From time to time to time, Victor Davis Hansen creeps up to the very edge of honesty on matters of race, ethnicity, crime &c.
But, as soon as he gets called out on it, his first reaction is to point out how quick he was to condemn The Derb for The Talk.
I assume that everybody here has seen the relevant bits & pieces at NRO, Vdare &c, so I won’t bother linking to them all (unless somebody asks!)
So what do we think of VDH? Mostly a good guy, or mostly a coward?
Personally, I find it hard to blame him. He’s got tenure, NRO will publish pretty much anything he writes…but all of that could be taken away in a moment if he steps over the line.
I’ve never had that much to risk. So it’s easy for me to say: he’s mostly a coward.
There are some key differences between VDH & me.
(1) He’s a college teacher. OK, it’s a cow college; but the guy knows his Ancient Greek. I’m just an opinionating hack.
(2) He’s a neocon; in fact his essays and books provided key intellectual nourishment for the missionary wars of the George W. Bush presidency. That means a lot to the Conservatism, Inc. establishment who fund NR. I wanted “small teams of inconceivably brave men and women, working in strange places, unknown and unacknowledged,” not vast armies marching across the plain.
Ergo, no way NR will fire Hanson. In any case intellectual fashions have changed. I’m not sure I would have been canned for my “Talk” piece today. Timing is everything.
Yes, a coward.
Always remember that these people have no friends to the right, no enemies to the left, thus all their enemies are their friends and all their friends are their enemies. If you are ever tempted to feel, let alone act, supportively to them, they will without hesitation stab you in the back.
As he stabs Derbyshire in the back
Derbyshire responds to Hanson here:
Derbyshire’s response to VDH is perfectly devastating. In the past, I’ve been inclined to go easy on Hansen, because he really has written some good, heart-felt stuff about the dire effects of mass immigration on what it’s like to live in California. But his readiness to spread lies about what JD wrote in The Talk is just shameful.
It’s interesting, by the way, that the one bit of The Talk that seems instantly to propel the susceptible into the outer orbits of sanctimony is the “good samaritan” bit – despite all of the anecdotal evidence in Derbyshire’s favor. There must be something pretty deep going on with that…