VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Our French Revolution
As the country collapses under leftist nihilism, the revolution’s last gasp is to destroy Trump
April 8, 2023 - 9:01 pm
We are in a Jacobin Revolution of the sort that in 1793-94 nearly destroyed France. And things are getting scary.
The Democratic Party vanished sometime in 2020. It was absorbed by hard-left ideologues. They were bent on radically altering, or hijacking, existing institutions to force radical, equality-of-result agendas that otherwise do not earn majority support.
The American people want affordable power and fuel and energy autonomy. They do not want a Green New Deal that results in dependence on the Middle East.
They want fiscal sobriety, not a permanent stagflationary economy marked by bank failures, soaring interest rates, crony capitalism and subsidies for those who choose not to work.
They know no country can exist without a border, much less while offering blank checks to foreign cartels that kill 100,000 Americans yearly.
They demand realist deterrence abroad, not the current woke military whose erosion is spelling the end to American credibility and global stability.
Racialists are eerily embracing discredited neo-Confederate notions of racial chauvinism, discrimination, segregation and the old one-drop rule of racial obsession. They are turning America toward a Balkanized war-of-all-against-all.
To implement such an unpopular program, the new left must radically alter our institutions. So the “Democrats” periodically threaten to pack the courts, end the filibuster, destroy the Electoral College and override the states’ prerogatives to establish balloting laws.
They deny the committee assignments of the House minority leader. They engage in stunts such as tearing up the State of the Union address on national television. With impunity, they mob the homes of Supreme Court justices to leverage their decisions.
This revolution is run by elites and is a top-down operation.
University deans all but prompt students to disrupt invited campus speakers. District attorneys release violent arrested criminals without bail. Woke generals call their Chinese counterparts to warn them against their own commander-in-chief.
The Pentagon lectures the country on its supposed innate racism — even as the United States continues to lose wars abroad, abandons billions of dollars of equipment to terrorists and allows communist China to surveille domestic American military bases with impunity.
Words change their meanings. “Racist” now means “don’t dare object.” “White” became the pejorative stereotype used by racists. “Diversity” means tired orthodoxy. “Equity” is a synonym for bias. “Inclusion” ensures exclusion.
Institutions are no longer recognizable. The FBI as we knew it no longer exists. Three former FBI directors either lied under oath to federal investigators or pleaded amnesia in congressional testimonies.
Our highest former national intelligence officers lied under oath to the Senate. The IRS is weaponized against political opponents of the Democrats. The Department of Justice is more likely to send the FBI after grammar school parents than mobs threatening the homes of Supreme Court justices.
Still, to thoroughly erase America, our Jacobins must radically alter our customs and traditions.
So under the cover of the COVID-19 quarantines, Election Day was made irrelevant. In the new America, 70 percent did not vote on the designated day but, fueled by third-party vote harvesting and relaxation of audits of non-Election-Day ballots, extended the vote over a period of several weeks.
Like the Jacobins, names and dates had to be radically transformed. The year 1619, not 1776, is now America’s birthdate and, we are told, it was an ignominious one. Statues are toppled, careers Trotskyized.
Biological males suddenly have hijacked women’s sports — destroying five decades of women’s hard-won efforts to achieve equal treatment and respect in athletics.
What triggered the collective madness and this Jacobin takeover?
The left’s perfect storm of the 120 days of riot, death, arson and looting of 2020? The COVID-19 pandemic? The disastrous two-year lockdown? The 2016 election of the outsider Donald Trump?
All those catalysts and more.
As the country collapses under leftist nihilism, the revolution’s last gasp is to destroy Trump — by empowering him. That is, the leftist legal vendetta is designed to win him just enough empathy to be nominated the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, but then to keep on indicting, gagging and hemorrhaging him legally until Election Day 2024.
Trump was the first president to be impeached twice, to be tried by the Senate as a private citizen and to have his private home raided by the FBI. Now, he is the first president to have been indicted, effectively ending America’s moral authority abroad.
America now has three potential futures and two are bad.
First, the Jacobins have two more years to finish what they started as the founders’ dream descends into our worst nightmare.
Second, the revolution has so warped our legal system, our voting on Election Day, and the FBI, the CIA, the Justice Department and the IRS, that even a despised, unpopular left will “win” elections.
The third is that New York Prosecutor Alan Bragg has jumped the shark.
His pathetic prosecution is so patently incoherent, illiberal and in spirit anti-American that two-thirds of the country will soon conclude the center is not holding. The Jacobins’ reign of terror is unsustainable. And so in 2024 the left will not be defeated, but so defeated so that it is utterly discredited.
The choice is ours.
Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact at email@example.com.