Yellow Peril exclusionary immigration statutes were irrelevant to Asian-American upward mobility?
Inequality Under the Laws
Ideology now has made a mockery of the cherished traditions of blind justice and equality under the laws. Whether you are arrested, indicted, and convicted increasingly hinges on your politics.
During the 120 days of 2020 riots, looting, arson, and assault that saw $2 billion in damage, 35-40 killed, hundreds of injured police officers, and 14,000 arrests, were there mass detentions, thousands of convictions, and lengthy sentences handed out to Antifa and BLM members for the violence? After all, the insurrectionary rioters staged iconic attacks on the idea of government, whether defined as torching a police precinct or federal courthouse.
Why then were so many protestors of January 6 demonstrations at the Capitol that saw no violent deaths at the hands of another—except a Trump supporter lethally shot for the misdemeanor of entering a broken window of the Capitol—given lengthy prison sentences?
George Floyd—a 6’4”, 223 pound black career violent felon, arrested while suspected of passing counterfeit money, serially high on dangerous drugs, resisting arrest—was choked into unconsciousness while resisting arrest by a reckless white police officer.
Floyd was canonized as an American hero, often portrayed with halo and angelic wings.
The officer was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving combined state and federal prison sentence of over 40 years.
A white Ashli Babbitt, 5’2”, 113 pounds, a 14-year military veteran, and, like Floyd, unarmed, was lethally shot for the crime of entering a broken window in the Capitol by a black policeman.
Postmortem, her life was smeared and slandered, her shooter canonized. Was Babbitt some sinner, Floyd a saint? The choker officer Chauvin a Satan, the lethal shooter cop Byrd godly? The petite Babbitt a mortal danger stopped only by a bullet, the huge and uncooperative Floyd supposedly easy to arrest with no need of force?
Why were the downtowns of Washington, D.C. and Seattle simply hijacked and expropriated by violent groups with impunity, while federal troops were forbidden to assist overtaxed local law enforcement? Was that not in stark contrast to the barbed wire, 20,000 soldiers and barricades that marked Washington for weeks after the Capitol demonstrations?
Why was there not to be a 2020 riot congressional commission to investigate the deaths and destruction caused by groups who crossed state lines to plan and orchestrate the violence, often weaving their conspiracies with the aid of social media?
Did we not fight a Civil War to reestablish that states and locales could not ignore federal laws?
Why did 550 local and state jurisdictions, in old Confederate South Carolina style, declare with impunity that federal immigration law did not apply in their territories? Does the Left now believe in such neo-Confederate principles? Would it applaud counties that rendered federal endangered species, or handgun-control statutes null and void in their jurisdictions?
Or do we now declare some nullifications good and others bad, depending on our own politics?
How did the Biden Administration simply suspend all immigration law to greenlight 6-7 million illegal entries across the southern border since January 2021? Did Biden not take an oath to execute our laws faithfully?
Does any president now have the right to order the executive branch not to execute entire bodies of federal law? Will the next president declare entire sections of EPA statutes inert by de facto nonenforcement to appease a particular political base?
At any time, did Joe Biden send a bill to Congress requesting that anyone can now cross U.S. borders without identification and legal sanction?
So do citizens fly into JFK or LAX from foreign countries and simply announce that they either forgot their passports or never obtained them? And as a reward for lack of an ID or legal permission, are they still allowed into the United States and given a free phone, and a free hotel room? Do we have one set of laws for citizens, and another for non-citizens? And if so, why?
How can a former FBI director under oath claim amnesia or ignorance 245 times during congressional testimony, or leak a classified account of a private conversation with a president with complete impunity, as did James Comey?
How can an FBI director, as did Andrew McCabe, lie on four occasions with impunity to federal investigators? Is it now the case that FBI directors at times must lie and deceive as part of their job descriptions?
How can a former FBI director, as in the case of Robert Mueller, with all seriousness deny under oath any knowledge of Fusion GPS or the Steele dossier, whose controversies prompted his own special counsel appointment? Can citizens tell inquisitive IRS auditors that they have no memory of deductions in question?
Why is there still an FBI after it has been confessed that it paid a foreign national, Christopher Steele, to compile dirt against a presidential candidate—and paid his source in Washington to provide Steele with false information to impugn a presidential candidate? How did the FBI manage to play a central role in both the 2016 and 2020 elections in efforts to alter the result?
How can a legitimate FBI knowingly submit such information that it knew was false to a federal judge to spy on an American citizen to further a farcical plot to destroy a presidential campaign?
So what will the FBI not do? Forge documents? Offer in vain $1 million to a foreign national to verify just one fact in a fake, bought dossier used to obtain a FISA warrant? Disappear cell phone data under subpoena?
Have high-ranking officials promise that a presidential candidate will never be elected? Infiltrate Latin-Mass Catholic Church services and school board meetings to monitor the activities of church-goers and parents in attendance?
Use armed performance-art SWAT teams to swoop into private homes to arrest suspects accused of mostly misdemeanors? Hire out social media private companies like Twitter to suppress free expression deemed by the FBI unhelpful or problematic?
Suppress information about an FBI-confiscated Hunter Biden laptop, while keeping mum as former intelligence officers lie absurdly before a national election that the computer in FBI hands was likely the work of Russian disinformationists—to aid a presidential candidate in a debate and harm the incumbent?
Destroy the lives of any whistleblowers who expose such miscreant behavior to Congress?
The journalist/historian Paul Johnson famously once wrote that the tripartite duty of any government leadership was “to ensure external security, internal order and maintenance of an honest currency.”
We certainly do not maintain an honest currency by borrowing 130 percent of annual GDP, with a looming debt of $33 trillion, an annual $1.5 trillion-plus budget deficit, and a 2022 annualized 6.5 percent inflation rate.
But statistics mask the real problem, which is a mentality of suicidal spending passed off as juvenile “modern monetary theory.” Unlimited borrowing as a “theory” is the academic idiocy that some socialist hare-brained professors dreamed up to excuse printing money we do not have.
Both parties have run up the debt. Yet the culpability mounts as each successive president adds to the crushing debt, in fear that on his watch the medicine of restraint will be worse than the disease of insolvency.
Note how casually the federal government burns through billions of dollars. We still have no idea how many billions of dollars in arms and equipment the military shrugged away in Kabul. Who cares anyway whether the terrorist Taliban is becoming one of the largest dispensers of U.S. taxpayers’ weaponry?
Currently, Joe Biden lies that by not spending allotted money he somehow is the greatest deficit hawk in memory, as he rams through a $1.5 trillion 2023 budget deficit.
The top federal income tax rate is 37 percent. In California, to take the example of our largest state, the top state bracket is 13.3 percent. Income subject to federal payroll taxes is 15.3 percent for the self-employed—and income subject to that crushing take is a whopping $160,200.
The above taxes are well aside from capital gains taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and fuel taxes, which, along with income taxes, can easily take 50-60 percent of one’s middle-class income. Note that the government not only does not appreciate the crushing extractions but targets for auditing those who pay at that rate. And all this tax revenue leads to what? Multitrillion-dollar budget deficits and unsustainable national debt.
Adding insult to injury, our current White House occupant, Mr. “Ten-Percent”/ “The Big Guy” Joe Biden demagogues as “greedy” anyone who resents the wastage of federal spending after handing over half his income to the government. Yet did the Bidens report all their past foreign income and pay at that rate? Could Joe have ensured that his son first paid all he owed to the IRS before he smeared other Americans as not paying their fair shares?
A sane country would immediately reboot and update the old Simpson-Bowles reduction and simplification of taxes and spending proposals that would gradually work our way toward a balanced budget—and maybe, in a century, pay off what we have borrowed. But we know that is impossible since we would hear ad nauseam that such fiscal integrity was racist, heartless, and cruel.
So we will keep up borrowing and printing bread-and-circus money until, like the late fourth-century polis, or late imperial Rome, there is finally no money for the upkeep of infrastructure, domestic law and order, and deterrence against foreign enemies.
Then what cannot go on, will not go on and all the absurdities of the present will end with a bang not a whimper.